HPU has adopted a new student ID system that
provides greater security protection and will allow students
to use their ID as reloadable gift cards at downtown vendors.
As early as this spring or next summer, the new ID system will
allow students to put money on their IDs and use them like
debit cards at restaurants and approved stores in downtown
as well as at the Hawai‘i Loa cafeteria and laundry room.
The new ID card system was kicked off Aug. 26. James Silva, manager
of the Learning Assistance Center, which has been overseeing
issuing of the new ID card, discovered Heartland Campus Solutions,
the company responsible for it.
Silva joined HPU two years ago, and started looking for an alternative
to the old student ID system, which was experiencing problems.
The University was investing a lot of money in a system that
had many flaws and wasn’t directly benefiting the student,” said
While researching different companies that had credentials with
student ID cards, Silva discovered Heartland’s multifunctional
card that can function as a campus ID as well as a prepaid card
for books, laundry, food at off-campus restaurants, and more.
Silva said the IDs will benefit the community, with a 1.5 percent
of each off-campus purchase giveback to the University.
Many mainland universities are registered with Heartland, and
while Silva’s research led to HPU’s new multifunctional
campus ID card, initial steps by the University were through
a UniCard committee created in the HPU technology department.
HPU is the only university I’ve seen with the student ID
system under the information technology department. Other universities
have their student ID system under student life, the registrar’s
office, or the business office,” said Silva.
The UniCard committee looked at three different systems before
it pitched Heartland to the University.
At first, students were puzzled by the new student ID card. Leanna
Overstreet wondered “what all the numbers on the card mean.”
Overstreet wasn’t the only one. The old student ID card
had only the student’s ID number, while the new card has
that as well as 16-digits number that look like a credit card
number and a 14-digit number below that.
The appearance of the new ID card has also changed. Instead of
the light-blue background with the island of O‘ahu, the
new student ID features the scenic Hawai‘i Loa campus.
Yurika Yo said she likes the new look: “It’s nicer
than the old one,” she said.
The card also allows students access, via a sensor or a swiping
system, to the computer lab and the Sea Warrior Center. Yo said
the swiping system doesn’t always work.
I don’t like how the swipe thing works at the computer
labs because it doesn’t go through smoothly,” Yo
However, Sarah Yeh thinks the card will be “more convenient
because in the future, it’s going to cooperate with a bank.”
Although the ID card will not directly link with a bank, Yeh
has the right idea of what the future of the new student ID holds,
according to Silva. Through Heartland Campus Solutions, students
can transfer money from a bank account directly onto their student
ID card. In addition, given permission by the student, parents
can track their spending online through Heartland.
So where students can put money on their ID, and does this money
rollover each semester? Right now, the details are being worked
out. The University is considering creating a card department
just to deal with matters for the student ID card, Silva said.
If a card department is developed, students would go there to
place money on their card to spend at different stores around
the downtown area.
All money placed on the card will rollover each semester except
money placed on the ID for printing purposes at the computer
center, said Silva. This reloadable gift card possibility is
planned to take effect this summer, sooner if the legal issues
can be cleared up more quickly, Silva added, and for now, any
issues with the new ID card may be brought to the Learning Assistance
Although the reloadable gift card concept is still in the process
of being worked out, the new student ID card is already showing
off its capability for security protection. Students who live
at the Hawai‘i Loa residence halls use their student IDs
to gain access to the halls, and Silva said, the University is
working on the Hawai‘i Loa cafeteria and laundry room so
that students can use their IDs to pay for their food and laundry.