Campus Card Business Forecast


Published by

Robert C. Huber, CMC, CPCM

Robert Huber Associates

Vendor Independent

Campus Card Business Consultants



Campus Card Business Forecast



Robert C. Huber, CMC, CPCM

Campus Card Business Consultant

Robert Huber Associates

Prediction #1 -  Fewer Corporate Players


The campus market is becoming less stable.  Three of the top five leading campus card access system companies have been acquired by large firms or venture capitalists within the past three years. Notwithstanding, it is highly probable that at least one firm may divest itself of its subsidiary if this entity is viewed as a distraction of its core business by corporate management.


Prediction #2 - Fewer Private Companies


In the shadow of campus card company takeovers, it is not inconceivable that at least one of the remaining firms might be sold in the future as retirement begins to loom on the horizon of owners. Wall Street reminds us on a daily basis that everything is for sale, and every stockholder has their price.


Prediction #3 - Internet "Hoopla"


With the increased fascination which the Internet attracts, more campuses will pressure campus card system vendors to utilize it for all communications - card readers, debit card payment. However,  with this brave new world still unregulated and basically unsecured, vendors will resist moving card transactions (financial) and their company credibility to this new communications pipeline.


Prediction #4 - Financial Institution Partnerships


Many campuses will join the tidal wave to link their campus card to a financial institution. Although many dream of substantial revenues, few will realize such fortunes. Long-term effects may also include future closures of campus retail operations, as well as alienation of established financial partnerships.


Just when campuses are eager to establish financial partnerships and reap new revenues, that same industry is in the midst of increasing turmoil due to national takeovers and downsizing. Few campus contracts will be renewed by financial institutions due to the lack of anticipated revenue and low participation by students with established banking relationships.


Prediction #5 - Smart Card Restraint


The hype regarding smart cards by marketing departments will continue but participation by the general public will be slow until the industry provides multiple applications for chip cards.


Prediction #6 - Video Image Cards


Campuses will rapidly replace old (pouch) card production systems with trendy image technology systems. Although these systems are expensive and utilize less durable PVC card stock (than polyester), the high-tech appearance and flexibility of this process will drive institutions to purchase these systems.


Prediction #7 - Management Tool Focus


Instead of viewing their all-campus card as strictly a revenue source, institutions will refocus on delivery of services. They will view their campus card as a management tool and utilize it to (1) deliver more services, (2) streamline campus operations, (3) increase convenience, and (4) provide additional revenue where applicable.


Prediction #8 - Beyond Food Services


In that less than 50 percent of campuses utilize their all-campus card beyond food service, bookstore and library applications, campuses will focus on new verification, financial and security applications.


These will include vending (food, beverage, snack, copiers, laundry, amusements, dispensers, parking and phones), student voting, marketing surveys, legal age, information kiosks, class schedule printing, computer labs access, convenience store purchases, financial aid distributions, employee expense payments, ticket purchases, concessions, campus post office services, residence hall door access, alarm monitoring, automatic locking/unlocking of office and classroom doors, stadium gate access, storage room access and off-campus merchants.


Prediction #9 - Cashless Vending


Cashless or card-only vending will accelerate throughout campuses in order to reduce cash handling expenses and potential vandalism of monies in machines. These closed environments are ideally set up for conversion of laundry machines and food/beverage/snack machines in residence halls, offices and classroom areas. If properly marketed and visibly located, significant revenue increases to institutions should follow.


Huber Predicts Campus Card Growth | OCH 1998
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2018 Campus Card Industry Business Forecast
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FAST FACTS ... About Our Company
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Robert C. Huber, CMC, CPCM, President & Senior Consultant of Robert Huber Associates, is a "Vendor Independent" Campus Card Business Consultant, certified business and marketing consultant, card technology expert, implementation strategist, Hall of Fame recipient, college business instructor, publisher of the "Campus Card Business Forecast", author, entrepreneur, visionary, trusted media resource and frequent speaker at business conferences throughout North America.


Since developing the "All-Campus Card" concept in 1985, he has implemented over 200 debit card, door and parking access control, meal plan, food production, and point-of-sale systems at over 200 colleges, universities, hospitals and corporations.


Consultant Profile





Robert C. Huber, CMC, CPCM, has been an industry pioneer, historian, forecaster, media resource, and campus card industry leader since 1982 and directly responsible for many campus card industry innovations:


1982 - Introduction of the first campus cards with High Coercivity magnetic stripes (non-eraseable).


1985 - Development of the "All-Campus Card" concept at Duke University.


1986 - Development and issuance of more durable "4-Year Campus Cards".


1990 - Installation of the first "smart card" credentials and systems on three college campuses (simultaneously).


Industry Milestones


Robert Huber Associates

9446 East Jenan Drive

Scottsdale, Arizona USA 85260

(480) 551-0520

Vendor Independent

Campus Card Business Consultants

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