Florida State University is adding a chip to its pioneering student identification card.
The Tallahassee-based school's card program, launched in 1990, came to demonstrate the potential for multiple payment and information applications on a single card.
Now the school is poised to upgrade. A multifunction smart card is to go into distribution during the second quarter.
"We have a very successful stored-value program," said Jeff Staples, associate director of the center. But "we've reached the limits of security that (magnetic) technology offers us."
The original card, using magnetic stripe technology, acts as a building access device, a stored-value payment card, automated teller machine card, and long-distance calling card through a partnership with MCI Communications Corp.
In March 1995, the university opened a Card Application Technology Center to advance its system and promote it to other users.
Mr. Staples said the new program will include secure access to sensitive information and university documents via on-line networks. With a computer chip in the card, students will be able to conduct transactions on-line, paying for transcripts and other goods and services.
The advanced system is to incorporate the SmartGate secure transaction technology of V-One Corp., a Rockville, Md., Internet software provider. The chip assists in authenticating the user and encrypting the transmitted data.
Each smart card, supplied by the French-owned manufacturer Gemplus, will have a magnetic stripe as well as a chip. They will replace cards that had two magnetic stripes - one for bank transactions and one for stored-value and access control.
SunTrust Banks Inc. has agreed to begin providing banking services this summer, supplanting an agreement with Tallahassee State Bank. Each of 40,000 cardholders will have the option of using a checking account that SunTrust will make available with each card.
The chip can be loaded with value at 52 cash-to-card machines on campus, furnished by Debitek Inc., a manufacturer of card readers. Cards will be accepted at the campus bookstore, cafeterias, vending machines, laundry rooms, pay phones, and participating off-campus locations.
All chip transactions will be processed by Florida State's system, designed with its technology partners.
Students can use the chip card for access to records from any location, not just on campus, by attaching a chip card reader to a personal computer. Computer labs on campus will be outfitted with such readers.
First of America Bank Corp. in Kalamazoo, Mich., installed smart card campus systems at the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University in September 1995.
Kurt Lutz, senior vice president, new product development at First of America, noted many similarities between its program and Florida State's - both include building access and stored-value applications - but secure Internet access is not available with its program.
He called Florida State "pioneers," saying it was "the first to do this and be very successful at it."