Wachovia Corp. has signed an agreement to add banking functions to campus identification cards at the University of North Carolina.
Starting this fall, students and faculty members will have the option of getting Wachovia automated teller machine service with their ID cards.
There is a huge opportunity for combining functions that have historically been maintained on separate plastics, said Joy Marshall, senior vice president and manager of electronic delivery at Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem, N.C. We're pursuing this market very aggressively.
This will be Wachovia's seventh campus card program. It has had a business relationship with UNC for many years and plans to open a sales office on campus.
Beverly B. Wells, Wachovia's executive vice president of retail financial services, said the campus card program can help the bank build relationships with the 24,000 students and 11,000 employees who already use the school's UNC One card.
Our approach is to help the schools simplify the lives of their cardholders, Ms. Wells said. Wachovia is responding to consumers' desires to have banking services available to them where they spend most of their time.
All of Wachovia's campus cards have magnetic stripes, though the campus one card market is viewed as an ideal one for smart cards.
Several U.S. schools have deployed systems taking advantage of smart cards' multiple-task ability.
Next year at one school, Wachovia plans to test chip technology on ID cards for user authentication on personal computers.
Wachovia launched its first campus program in 1998 to attract potential customers and said its retention rate in the student market is very high.
In a similar vein, Citigroup signed an agreement with Columbia University in New York City last year to issue combination ID/banking cards. Citi has similar programs on the 85 campuses of the State University of New York.
College students have been a favorite target for credit card marketers because a card issued early in an adult life can be actively used and profitable for many years.
Francis Dale, president of Entandem, a consulting firm in Sterling, Va., said this is spreading to debit and ATM cards. With the growing popularity of e-banking, you won't necessarily have to be within a branch network, she said.