Blackboard Transact has added the contactless payment technology of Mifare as an option for schools offering campus cards for students to access buildings or make payments.

Educational institutions using Blackboard Transact can now choose either Mifare or FeliCa technology when issuing Near Field Communication-compatible student identification cards, Phoenix, Ariz.-based Blackboard announced this week. The technology also works with certain mobile phones.

Blackboard Transact, a unit of Washington, D.C.-based Blackboard Inc., provides institutions with ID cards for employees or students. These cards also provide building access and perform payment functions such as replacing financial aid prepaid cards.

Mifare, a unit of NXP Semiconductors Austria GmbH, provides contactless smart card technology for smart card campus IDs, transportation passes and event tickets. It also provides contactless card readers.

FeliCa represents the contactless radio frequency identification smart card system produced through Sony Corp. in Japan, Blackboard states in a press release.

The FeliCa technology was first used in the Octopus transportation contactless card system in Hong Kong, one of the first such ventures in contactless payments. The technology features an encryption key that is newly generated each item the card comes in contact with the reader as a way to reduce potential fraud, FeliCa states on its website.

Blackboard Transact's latest software update includes an application that can create a single Mifare card to use with all Blackboard contactless readers, as well as third-party applications that also use the Mifare NFC standard for authentication, the company states.

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