“Brigham Young University’s Signature Card is pushing the envelope in many ways and in many areas,” says Diebold’s Manager Marketing Systems and Development, Mark Reinart. “They have the largest campus card system in the world with 2,500 readers on their CS Gold 4.0 system. They have extensive system interfaces and are taking full advantage of the open architecture.”
Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private university located 45 miles south of Salt Lake City in Provo, Utah. Nearly 35,000 students attend the institution, which occupies a 600-acre campus and has 333 buildings.
BYU’s campus card system vendor, Diebold, was selected via RFP process in 1989. At that time they began with meal plan transactions and 6,000 card accounts. Today, nearly 130,000 card accounts are active each year. This large number is the result of the card’s active use by affiliated groups and organizations in addition to the student, faculty, and staff cards.
Craig Schow, Manager of Signature Card/ID Operations, stated “Diebold, like all good service vendors, is a partner in solving BYU problems. They respond to service issues and crisis at BYU as though they were servicing two distinct and different customers: BYU and the students, staff/faculty and guests being served by BYU.
The BYU Signature Card Program relies on its open architecture to interface with external applications and databases. Device drivers communicate with ISO standard message gateway routers and line driver protocols (ISO 8583). This open architecture design has allowed BYU to interface card accounts to bookstore, universal banking devices, cashiering services, a variety of student print labs, as well as web-based services.
The Oracle-based system enables account updates and charges utilizing standard Oracle or ODBC tools. Signature Card services are interfaced with Human Resources and Payroll Services; BYU’s Person Reference Object; central ID Card production systems; Financial Services PeopleSoft data base (including the daily transfer of all funds to service areas.); and other external data bases such as the Continuing Education system and the Latter Day Saints Church’s Missionary data base for services at the Missionary Training Center.
In BYU’s system an account may be accessed by a variety of identifiers: BYU ID number (mag stripe), BYU Institutional Key (a non-public system-to-system ID), SSN, NetID (student’s electronic access ID-usually supporting a password), Name or a selection of other patron information. At points of service, a selection is made as to which identifiers to support (e.g. mag stripe card read, keyed-in NetID, name). If a student’s identifier is changed all systems are notified and services to the student are now available through the new identifier. Adds Mr. Schow, “If BYU decides to add a new identifier type, such as a biometric identifier or a smart card token, we simply set the identifier standard and add this type to available identifiers at service areas where it is likely to be used.”
The scope of the BYU card program is unique. There are more than 1,000 system locations serving 3,000 points of service, With 400 different account plans making use of 2,500 card readers keeping track of transactions.
Transaction load for 2002:
- Stored Value transactions: 13.5 million accounting for $18 million in sales
- Meal transactions: 550,000 for $2 million in sales
- Cash transactions: 3.4 million for$13 million in sales
- ACCESS transactions: 400,000
- Logged Student Activity Control transactions: 250,000
Most services at BYU, like all large organizations, first involve identification, second require authentication and authorization, and finally logging and financial accounting for services. In an enterprise model, integration of these service issues allows for efficiencies, consistency and increased options for meeting an individual’s needs while maintaining institutional soundness of services. Students, staff/faculty and guests are known institutionally. Methods for authentication are universally and consistently applied. Personal management of finance is aided when one account may be accessed at a variety of locations, as opposed to maintaining a unique account at each point of service. Mr. Schow explains, “When we first introduced the concept of the central transaction account, areas told us that when all the students had an account they would be interested in participating. When we went to the students, they said they would be interested in an account when all the service areas would be able to usethe account. We had to expand the system until we hit a critical mass. Once we reached this level both the students and the locations became our marketing tools.”
BYU considers their Central Transaction Processing System to be a “Closed Online Stored Value System.” The BYU photo ID card currently drives eight different applications which include ID services, contracted meal plans, stored value credit plans, electronic access, student activity control, library services, testing services, and time and attendance controls. Card holders can add value to their Signature Card at most clerk locations, Cashier Offices, two unattended locations in the library, as well as BYU’s secure student web site.
The individual points of sale locations include:
- 4 Cafeterias with 13 accesslocations
- 80 ala Carte dining locations
- 86 POS retail/services
- 12 Windows 9x/NT retail/cashiering
- 388 online vending machines
- 750 Online Laundry Machines
- Universal Transaction Interface POS Devices (5 Terminal Server Ports) 117 Bookstore and 59General Retail Outlets
- 57 Copy Machines
- 49 BYU Housing Resident Hall ACCESS Locations
- 34 Network Printing servers, 37 printers and 1200 workstations
- Testing Center (8 workstations ETI batch processing)
BYU has a RFP on the street which may result in a banking relationship. Other plans on the horizon for
BYU’s signature card include:
- Expanding the enterprise-wideintegration with other campussystems
- Mass Transit
- Wireless and Handheld POS
- Shared accounts (accessingmultiple accounts with a personal ID card)
- Smart card/Biometrics/Proximity services for high security services
Mr. Schow’s outlook? “We believe that enterprise-wide applications and integration of electronic identification, authorization and central transaction control is a cost effective solution to campus services. We have invested significant resources to make services to students, staff, faculty and guests efficient, secure and affordable. We believe that we are offering better service, a wider range of services and are guarding university resources because of this approach. Is it worth pursuing? We believe it is. Is it expensive? There are always costs associated with services, but I believe that greater costs arise by not providing an effective way of serving and knowing who you are servicing.”
Special thanks to Craig Schow, Mark Reinart, and Tim Shade for their help in the preparation of this article. Mr. Schow can be reached by email at [email protected] Diebold can be found on the web at http://www.diebold.com/opccsol/.