Heartland Payment Systems Micropayments Division
The campus card will truly become a student-centric tool as the places students want to go and the form factors they want to use become the norm. Students conduct transactions on and off campus, and card programs are recognizing this fact. Students also live by their cell phones and they expect more and more services to be available via their handsets.
Today’s campus boundaries extend well beyond the campus itself. Most, if not all students, want to be able to use their campus cards wherever they might be on- or off-campus–and, in many cases, when they go home. For a campus card program to maintain relevance in the future, an off campus feature is a virtual requirement.
And because our students want that capability, our institutions should want it too. I believe colleges in the future will be looking for a campus card provider that has the capability to build a good, far-reaching off-campus program. Most administrators don’t want the hassle of selling then administering such a program … and merchants, while they like the idea of accepting campus cards, want to be paid sooner than what many colleges can readily provide on their own.
This is where a capable off-campus merchant program provider can be worth his weight in gold. Consider the job: signing merchants, executing contracts, provisioning terminals, providing 24-by-7 support, processing huge volumes of transactions, managing exceptions and problems, settling with merchants on a daily basis, and absolving the campus of financial responsibility. It is a major undertaking to do it right.
I believe that we are uniquely qualified to help campuses launch a successful merchant program, but whether you choose to work with Heartland or another provider, we believe you should not attempt to go it alone.
Why do I think we are unique? Heartland Payment Systems is one of the nation’s leading payment processors securely processing more than $50 billion (with a “B”) annually. With the acquisition of campus card provider General Meters Corp. and the payment reader manufacturer, Debitek, the offering is uniquely positioned. We have the campus card solution, the reader manufacturer, and the merchant processor all under one roof.
So where does the cell phone fit in? We’re proud of the fact that we’ve introduced one of the first contactless tags that can be affixed to a cell phone. This tag can be used just like a campus card on or off campus. We first introduced the program at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and by all accounts the students, administration, and merchants have taken to it with vigor.
So for 2008, I see the trends of off-campus acceptance and cell phone service delivery continuing at a growing rate as our campus card programs become more aligned with the desires of our core population … our students.
About the AVISIAN Publishing Expert Panel
At the close of each year, AVISIAN Publishing’s editorial team selects a group of key leaders from various sectors of the ID technology market to serve as Expert Panelists. Each individual is asked to share their unique insight into what lies ahead. During the month of December, these panelist’s predictions are published daily at the appropriate title within the AVISIAN suite of ID technology publications: SecureIDNews.com, ContactlessNews.com, CR80News.com, RFIDNews.org, FIPS201.com, NFCNews.com, ThirdFactor.com, and DigitalIDNews.com.