Eye on the numbers: Card office efficiency efforts

Single-card programs benefit students and institutions
By: | Issue: May, 2016
April 25, 2016

Effective card offices focus on bottom-line growth. “Two of the benefits we bring to our campus are cost reduction and revenue growth,” says John Beckwith, director of campus business services at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

For instance, before its single-card program launched in 1997, the campus had seven different cards for students to use, with separate ones for ID, library, transportation, event tickets, food services, laundry and room entry.

Combining all those into one campus card didn’t just make life easier for students; it also allowed many departments to eliminate their cards and the accompanying tasks of administering them. 

At UNC Chapel Hill, campus cards have helped reduce printing costs substantially.

“We have vending, laundry, copiers and printers that accept the card for payment,” says Jim Clinton, director of campus card services. “We provide students with a special debit plan that works only in those locations to control the amount of printing done each year in the labs. This has reduced overall printing from 50 million pages per year to 9 million this past year.”

Card offices can also boost revenue through partnerships with local businesses. Thanks to these partnerships, students are able to use most campus cards to make debit purchases at off-campus locations.

“In return, we get a commission on sales at off-campus vendors,” Beckwith says. “And the ability to use the card at these vendors also encourages students to make local deposits to their accounts.”