A group of experts led a seminar on smart card technology at the Student Recruitment and Retention in FE Colleges – Tackling the Falling Numbers of Students conference.
Paul Canal, Marketing Manager of IDXtra, pointed out that such technology is being used across the country and around the world for a wide range of purposes, such as cashless payments; PC logins and voting in student elections.
He also explained the psychology behind the receipt of smart cards that also double as ID cards.
“Issuing a learner with an ID card tells them that they truly belong to the institution,” he said.
“They are a member and they have members’ privileges. There’s an immediate elevation of status, and possibly a little bit of pride creeps in... because joining may not be an option for some of their peers. The ID card reinforces that achievement; they are on the road to success.”
He added: “The smart ID card has huge marketing potential, it’s an opportunity to show off your brand.”
He also talked about a system which allows staff and students to swipe cards when attending lectures, giving institutions information on attendance and time-keeping.
Mr Canal said this ‘substantial saving of staff time’ gives a significant and rapid return on investment, as less teaching time is wasted. It will also improve retention as bursary payments flow more quickly to students, he said.