Q&A: Featuring Miami University

We asked Jeanne Via, Manager of Campus Card Services at Miami University, about her campus' highly successful vending reader program.

How many Value Plus Vending Readers does Miami U. currently have on campus?

We have approximately 220 vending readers on campus.

How did you plan for the implementation during the transition from your previous provider? Was is gradual or was it all at once? What guidance/advice would you offer another campus considering changing vendors?

During the summer of 2012, we moved our financial system from Blackboard to CS Gold®. Part of that transition was to replace all of the vending readers. We accomplished this is a three week period. The smartest thing we did during this transition, we had CBORD onsite to setup and test all new equipment being replaced (vending readers, laundry controllers, value transfer stations, etc.). During this testing, we were able to create a procedure for installation. That enabled me and one other person to swap out all of these readers in a short amount of time!

Are there any plans for expansion?

We currently have vending readers in every building on campus—including our regional campuses. With every vending machine currently having a reader, expansion will only include new vending location.

In your opinion, what is the biggest value of an unattended reader program in general?

I think Miami realized years ago the value to unattended vending readers. Our students can use their declining balance account to make purchases and faculty and staff can use their payroll deduction account. With people carrying less cash these days, we needed a solution to increase our vending sales. Unattended readers have been the answer!

What advice would you give to another campus considering starting an unattended reader program?

Go for it! I believe unattended vending readers are a win/win solution for students and faculty/staff. It enables them to make purchases without having to have cash on hand. I find our faculty/staff/students have become very dependent on making vending purchases with the tap of their ID Card! But it doesn't eliminate the cash side so guest on campus can still use the vending machines.

Interested in starting an unattended reader program at your campus? Contact us today.