Aug 08, 2023
Georgia Tech's BuzzCard has made many noteworthy strides since its inception in 1997. Over the last 25 years, the all-campus card has maintained its mission: “contribute to and enhance the quality of campus life for students, employees, and guests through convenience, customer service, and functionality.” As the Student Engagement & Well-being cabinet area celebrates 25 years of BuzzCard, let’s take a moment to reflect on the transformations and technological advancements throughout the years which has positively impacted the campus experience.
In 1998, the inaugural year of utilizing the BuzzCard, three priority service categories of focus were established – Academic Services, Administrative Services and Campus Activities. After the start-up year, BuzzCard’s growth happened organically. Each successful service offering often inspired interest by other departments who then contacted BuzzCard to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership. BuzzCard later implemented cardholder identification and several traditional Auxiliary Services applications (i.e., meal plans, door access and bookstore sales).
In 2015-2016, Georgia Tech introduced the Transact concession module, a major milestone for BuzzCard. This integration allowed students to use their BuzzCards for purchasing concessions at various athletic venues. Tech Dining partnered with BuzzCard to offer a mobile-friendly experience for all. As a result of this, our campus community conveniently ordered meals using their BuzzCards through mobile apps, making their campus life more convenient and efficient.
Through 2003, BuzzCard displayed social security numbers. However, in January 2004, Georgia Tech switched to using GT ID numbers for increased security and protection of student information. This change demonstrated the institution's commitment to safeguarding student privacy.
Throughout its evolution, BuzzCard has undergone five design modifications. As a part of the 25 Years of BuzzCard celebration, first-year students entering in Fall 2023 will have the opportunity to enjoy a new design! This change will not only enhance its look but also reflect the ever-evolving nature of Georgia Tech’s brand.
“As we continue to move BuzzCard forward, we’re excited to introduce a fresh design that amplifies Georgia Tech’s vision of inclusive innovation,” said Jennifer Rocke, BuzzCard Operations Manager. “We have a lot to celebrate with 25 years of excellence and commitment to our campus.”
BuzzCard's impact is evident in the staggering numbers recorded with over 8 million access assignments facilitated to connect individuals to various points across the campus. Its versatility and reliability have solidified its position as a key resource to the Georgia Tech community. Here’s a summary of recent statistics:
- As of this summer, Georgia Tech proudly boasts the highest number of GT IDs in the institute’s history, with a staggering 3 million+ GT IDs created and over 605,000 cards issued since its inception.
- Within the latest system, over 582,000 cards have been created.
- Over 7.4 million transactions were facilitated in just Housing last year alone
- Retail transactions have exceeded 47 million, highlighting the widespread acceptance of BuzzCard as a payment method.
- Meal plan transactions have reached a remarkable 16 million, emphasizing the essential role BuzzCard plays to ensure student accessibility to dining services.
“Over the last ten years, we have been working closely with our campus card partners and other campuses around the country to imagine what the future would mean for campus cards,” said Donald Smith, Director of Access Control Services. “This has led to our latest project, bringing your BuzzCard to mobile devices.”
“We currently have a pilot group of about 200 people using their Apple and Android phones, along with Apple Watches as their BuzzCard. Before we can roll this out campus wide, we need to ensure that the environment is as seamless as possible. Anywhere you can currently use your plastic BuzzCard, we hope to be able to allow the use of a mobile device. We are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to bringing BuzzCard into the future!”
With its continuous evolution and promising future, Georgia Tech's BuzzCard remains a symbol of technological progress and student services access. BuzzCard will continue to be an integral part of the Georgia Tech community, facilitating convenience, security, and innovation on campus.