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Danish city introduces contactless card for school kids

18 October 2010  |  7608 views  |  1 fingerprint on laptop

A contactless payment card for school children has been introduced in the Danish city of Aarhus in a move its developers Nets and Axicode claim will make kids' days easier, safer and cleaner.

Launched in September, the School Card is replacing cash in canteens throughout the city. Parents can top up the card and block it if lost or stolen via a Web site. They can also set daily spending limits and even block the acquisition of certain foods on religious or allergy grounds.

Nets claims the contactless card system is not just easier and safer than cash but also improves hygiene because "it is well known that receipts and coins carry bacteria, and this can represent a danger of infection, particularly when handled by children around mealtimes".

Aarhus is considering adding more functions to the cards, using it for payments at municipal sports centres, borrowing material from municipal libraries and recording attendance of clubs.

Susanne Brønnum, senior group vice president, cards, Nets, says: "As the payment card is based on an open payment infrastructure, the opportunities are vast and the only limitations are those of the imagination and school policy."

Comments: (1)

Alan Laird
Alan Laird - ADL Card Systems - London | 19 October, 2010, 22:28

Having been involved in many similar schemes mostly in the UK and Ireland since the early 90's, I wish Aarhus well and look forward to reports on the success of the scheme.  The main problems with such schemes are

1. They lack the scale needed to drive down costs and give benefits to the scheme owner(s)

2. The multifunction aspects are not developed with the card holder in mind so take up is patchy except where mandated

3. Initial enthusiasm can quickly fade unless the scheme has a real champion with power to make things happen.

Aarhus, have you thought about incentive programmes to improve and encourage take-up?  There has been some success where these are more than collecting points and choosing prizes.

Good luck.   

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