NuVision Networks Corp. has upgraded its campus card program suite to let students and faculty order from participating local shops online using their card's closed-loop prepaid account.
The Shopper E-Commerce program, announced Jan. 25, accommodates vendors both on and off campus, said Brian Adoff, NuVision's president. Anyone may set up a store via Shopper through the university's card office, he said. Some schools also may use the service to collect money for charities and fund-raisers.
The updated Campus Center, which is to be activated Feb. 1, is free for cardholders to use, Adoff said.
When making a purchase from a participating vendor online, cardholders view the company's Web page, select the desired item and then choose to pay using their campus card account or a credit card.
Once the cardholder initiates the transaction, NuVision sends the vendor an e-mail or fax with the order details along with the price look-up code or barcode. The e-mail or fax also may include the cardholder's image from his or her campus card.
NuVision, a Napa, Calif., card company, also plans to start a mobile version of its One Card program later this year, Adoff said.
Letting students use a campus card account to make purchases online is not a breakthrough, but it helps NuVision's closed-loop prepaid card program compete with open-loop prepaid card programs, said Bill McCracken, the chief executive of Synergistics Research Corp.
Adding an online shopping element was necessary because of the target audience, McCracken said. "The student segment is always online, so if a product lacks the ability to connect with students through the Internet, then the product has a huge hole," he said.