Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) in Joplin is new to the world of campus card services. Historically, its magnetic stripe ID card was used only for identification and dining purchases. An aging meal-tracking software package, combined with an immediate need to reduce printing costs, led the university to investigate campus card solutions to expand card services and offer its students the latest technologies.

After examining various solutions, MSSU selected the CS Gold campus card system from CBORD, along with contactless smartcards and readers from CBORD partner HID Global.

Because it did not have a large inventory of existing hardware to replace, MSSU was free to select the card system technology that best suited its current and future needs. The university chose to eliminate magnetic stripe functionality from many areas of operation, opting instead for contactless cards and readers. “We saw this as a chance to invest in an exciting, emerging technology which we expect to become even more pervasive in the coming years,” says Jeff Gibson, director of budgeting and operations.

MSSU uses its new readers for:

  • Access control
  • Dining purchases
  • Snack/beverage vending
  • Printing
  • Bookstore purchases
  • Health center charges
  • Recreation center privileges
  • Deposits to card accounts

While starting a campus card program from scratch is no small undertaking, there are many ways to tackle the project successfully. First and foremost, says Gibson, is to make sure all necessary parties are involved in the decision-making process. “Communication and planning are equally as important as selecting hardware and software solutions,” he says. “You need all the right folks at the table. This might include constituents from the physical plant, campus security, IT, administration, food service, the bookstore and other applications.”