5 minute read

8 Advantages of an Integrated Campus ID

8/22/2023 7:00 PM

A quick glance at the day in the life of a typical college student shows the many activities across campus where a transaction of some type occurs:

  • bought coffee and pastries from the coffee shop
  • worked out at the recreation center
  • checked-in to classes
  • grabbed textbooks and supplies from the bookstore
  • visited the library and printed course materials
  • stopped in for lunch at the dining hall
  • rented an e-scooter to navigate across campus
  • clocked in for work study
  • purchased event tickets for athletics
  • reserved a meeting room for a group study session
  • bought a slice of pizza in the student center
  • caught the bus to residence halls
  • started a load of laundry

Most – if not all – interactions on campus require the use of a campus ID. Whether it’s accessing a building, making a purchase with a declining balance account, swiping a student ID to use a meal plan, or attending an on-campus event, an integrated campus ID provides a convenient and seamless experience for students, staff, and campus guests. This type of “transactional ease” across campus requires a comprehensive, well-coordinated, and integrated technology strategy between the card office, campus vendors, and the institution's student information system.

Here are eight ways an integrated card system can simplify the business of higher education and deliver significant benefits to your institution:

1. Actionable data

Connecting campus card technology to the student record system captures real-time data. The insights from this data helps campus administrators improve student support and services. For example, using it to better schedule staff or optimize food preparation for peak times in the dining hall leads to improved student and guest experiences, reduced waste, and a better allocation of resources on campus.

2. Best-in-class services

Having an integrated campus card program allows departments and teams to choose best-in-class solutions (vendors) to provide services to students. For instance, the campus bookstore may prefer Barnes & Noble or Follett, while the dining contractor may prefer Nextep or Infor point-of-sale devices, whereas there may be a specific ticketing system for the campus theater. All these solutions and vendor options can provide benefits specialized to their function beyond the validation of a service or payment, and integration allows for those unique benefits to be realized with one swipe of the campus ID.

3. Cost savings

Balancing the budget and managing expenses is an ongoing concern for every institution. Various solutions and vendors are used throughout campus to serve the needs of students, and collectively represent a significant investment for the institution. Fully integrated campus partners streamline campus operations, improve efficiencies, enhance data accuracy, and reduce errors — all saving the institution time, money, and resources.

4. Flexibility

Institutional needs change and sometimes an alternative solution or vendor is preferred to provide the right services to students. Integrated solutions provide flexibility when change is needed. When legacy systems reach end-of-life, or perhaps a newer solution is preferred to meet the needs of the campus community, an integrated approach allows for flexibility. It also simplifies retiring a legacy system and connecting a new solution, all while still accepting the campus ID as validation for service or payment.

5. Improved efficiency

Campus administrators are responsible for a variety of activities and processes, and don’t have time to gather information from multiple systems. Integrated campus ID technology helps streamline administrative tasks, centralize reconciliation, and provide seamless and secure transactions across campus. With an integrated system, reporting can be accomplished from a single source of data, saving time and simplifying business practices. Additionally, integration to the student information system can increase efficiency through automated data exchange, removing the need for many manual processes such as posting general ledger information or updating student accounts.

6. Expansion of service

Is there a new service you would like to provide on campus but have been unable to because of uncertainty around campus adoption or how to manage payments? Perhaps you would like to allow your students to pay through GrubHub or have food delivered by Starship robots. Integration with your campus ID system provides a clear path forward to introduce new services. System integrations create an open platform for your campus with little-to-no limitation on the services you can provide your students.

7. Trusted transactions

There are tens of thousands of transactions occurring daily on campus and the security of those transactions is always top of mind. Integration with the right campus ID solution that values security provides a trusted transaction, allowing for processing to occur through secure connections protecting your data. Your campus card provider should validate partner integrations to your system to confirm that the integration is operating properly and will not break when system versions are updated.

8. Improved experience

The greatest benefit of integrating your campus ID with campuswide services is improving your students' campus life. Students will have a consistent and unified experience for accessing services and making purchases. As they go about their daily tasks, students can easily buy their coffee, grab lunch, meet with a tutor, or work out in the recreation center, knowing that all they need is their campus ID to navigate campus.

The key to a successful campus ID program is a unified system that is easy to use across the institution to track, record, and reconcile student transactions and activities. Transactional ease doesn’t just happen, it requires an integrated system that communicates and manages secure payment transactions, verifies identification, and validates access across the institution. This type of integration provides these eight benefits but, most importantly, it serves to enhance students, staff, and guest experiences across campus all while simplifying the business of higher education.

Learn more about OneCard Campus ID and how TouchNet can help build a robust campus ID program.