Chowan U. Enhances Safety on Campus With NFC Technology

WASHINGTON — Chowan University has selected and implemented Blackboard Transact for its campus-wide, one-card system after a full evaluation of major providers. The new system leverages a contactless near field communication (NFC) student identification card that provides both commerce and door access management across campus.

The Hawks Card provides students with a convenient, cashless way to make purchases, including dining hall meals, books and supplies, and laundry services. The card also operates electronic door controls to campus buildings, creating centralized building management for college officials. The university plans to integrate all card features onto mobile devices.

One of the key aspects of Chowan’s evaluation process was Blackboard’s strategic commitment to the higher education market. Ensuring the capabilities of the one-card system are in direct alignment with student needs and campus lifestyle, the company’s ongoing investment in the product is based on feedback from hundreds of campuses across the U.S. This allows clients, like Chowan, to provide a scalable system that keeps pace with rapidly changing student expectations.

“We wanted to get aggressive in providing our community with an enterprise-wide card system that not only enhanced campus security, but also provided convenience when navigating the college,” said Brandon Zoch, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs at Chowan University. “By partnering with Blackboard, we were able to prepare our campus for growth with a technology that not only meets the expectations of today’s student, but also sets us up to grow alongside industry innovations.”

Blackboard was the first company to offer a comprehensive NFC-compatible card solution specifically designed for education institutions, introducing their award-winning NFC hardware in 2010. Since then, Blackboard clients have issued hundreds of thousands of NFC-enabled credentials, transforming the student experience on and off campus.

“Utilizing an electronic credential as the center of a student’s interaction across campus directly supports the strategic goals of an institution,” said David Marr, president of Blackboard Transact. “Contactless technology, including ultimately mobile devices as ‘virtual’ student IDs, is an innovative way to not only enhance a student’s on-campus experience, but also establish a base from which universities can keep pace with a rapidly changing industry. We are excited to partner with Chowan University, as their vision for a 21st century campus experience aligns very well with that of Blackboard Transact.”

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