A six-college consortium, known as the Colleges of the Fenway, and CardSmith have launched a single student ID card that will be acceptable at each of the campuses. The new digital image cards will be used for swipe access to services and cashless payments at campus bookstores, food service locations, self-service vending, and other points of sale and service. The colleges will also use the card as the key to building and facility access.
Boston, MA–The Colleges of the Fenway and CardSmith, LLC announced their agreement to develop and launch the Fenway Card–a comprehensive campus ID card program for the consortium’s member colleges. The Colleges of the Fenway’s six members are Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Art, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Wheelock College. Each of the colleges will issue a new, customized version of the Fenway Card as its official ID card to all students, faculty, and staff for the upcoming fall semester. All Fenway Cards will feature common design elements and graphics and share an encoding standard. Cardholders from all colleges will be able to use the new card to access services and make purchases at any of the six campuses.
In addition to providing a pan-consortium ID, the new digital image cards will be used for swipe access to services and cashless payments at campus bookstores, food service locations, self-service vending, and other points of sale and service. The colleges also use the card as the key to building and facility access. Each college’s card will incorporate “Fenway Cash” a prepaid spending account that can be used at any campus and at participating area businesses. At the same time, each college will retain the flexibility to define and manage spending plans and card acceptance parameters unique to its campus.
“The Colleges of the Fenway are very pleased to be bringing this exciting new service to our students, parents, faculty, staff and business partners” said Claire Ramsbottom, Executive Director, Colleges of the Fenway, Inc. “This is a very big step forward for the colleges and the consortium. We’re looking to the card program to reinforce the uniquely collaborative nature of our community while delivering significantly upgraded services to our students, parents and other core constituencies. The Fenway Card will make our campuses more seamless, strengthen the bonds of our campus community, while building connections with local businesses. It will make life here more convenient for our students and families – cardholders won’t need coins, cash or other cards to access services on any of our campuses.”
“We are very pleased and excited to be part of this groundbreaking program”, said CardSmith President Jay Summerall. “The Fenway Card project is truly a unique opportunity for CardSmith, the colleges and the many stakeholders. Our technology and services are designed to enable this kind of integration and inter-campus collaboration in card services, opening the door to new possibilities for campus communities everywhere. We think non-proprietary technologies and services are the wave of the future in the campus card business and in campus services generally, and we’re very pleased to be the driving force of this change in our marketplace. It’s very satisfying for our team to be able to deliver this high-value service very efficiently for the colleges. We look forward to working with Colleges of the Fenway for a very long time.”
“This project has been on the drawing board for quite some time, and we’ve studied feasibility extensively from both cost and functionality perspectives”, said John Heinstadt, Colleges of the Fenway Treasurer. “CardSmith is the only company we found that could give our members flexibility to define custom plans and applications for their cards, and enable Fenway Card acceptance across all our campuses. We like the services they will provide our students, parents and other constituents like real time account access and professional call center support. Too, Fenway neighborhood businesses will be able to accept the Fenway Card with a single inexpensive countertop terminal, integrating them more closely with our community.
The agreement with CardSmith also leverages the consortium’s administrative infrastructure and combined purchasing power. The program’s cost to each college is significantly lower than any of us could have achieved independently because we pooled our purchasing power and centralized contract administration. CardSmith’s service model is also very cost effective compared to the other alternatives we investigated. We are not buying or managing any proprietary technology on the campuses. CardSmith is providing the transaction management technology and virtually all the back-office support our members need – and none of our colleges will add staff to support this initiative.”
About Colleges of the Fenway
Formed in the spring of 1996, Colleges of the Fenway is a collaborative effort of six neighboring Boston-based colleges in the Fenway area. This collaboration was created to add value to student academic and social life while seeking innovative methods of investing in new services and containing the costs of higher education. Collectively, the colleges represent 10,000 undergraduate students, comprising 16% of the total Boston population of undergraduates attending four-year colleges, more than 800 full-time faculty and 2,500 course offerings.
CardSmith is a card technology and management company dedicated to making it easy and affordable for any campus to provide advanced campus card services. The company offers the market’s only fully-managed campus card service, including a customized transaction processing solution for each client integrated with professional management, marketing and customer support services. CardSmith’s service eliminates the need for individual campuses to buy or maintain proprietary card systems or dedicate staff to program management, delivering next-generation performance for a fraction of the cost of the traditional campus card operation.
For more information, please visit www.card-smith.com.