Blackboard Inc., a Washington technology company that caters to universities, has introduced an identification card that uses contactless technology to enable payments and building access.
The goal is to "create a single system for access, payments, ID and more with one card," said Jeff Staples, Blackboard's vice president of market development and strategy for the product, known as Blackboard Transact. "Campuses can no longer afford to maintain isolated systems that don't complement one another."
The card, whose availability Blackboard announced last week, uses Sony Corp.'s FeliCa contactless technology, which payment companies have used in several mobile near-field communication trials.
Blackboard also developed and makes contactless readers that also support magnetic-stripe cards and feature a full-motion video display. Though the reader only accepts the campus card, future readers will expand acceptance to include network-branded cards, Staples said.
Santa Clara University in California is the first school to use the technology, after testing it last year.