Implementing Smart Card Systems within Universities

Within the education sector, smart cards are becoming somewhat of a necessity in order to create a seamless infrastructure. The technology involved in having a smart card system results in an organised system across the entire campus of a university. With multi-purpose opportunities to allow smart cards to perform a variety of functions, there is a lot to consider.

For a university looking to implement the use of smart cards, there is almost an endless list of functions that can be achieved. Ensuring processes are in place for the likes of security and access, smart card systems allow both students and staff to use the facilities in a safe and appropriate manner.

Necessary functions within education

When it comes to the education sector, there are a number of functions that a smart card can perform in order to help the daily running of a university. Visual ID is probably one of the most common; providing each student and staff member with some form of ID to ensure those gaining access to campus are doing so safely. UV printing or a hologram printed on ID cards can increase your security. On top of this, smart cards can carry data to ensure important personal information is available such as next of kin or emergency contact details.

Other capabilities that a smart card could provide a university with include the likes of both physical and logical access. If you are looking to protect your campus, smart cards can act as access control that allow students to enter particular departments or facilities. Used with a card reader, they can grant or refuse entry. Smart cards for logical access means that the use of computers and electronic data can be assigned accordingly, as can access to printers and email. This can be vital in protecting student or staff data as well as coursework and e-learning.

The increase in the use of smart cards for payment solutions can also be integrated into a university. Whether it’s for the vending machines, paying for printing or even the campus café, smart cards can be used as a prepaid, contactless solution.16% of UK consumers believe that banknotes will have died out by 2025, being replaced with technology instead.

Implementing smart cards

With so many different functions and requirements for smart cards, it’s critical that the implementation process is unified and faultless. IT support teams work to ensure a university can run professionally and as it should. This is why setting up the framework is crucial.

The rise in demand for smart cards as a feasible solution is something that continues to grow. Eurosmart predicted that over 9.8 billion devices incorporating smart card technology would ship globally this year alone, which would be a 6.5% growth on the previous year.

But how do you begin integrating such a system, and make sure it works to your needs?

Tailoring your smart card requirements

Identifying your needs is the first point of call; what are your priorities as a university, and how will you be using your smart cards? One of the most efficient functions involves access control; this could be unique to individual facilities or departments. Other requirements may be just as important, such as providing a secure network and even implementing activity tracking or attendance records can mean a decrease in risk.

Getting these functions correct across the university is a vital part of implementation; a system not working as it should can have a detrimental effect on the way a university operates on a day to day basis.

Card management system

Integrators are able to put a card management system in place to suit a university’s exact needs. Setting up a CMS allows you to manage access and permissions of students and staff.

With the education sector, there is a requirement for records to be accurate at all times; even something as simple as being aware of who’s in the building. From a safety point of view, smart cards are a significant aspect of a university’s procedures. Along with card readers, you are able to get the most out of your smart card system, bringing an element of convenience and protection to those attending and working at the university.

With many different industries now integrating smart cards as the next step in modern technology, isn’t it time you updated your system?