The integration has been designed to allow maximum flexibility, providing system administrators with a choice on how students (and staff) experience print payments. Three different integration modes are available, and these may be mixed and matched as required. It is even possible to use group level control to provide different experiences for different groups of users.
PaperCut's Blackboard integration has no mandatory requirement for additional hardware.
The three integration modes include:
- Manual transfers (via the user web interface)
- Automatic on-demand transfers
- Pay-and-release (pay for printing with card swipe at a release station)
Option 1: Manual Transfers
Manual transfers allow users to instigate a transfer of a selected amount from their Blackboard account into their PaperCut printing account.
This option does not required any additional hardware such as card readers. This is a simple method that allows students to manually and carefully control their printing budget using a simple and intuitive web interface.
Option 2: On-Demand Transfers
On-demand transfers occur when a user lacks sufficient balance to print a job. When this happens the system will automatically transfer funds from Blackboard into the user's PaperCut account as required, based on rules configured by the administrator.
This option does not require any additional hardware such as card readers.
On-demand transfers may be run in a "live" or "batched" mode. In live mode a real-time transaction is performed for each print job. In batch mode the administrator could, for example, have the system automatically transfer $10 into the user's printing account when required. The advantages batch mode offers are to reduce Blackboard transaction load (less small value transactions), simpler reporting and users having funds available even during Blackboard system downtime.
Option 3: Pay-and-Release
Pay-and-release is an ideal solution for managing anonymous cards and guest users who may not have a network login. Payments for printing are made at release stations via a card swipe at the time jobs are released.
This option requires a release station with attached card reader for reading Blackboard cards. It may be used in addition to or as a replacement for the options above. E.g. guest users may be required to swipe their card at release stations while users with network logins can benefit from direct automatic printing.
Users log in with their regular network username and password. Anonymous users click the "Guest" button (text configurable).
The user will be prompted to swipe their Blackboard card if required.
After swiping their card the user's Blackboard balance will be available. The user may then release jobs and have them charged to their Blackboard card/account. The Blackboard available balance display is updated in real-time.
If you are already using Blackboard Transact at your campus, contact your Blackboard account manager to get started. Otherwise, see the Blackboard Transact Platform page on the Blackboard website for more information.
For other options to recharge user balances in PaperCut see the Recharging Balance tour section.