Florida State Launches Center to Promote Advanced ID Cards

By Fickenscher, Lisa | American Banker, March 14, 1995 | Go to article overview

Florida State Launches Center to Promote Advanced ID Cards


Fickenscher, Lisa, American Banker


Florida State University, which has been leading the charge on high- tech campus identification cards, opened a card research and training center on its campus in Tallahassee.

The goals of the card application technology center are to teach other schools how to establish their own programs, to advance the technology, and to extend the use of such cards to other sectors, including state agencies.

The university launched its student card program in 1990, to help reduce administrative costs. The program has become one of the most sophisticated of its kind; now the school wants to peddle its expertise.

Florida State's card pros have traveled to more than 300 schools, providing advice on how to establish such programs. And the university has hosted about 100 seminars, which typically run two or three days. The opening of the center formalizes what the school has been doing for some time.

Bill Norwood, the executive director of the center, estimates that at least 30 schools have modeled existing or planned card programs after the Florida State system.

The center is funded by a variety of sources including private and state grants, the university, and MCI Communications, which is working with the center in an advisory capacity. Washington-based MCI also offers calling card services to Florida State card users.

Profits generated by the seminars are generally poured back into the center, but the University could allocate them elsewhere, said Mr. Norwood.

In the larger world of credit cards, Florida State has not broken new ground in terms of developing new technologies, said Jerome Svigals, a Redwood City, Calif.-based consultant specializing in smart cards, which carry computer chips.

But the school is blazing a trail in the world of academia, where the use of campus identification cards that double as a cash and banking card is taking off.

"I think the technology may have been around for many years, but it was not very successful. We have reapplied the technology in new ways, and are busily exploring as close to the cutting edge as possible," said Mr. …

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