Heartland Payments Systems Inc. has developed a combined identification and prepaid debit card for students, faculty and staff at Hillsborough Community College, which has five campuses in the Tampa area.

The Hawk Card can be used to make purchases on campus as well as at locations nationwide of merchants that have stores nearby, including the Bennigan's and Subway restaurant and CVS drugstore chains. It is also required to print, make copies or use parking spaces on campus.

Participating merchants pay a reduced fee for processing transactions made with the Hawk Card, Heartland said, and "they also benefit from unique advertising and merchandising materials to help drive foot traffic, as well as exclusive promotional opportunities to help encourage customer loyalty."

The cards are part of Heartland's Give Something Back Network, in which 1.5% of each purchase is returned to the cardholder, and a minimum one-third of that is donated to the sponsoring college.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures funds stored on the cards. Heartland did not identify the issuing bank. The Princeton, N.J., processor runs similar programs for schools around the country.

More than 30,000 Hawk Cards will be issued beginning today at Hillsborough's Dale Mabry campus.

The program will be rolled out to the other four campuses over the following weeks, Heartland said Friday.

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