'Smart card' students swipe their way through college
September 12, 1997
Web posted at: 10:17 a.m. EDT (1417 GMT)
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- College life at Florida State
University just got a little easier, thanks to the "smart
card" -- a small piece of plastic that plays a part in a wide
range of activities, both on and off campus.
As a pre-paid debit card, students use it to buy goods and services from local merchants. (170K/15 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Some stores even give "smart card" users a discount. But
that's just the beginning. The "smart card" also can be
- To pay tuition.
- As an identification card to gain dormitory access.
- To check out library books.
- To make phone calls.
All students must have a "smart card" as their official
student photo identification. They have the option of adding
the debit card, which is accepted around the world at
participating banks. (476K/14 sec. QuickTime movie)
An embedded computer chip gives the card its smarts, says
Bill Norwood of Cybermark, the company that markets the card. (128K/10 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
While the card is convenient, there are occasional glitches.
One student told CNN his card was rejected after he'd eaten at a restaurant. (119K/10 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
If the "smart card" makes the grade at Florida State, it may
soon enroll at other campuses.