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VisionPass Biometric Entry Scanners

In support of the new all-you-care-to-eat model at Commons Dining Center, Campus Dining has partnered with Card Services to install VisionPass – a new, voluntary program that enables students, faculty and staff to use unique biometric data to quickly and securely enter residential dining halls.

After completing a brief enrollment process, students, faculty and staff can gain access to Commons Dining Center and charge meals to their account simply by standing in front of the face scanner located at the turnstiles near the cashier counter.  Currently available exclusively at Commons, additional scanners may be added to other Dining Services locations based on student feedback.


Who is eligible to participate in the program?

VisionPass is available to all current Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff.

Is participation in the program mandatory?

No. This program is offered as a convenience, and participation is completely voluntary.

Why is Vanderbilt using biometric scanner technology?

Campus Dining and Card Services have launched this program to enhance the overall dining experience for students, faculty and staff by reducing lines and wait times at dining locations. Rather than swiping a card or mobile credential and waiting in line for cashiers, participants in the program can get in and out of dining locations much faster by using the scanners.

What technology is behind the biometric scanners?

The scanners are powered by VisionPass  by IDEMIA — the same biometric technology used to support the TSA Pre✓ ® enrollment process. Users are positively identified with a simple glance at the VisionPass reader.  Additionally, the touchless technology mitigates any hygiene concerns.

How do the biometric scanners work?

As part of the enrollment process for the program, participants will have their face scanned to capture biometric data points that will be used to create a unique identifying number for each individual. This numeric string is a value based on algorithms mapped to points on a user’s face, and not a photo or full scan of a user’s face.  This numeric value is then mapped to a user’s ID card number to identify them, and the turnstile will open.  Any data collected is anonymized by the VisionPass alogrithm, and is securely stored by VUIT.  Data is purged when students leave Vanderbilt, or upon request by the individual.

After completing the enrollment process, visit the biometric scanner located at the turnstiles at the entrance to the Commons Dining servery. The scanner will find your number and communicate with CS Gold (the software behind the Commodore Card system) to bill the appropriate account.

What else will be done with my biometric data?

Nothing. Your face geometry and fingerprints are not stored in either Vanderbilt’s or IDEMIA’s system after the initial scan. Further, the unique number the initial scan generates cannot be reverse-engineered in any way to create fingerprints or facial features.

For more information about Vanderbilt’s privacy policy, visit

What happens if the scanner isn’t working?

If the biometric scanner isn’t working, you still may use your physical Commodore Card or mobile Commodore Card.

What happens if the Commodore Card system isn’t working?

If our card system experiences any downtime, you still can use the biometric scanner, which will store your identifying number in an offline database.

Do I still need my Commodore Card after enrolling in the VisionPass Program?

Yes. You still will need your Commodore Card for other dining locations, additional card-related services including doors, elevators, and vending.

Do other schools use this technology?

Yes. Several colleges and universities currently use this technology, in addition to government agencies and other public services.

How do I enroll in the program?

To enroll in the program, users can visit the Commodore Card Office to scan and accept the terms and conditions for using the biometric scanners. Additionally, Card Services will be available at the start of the fall 2022 semester to register students in person.

Registration will be available from Monday, August 22 through Friday, August 26 10:00am-1:00pm in the Commons Center Atrium.

After ensuring you have accepted the terms and conditions, a Card Services team member will scan your face to capture your unique facial geometry.

At the turnstiles near at the entrance to the Commons Dining Center servery, simply glance at the VisionPass scanner to gain access and charge meals to your dining account.

Who do I contact with questions or for more information?

Contact  Card Services at 615-322-2273 or with questions or for more information.