CardSmith LLC announced its ninth U.S. high school to use its multifunction school identification card.

Windward School, a college-preparatory school in Los Angeles, launched the card Nov. 1.

Windward hopes to improve security by reducing the need for students to bring cash to school, CardSmith said.

The Windward OneCard, which is free for students and staff, includes a prepaid spending account cardholders may use to make purchases at the student store, all school food service locations and school events, according to CardSmith.

Windward has a staff of 75, and the average graduating class is 17 students.

Offering multifunction campus card programs to high schools is another opportunity for "prepaid processors and banks to reach out to other consumers who will benefit from a program like this," said Adil Moussa, an analyst at Aite Group LLC of Boston.

Moreover, high schools need campus card programs similar to Windward's because "most students need money each morning for school lunches and various school-related events," Moussa said.

Plus, the prepaid component also "can teach students money managing and budgeting," he said.

Additionally, many high schools and even elementary and middle schools may be interested in campus card programs for security reasons, Robert Huber, a campus card business consultant with Robert Huber Associates of Scottsdale, Ariz., said.

"An identification card with specific building and door access [features] prevents unwanted visitors from entering the schools," Huber said.

It also enables students to become used to carrying identification cards with them, he said.

Not many high schools may have card programs, but once other schools see the benefits "the flood gates will open" and more will begin developing programs, Moussa said.

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