Student smart card

The Netherlands


As per September 1995 students of three universities in Groningen and Enschede used a multifunctional smart card as a test. This card was released by a consort consisting of IBG (part of the Dutch Department of Education), PTT (Dutch postal and telephone company) and IBM. 20,000students took part in this test. The card could be used as a college card, a library card as well as a year pass for public transport. Furthermore the card could be used as a paying method in telephone cells and university restaurants. Through columns (places throughout the various campuses) it was possible to communicate with IBG.

Because the public transport year pass was part of this smart card, the card should have been replaced every year. Universities and colleges resisted the high expenses that this situation would bring. Due to these high expenses the year pass was taken off the smart card in November 1996. By that date every educational institution in the Netherlands was free to decide which functionalities the smart card had for thats specific institution.

Public transport

During the smart card test in Enschede 125 buses on 41 bus lines were equipped with smart card readers. When the year pass wasn't valid for "free" travel, but only for reduced fares, the students didn't have to use a strip ticket. They could pay the bus fare with the credit on their smart card.

"Studentenchipkaart" foundation

In September 1996 IBG, PTT and IBM released their smart card activities to a self controlling foundation, named "Studentenchipkaart" foundation. In April of 2000 this foundation filed a moratorium. By that time IBG and KPN Telecom (successor of PTT Telecom) had withdrawn from the foundation. The reason? Too little educational institutions acquired a smart card from the foundation.