Blackboard, the higher education software maker from D.C., has announced a new partnership with online transportation network Uber Technologies that allows students to pay for rides they obtain through the Uber app with their campus card account.
Students will be able to request a ride and pay for the transportation through a campus payment option enabled by Blackboard Transact, which includes an account solely used for for the ride service and is located right on the Uber app.
Uber is currently in use in hundreds of cities around the world, allowing users to arrange for rides using their mobile devices. Payment is automatically made to the driver through an on-file payment account.
Blackboard says that it seeks to create innovative payment and security solutions in order to better serve students and universities across the country. The company looks to challenge conventional ways of thought in an effort to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging, and relevant for the students of today.
The new partnership will allow colleges and universities to offer students the ability to pay for their rides with a campus payment option in Blackboard Transact, which will be located directly on the Uber app, writes Leila Meyer for Campus Technology.
In a prepared statement, David Marr, senior vice president of Blackboard Transact, said that the partnership is a demonstration of the company's commitment to improve the overall experience of the average student. He went on to say that the ultimate goal of the program was to offer students access to safe transportation. Marr said the program is meant to provide students with a safe ride, especially when it could be unsafe for the student to be driving. "We hope this innovative partnership will encourage responsible transportation decisions by ensuring availability of funds and ease of access," he said.
The program will create a dedicated "specific use" account within the Blackboard Transact campus card system for deposits and payments to be made by the institution, parents, or the student.
The announcement comes as the latest move by Blackboard to offer students convenience, preference, and technological capabilities. Uber is considered to be a prime example of this movement toward choice, as the company offers a technology that has become well-known around the world for providing users with a quick and convenient way to get where they need to go.
"We want to make sure that students at campuses across the country have a safe, convenient and affordable way to get around," said Amy Friedlander Hoffman, head of Business Development & Experiential Marketing for Uber. "We're looking forward to working with Blackboard to make it even easier to ride safely around campus— something that is important to students, parents and universities."
Through partnerships with companies around the world, Blackboard states their mission as being able to help all learners to achieve his or her full potential through a passion for lifelong learning.
The Uber app is currently available on Apple, Android, and Microsoft mobile phones.