Dublin firm smart cards 25,000 US students


2 Nov 2007

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Over 25,000 students and staff at a Florida university have been provided with smart cards by a Dublin-headquartered company that will cover secure payments on everything from paying for meals to photocopying and physical door access.

Clontarf-based SmartCentric deployed the smart card technology infrastructure at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in collaboration with Siemens Communications.

NSU’s main campus is in Ford Lauderdale in Florida with multiple educational centres in Orlando, Miami and Las Vegas in Nevada. The university is the seventh-largest independent, not-for-profit higher education institution in the US.

SmartCentric’s latest software, SmartCity 6 and the company’s Shark Card gives cardholders access to meal plans, retail purchases, vending machines, photocopying, printing and door access.

In addition, students and faculty in the health professions division are using the SmartCity password wallet application for access and authentication with their dental practice/clinic management system, all on one card.

NSU’s main incentive for changing to the new card system was the need for a flexible and secure system that could be expanded over time.

“We wanted a system that could support our campus card needs today and for years to come, while also offering flexibility and the highest quality customer support,” explained Marc Crocquet, associate vice president in charge of business services at NSU.

“In addition, the incorporation of biometrics in the new Shark Card allows the university to develop new authentication options for high security and data-sensitive applications,” Crocquet said.

SmartCentric’s chief executive, Kieran Timmins said that NSU’s implementation is the next generation of smart card systems.

“The technology is revolutionary in the world of campus card technology,” Timmons explained.

“It will be available across all facilities and services on campus, offering cardholders a huge range of benefits from meal plans to logical access, all on one card. The new system will benefit not only student cardholders, but faculty and staff as well, today and into the future,” he added.

By John Kennedy