Magazine article American Banker

Cybermark to Run Florida State's Smart Card System

Magazine article American Banker

Cybermark to Run Florida State's Smart Card System

Article excerpt

Cybermark has struck a multimillion-dollar deal with Florida State University to manage and promote its campus smart card system.

Though Cybermark, the joint venture of Huntington Bancshares, Sallie Mae, and Battelle - has been hawking its own smart card system, which is installed on the campus of Ohio Dominican College in Columbus, the deal gives it access to one of the most advanced multifunctioning smart card programs in the marketplace.

The deal also gives Cybermark, which targets the campus market, access to 40,000 university students carrying plastic cards with imbedded computer chips. Cybermark is to manage the program and retain the float on unspent funds.

James Graham, Cybermark's chairman and chief executive officer, said its system "will be integrated into the Smart City product" developed by the Tallahassee university.

However, Dan Cunningham, a consultant at Phoenix Planning and Evaluation in Rockville, Md., speculated that the Ohio company would "abandon the system it cost (Sallie Mae) $15 million to $20 million to develop" in favor of Smart City.

In 1992, Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Association, recruited Battelle, a technology specialist, to develop a smart card system for campus identification cards as an adjunct to its core business.

After three years of development and heavy investment, Battelle opted to sell the technology to Huntington Bancshares in April 1996, while remaining a shareholder. Battelle earned its one-third of the company through continuing technology enhancements.

Smart City, the brainchild of Florida State's Card Application Technology Center, which is run by William Norwood, was developed by several technology partners, including Product Technology Inc. …

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