GET My Card and Auburn University: Student Input leads to Campus Card Expansion

For colleges and universities to be successful, students, administrators, and faculty need to work together as a community; each group collaborating with one another to make the campus experience enjoyable for everyone.

Auburn University is a great example of this kind of community collaboration. Millennial students embrace technology more than any other generation and they are eager to integrate the technology into their daily lives and make it part of their school identity. Auburn University’s Student Government Association approached the office of Auxiliary Services to allow for expanding their campus cards, the Auburn TigerCard, to support smartphone transactions. Auburn University is launching a campus wide implementation of GET My Card during the Spring 2017 semester.

Despite the setbacks, Auburn’s experiences serve as a great example of how technology can facilitate collaboration between student bodies and the administrative offices supporting campus life.

First Steps: a Soft Promotion

Auburn began their implementation journey during the Spring semester in 2016; a soft promotion for expanding the TigerCard’s potential through GET was actively supported by Student Government and chronicled in the student newspaper. The promotion was designed to identify possible problem spots of the implementation process and determine what the most popular and useful elements of the program’s functions are for the students. The SGA, and other campus student organizations, have been thrilled to participate in supplying their feedback about the convenience of using their smartphones in dining venues and to verify attendance in their classes as the process continues. Students have been essential in this enterprise by providing feedback about expanding the program further to possibly support photo identification verification for mid-term and final exams along with transaction identification.

It wasn’t an easy road and sometimes miscommunication led to complications. Auburn undergraduates quickly learned they could not show their phone as ID when they went to the academic advising office.

It is important for students to realize their smartphones can become extensions of their official student ID card, but cannot replace the card itself. The program allows for the display of a student’s ID number and their picture for verification purposes, but only for transactions from the account on the card. Students should understand they can use the GET My Card application on their smartphone when they are in the dining hall, but their physical card remains necessary for identification at offices around campus.

Auburn’s Advice for Others

“Our students are accustomed to using . . . digital wallets with their smartphones . . . As a CBORD University, we began searching for options that would integrate with our current infrastructure,” according to Melanie Chambless, IT Specialist at the Auxiliary Services office at Auburn University. It has been the consistent teamwork between the student body and administration which had made the implementation of GET My Card on campus.

While the implementation of this program at Auburn stands as a success story of campus community collaboration, Chambless has advice for schools looking to expand their CS Gold® systems. She encourages other schools to “completely jump into the program.” The smartphone application must be fully supported by all registers at all locations on campus accepting payments with the TigerCard. Schools need to confirm their registers can support the digital barcode rather than relying on the operator to key-in a 9-digit student number; this will greatly decrease the opportunities for errors to occur during the transaction.

If you are interested in learning how GET My Card works in a campus environment, check out our To the Point | GET My Card video. CBORD’s webinar, Q&A: GET My Card, includes implementation procedures along with how the user interface directly enhances the student experience.