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Self-service rapid ID card and smartcard printing is the way of the future while proactive infection prevention is an abrupt reality of the here and now. Last year, many of the ID card printing systems used by colleges and universities during student enrolment periods remained relatively cumbersome.
Student enrolment technology is transforming the enrolment period at educational establishments everywhere. It is no longer acceptable to have crowded areas or long queues. Human contact must be completely avoided during local lockdowns, and touchpoints must be sanitised all year round.
The introduction of university and college smartcards that carry student or staff ID and cashless transaction data was a great leap forward, however, enrolment and smartcard technology continues to accelerate. ID Card Centre works with universities and colleges around the UK and with the manufacturers that develop and deliver new student card technology. Here are some cutting-edge advancements in student enrolment and ID card production with some indicators of we think will happen next.
Self-service student card printing booths
An ID card kiosk can pay for itself by minimising essential interactions between office staff and students. As soon as the card kiosks are up and running, replacing cards uses zero manpower.
Having 24/7 self-service student ID smartcard printing kiosks transforms the efficiency of student enrolment and helps prevent queuing through its constant availability. It introduces a largely unmanned ID card production and distribution process, eliminating administration and human error while supporting social distancing and hand hygiene.
This student enrolment solution could also issue employee ID badges, which would help HR and reduce the need for them to work on-site.
Student ID and cashless transaction data management
If self-service smartcard printing booths were networked together at each college or university, data can be centrally stored and managed in a cloud, which is likely to make GDPR compliance easier for many. We expect to see significant savings in running costs following installation.
Manually capturing ID photographs of students for card printing is becoming obsolete. There are already access control systems that photograph entrants, collect personal data and print cards within a few seconds.
Alternatively, existing ID documents could be uploaded. Any photographs within them could either be:
- extracted and printed on the card
- used to validate the student by using facial recognition technology. This would help eradicate issues caused by differences between in-person appearances and photographs, which may have been taken some time ago.
If access and transactions became purely digital, having a standard student card design to reflect a college or university’s brand could be considered unnecessary. Self-service ID card printing cubicles could introduce the opportunity for students to adopt personal branding – a concept where individuals self-package their first impression. For example, student cards could include graphics detailing academic or sports achievements, memberships or causes as part of their unique design.
More efficient data management
Integrating systems such as access control, contactless catering, active directory, HR and many more automates and streamlines data management. This eliminates some of the admin burden and associated risk of human error.
Track and trace have become vital. Modern student enrolment and ID card production systems enable authorised personnel to access data at speed to help accelerate the work of NHS teams trying to follow up those with Covid-19 infections.
Multifunctional smartcards for students
Smartcard technology already means that cards can be multifunctional. Access control, cashless catering, printing, library and many other ‘on account’ services can be handled by a single card. If it is lost, it can be immediately deactivated online. With self-service ID card printing booths, producing a replacement becomes super-easy.
Reducing plastic waste
Some European colleges and universities already use cards containing rewrite panels. These panels are updated throughout the entire course, which means the cards don’t have to be replaced every year. It also enables administrators to deactivate the card in real-time if fees are not paid.
Could smartphones replace smartcards?
We do not believe that smartphones can replace smart ID cards until there are at least two shifts in mainstream technology:
- Smartphones would need to run on batteries that never run out.
- Cross-platform passive technology would need to be incorporated and updated from devices under different ownerships. In some cases, this might mean that the course provider would need to change permissions on an app without the student’s prior agreement.
However, we are moving into using mobile credentials in other working environments where the required technology is already in place or is feasible.
The ability to adopt the latest advances in technology is hardwired into young people. Most already possess multifunctional smartphones from which they manage most of their lives. Cultural analysts don’t always agree about how to refer to these young people: iGeneration (iGen), Generation Z (Gen Z), Homelanders or post-millennials. However, they do agree that this generation has been brought up with technology – and can adapt instantly to new advances.
What can we currently do?
ID Card Centre has a suite of different products built to make student enrolment, access control and ID card production as efficient, safe and simple as possible. We can already offer:
- Self-service kiosks for visitor management, card printing and issuance
- A portal whereby a student can pre-enrol online including facial recognition to verify a valid face
- Access control systems with facial recognition, temperature scanning and mask checking abilities
- Systems that allow you to utilise smart phones, smart watches or even bracelets for access control
- A host of PPE supplies.
Any of these technologies can be tailored to fit your requirements.
Please contact ID Card Centre for more information or to discuss your requirements in more detail and see how we can help you