IU saves $102,000 with switch to CrimsonCard



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IU students from all campuses will be able to use CrimsonCards, the successor to CampusAccess cards. Students must switch over to the new cards before summer 2018.  Emily Eckelbarger Buy Photos

There are 260 miles between IU’s northern-most campus in Gary, Indiana and southern-most in New Albany, Indiana, but starting this year these and the other six IU campuses will be identified the same way: with CrimsonCards.

CrimsonCard Administration Manager Karen Warnsman said the University saved more than $102,000 in purchasing a bulk order of CrimsonCards, compared to the total price of ordering different cards for each campus.

“CrimsonCard Operations is a University service and as such each campus now no longer has to financially support the operations and can utilize the savings to further the educational mission at their respective campus,” Warnsman said in an email. 

IU students on all the eight campuses will have until summer 2018 to switch to CrimsonCards, at which point CampusAccess cards will stop working.

Rob Lowden, the associate vice president for enterprise systems, said not only are the eight different software systems and support decks consolidated, but also the universal CrimsonCard is more convenient. For example, he said, a student from Bloomington can visit IUPUI and use a CrimsonCard’s meal points or loaded money. 

“Instead of running something eight times, we run it one time,” Lowden said. “It opens up the entire state to the roughly 200,000 card holders across IU.”


Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

CrimsonCards also offer more security for patrons, Lowden said. 

“The Bloomington campus has always had the smart chip technology, which is the encrypted transfer of data,” Lowden said. “When a student from Bloomington goes into their dorm room and they touch their key to the pad, that's an encrypted transaction that that reader knows that it's that individual, but that can't be read by anyone else. Not all of the campuses were on that technology.”

IUPUI's old card worked similarly to CampusAccess, Lowden said, adding that they were unencrypted. That made the information more prone to copying. 

Lowden said that everything loaded onto patrons’ CampusAccess cards – meal points and cash – has already transferred onto CrimsonCards. 

“If you're using the cafeteria, if you're using any of the locations across campus anywhere, you won't have to do anything,” Lowden said. “You'll just have a new, shiny CrimsonCard that actually says something about IU, instead of CampusAccess that doesn't even have the IU logo on it.”

Of the 125,000 current cardholders across the eight campuses, Lowden said 60,000 have already made the switch to CrimsonCards. Patrons can get their CrimsonCards anytime before summer 2018 in Bloomington at the Learning Commons in Wells Library, the Indiana Memorial Union or another campus' University Information Technology Services.  

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