High (Payments) Tech Comes To Higher Ed

Lucova has successfully launched the first “Pay with Your Selfie” mobile payments platform – which lets customers (literally) pay with a smile. Here’s how the firm is bringing high tech to higher education, changing the face of pizza runs and all-night cramming forever.

We may indeed be living in the age of the Selfie, but the ubiquitous social graphic has made its way into the payments world and college campuses.

Lucova , the in-store mobile commerce platform company, has inked partnerships with a consortium of enterprises to leverage its proprietary Bluetooth technology to enable what it terms a truly hands free mobile payments experience.

Through Lucova’s product line for campuses, known as CampX, the company created the ETUP mobile app for client Compass Group Canada. More colloquially titled “Pay with your Selfie”, ETUP brings together what might  be termed a truly unique identity—that is, a person’s face, and matches it against a tokenized form of payment, such as a credit card or meal plan that is stored within the customer’s mobile device.  Initially released at Humber College, where ITC Systems powers their meal plan card while Volante systems manages their point-of-sale terminals, the three platforms combined to provide a powerful and new way of operating in a campus environment with the focus on the student experience.

Data shows uptake from students using the app. Lucova has stated that early results reveal students who downloaded ETUP (which is available for free through both Android and iOS), are coming back to the food establishment more often, they are three times more likely to return post mobile transaction, and are spending more per transaction compared to their previous behaviour.

Through success via ETUP, Lucova is poised to expand CampX throughout North American campuses – the latest being an upcoming launch at Southwestern College in Kansas, leveraging partnerships with Fresh Ideas Food Service Management and Heartland Payment Systems. A key draw for food service providers is the detailed data analytics CampX provides, giving them a better profile of their customers allowing for improved decision making and operational efficiency. The real-time data also empowers frontline staff to deliver highly personalized service to students, which includes individualized promotions. Digital receipts are also immediately generated.

In an interview with PYMNTS, the company noted that their solutions can work directly within a store’s branded application and they service other industries such as retail, in addition to campuses.  In reference to security, the information is never stored on the user’s phone.  And for promotional activity, notifications and promotions are proximity driven and are triggered at the highest point of impact, when customers enter a store.

For students, CampX powered applications offer a high level of convenience because of the digitalization of meal cards, with all meal plan information and payments information stored directly in their phones.  Transactions can in fact be sped up with mobile pre-ordering features, which improves order flow, and cash flow, within the business.  There’s also a measure of stickiness, found Lucova: a significant majority of students who downloaded ETUP – at 85 percent – enrolled into a given brand’s loyalty program.

Evolution of Selfie… 

Evolution Of Selfie