Streamlining Card Issuance

Streamlining Card Issuance

Facing a variety of challenges on campus, ability to connect services tops list

TODAY’S COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES FACE A VARIETY OF ID CHALLENGES ON CAMPUS WITH SECURITY TOPPING THE LIST OF CONCERNS. INCREASINGLY, THE ABILITY TO CONNECT SERVICES, RESOURCES AND OTHER VALUE-ADDS TO THEIR CAMPUS ID HAVE ALSO GROWN IN IMPORTANCE AS USERS LOOK TO CENTRALIZE RESOURCES AND LOWER OPERATING COSTS. THINKING ABOUT ID SOLUTIONS HOLISTICALLY CAN LEVERAGE IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY FOR INCREASED SECURITY, COST SAVINGS AND OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES WHILE ALSO SEEING GAINS IN STUDENT AND STAFF SATISFACTION.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to choose an ID issuance solution that allows the card issuer to combine multiple issuance steps into a single and seamless process—all from within the same printing device. With sophisticated microprocessors at their cores, some of today’s card printers offer internal card encoding systems that are capable of performing multiple operations simultaneously, yielding card throughput efficiency and speed and reducing hardware costs.

INLINE ENCODING EFFICIENCY

With a variety of ID card printers on the market today, universities have a wide selection of options from which to choose. Many are feature-rich with personalization capabilities that increase a card’s print quality, durability and even card output speeds. Often overlooked, but just as vitally important, is a printer’s ability to personalize the outside of that card while simultaneously encoding the internal technology of the card, all from within the same device.

Typically, a card office would use a desktop card printer to add color and text to a card’s exterior and then, once the card is extracted from the printer’s output bin, the pre-printed/pre-programmed ID number is transferred manually to the cardholder’s record in a computer database. This twostage process is both time-consuming and increases the potential for keying errors. Too often, errors aren’t even discovered until the cardholder attempts to enter a facility and their new card are denied access.

With today’s newer ID card printers with inline encoding capabilities, universities can seamlessly print visual personalization while encoding student or faculty data via one or multiple card technologies.

AN EASY UPGRADE TO NEW CARD TECHNOLOGY

Today, campuses are in the midst of, or preparing for, a giant technology upgrade when it comes to both the security and functionality of their ID card. What was once acceptable technology, like magnetic swipe, has since been proven to be susceptible to easy counterfeiting. To address this risk, universities are looking for the most secure, cost-effective and efficient solutions that offer backwards compatibility with legacy card technology and hardware still on campus.

The card office, already concerned with card issuance time, is now faced with the task of rebadging an entire card population, which may be in the tens of thousands, on campus.

Every bit of time that can be saved issuing a card is crucial and adds up to significant savings in operating costs. By leveraging advanced ID card printers and encoder solutions, universities can reap the benefits of true ID card issuance efficiency and upgrade from current unsecure credential technologies to smart cards that support multiple applications such as paying for meals or checking out books.

Lastly, universities can further increase the efficiency of their ID issuance solutions by opting for a printer with features like simultaneous inline, card lamination which increases card durability and translates to less replacement cards needing to be issued. A dual input hopper is also useful when printing multiple card types, such as printing IDs for student versus staff.

The takeaway is to look for secure issuance solutions that promote the most convenience and efficiency for your campus needs while providing an enhanced level of security.

Printers that offer inline card encoding enable multiple functions of large ID card batches to be performed inside the printer, in a single issuance step that significantly reduces administrative burden and hardware costs. Additionally, by combining printing and encoding within a single printer, universities can rest assured that their campus or studentspecific data is properly included on each user’s card, decreasing return visits by students and further increasing the security of the card issuance program. Students will appreciate the time saved waiting in line for their new ID card on the first day of school and the increased functionality of those cards throughout the school year.

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of CSLS.