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UCAM connects students in mobile NFC project

The University Católica of Murcia (UCAM)is a private university located in Murcia in south eastern Spain. Home to over 15,000 students, it has taken part in a groundbreaking project to enable staff and students to manage all their payment and access needs via mobile phones, using contactless NFC SIM and, SALTO access control technology.

The project, run in collaboration with partners Santander Universities Global Division, Banco Santander, Vodafone, Gemalto and the public local government, is part of the ‘Universities get Smart’ initiative. This is a technology trend that started in Europe and Asia. It has also now been adopted in North America with dozens of Universities at the deployment stage; as magnetic stripe based campus card solutions reach the end of their projected life cycle.

It saw staff and students at UCAM using new NFC-enabled services. Thanks to NFC technology and a full solution provided by the project partners, users were able to access all university buildings including laboratories, classrooms, gyms and libraries as well as the parking areas. This was achieved by a campus-wide NFC contactless solution that allowed the university to integrate all their physical security and management needs through SALTO’s wire-free networked stand alone locks. These are able to take advantage of the USC card chip to provide stand alone access control without the need of expensive wiring or any infrastructure.

Banco Santander is the leading bank driving the USC initiative in response to clear demand from the university sector. As well as the UCAM project, it also ran a conference workshop that hosted over 30 college attendees and application developers from 3 continents to discuss and debate the capabilities of the multi application RFID university smart card (USC).

Participating guests all agreed that technologies such as NFC and contactless smart card solutions such as the RFID USC card are the future and are rapidly becoming the technology of choice for Higher Education institutions looking to add convenience, appeal and security to their student IDs.