Card Swipe Purchasing and Setup

OrgSync's card swipe technology integrates with the Events tool to help campuses seamlessly track attendance and assign involvement hours for each student. OrgSync does not sell card swipe hardware stand-alone but some recommendations can be found later in this article. This overview was written to help you understand what card swipe equipment you will need and how to get started.

Initial Steps

Card swipe is an add-on feature. It is best to speak with your Campus Consultant before purchasing card swipe equipment. If you’ve acquired this add-on, the device you choose must meet the following requirements if you intend on swiping users in real time.

  • Keyboard emulation: This is another way of saying the device mimics your computer’s keyboard. When you swipe or scan a card, the data should automatically produce on your screen as if you're typing. You can test this feature by opening a text editor and scanning a card. If it automatically displays the text, your device has keyboard emulation.
  • Carriage returns: Your device should skip to the next line after each swipe or scan. This is a common feature and if your device doesn't do this by default, you can probably configure it to do so.
  • No encryption: The device should not encrypt card data. This function is typically reserved for devices that process credit card information (i.e. Square Readers).

The other option is to use a device that stores swipes internally and allows you to output them into a CSV document. The CSV document could then be uploaded to an event. Click here for more information on this process.

The device you choose can take many different forms. You can use a card swipe reader, bar code scanner, or proximity reader, assuming the device meets the requirements listed above. Choose the type of device that works best for your campus and the existing IDs you utilize. Once you decide on a device, we recommend purchasing one and testing it out before ordering a large quantity.

Additionally, we recommend that you only purchase one type of device. Our system runs an expression against every card swipe in order to isolate the ID number. For this reason, we require your card swipe output to follow a consistent format. If you fluctuate between devices, this format could change and cause swipes to fail. If you are able to confirm that two devices produce the same format, both can be used without issue.

Final Steps

After you acquire a device, complete the following steps to ensure OrgSync has the necessary data to effectively use the card swipe system.

  • Send test swipes: Using your new device, swipe or scan several test cards into an email then send it along to your Campus Consultant. Be sure to identify the unique ID in each string. This will allow us to write an expression that isolates the ID number and ties it to the correct user account.
  • Upload user IDs: Send a master list of ID numbers to your Campus Consultant. If you want to add IDs for users that are already in the system, we recommend that you go to the community toolbar, select ‘Reports,’ and export the ‘All User’ report. Remove all of the data on this spreadsheet except for the username column. Next, associate each username with a card ID. Place the IDs in the cells to the right of each username. You may need to contact your IT department for help with this process.  After the data has been entered, save the spreadsheet as a CSV file and send it to your Campus Consultant. After we receive the file, expect 2-3 business days before the ID numbers are uploaded into the system.

When these steps are complete, you'll be ready to swipe! You can ask your Campus Consultant to enable Setup Mode to test the system before making it available to the entire community. For any additional questions, please contact your Campus Consultant or the OrgSync support team.  

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