Student IDs Go Mobile with Apple Wallet

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Imagine that you are back on your college campus. You’re between class and a part-time job when you stop at the campus library to print out a research paper. You enter the building and a security guard watches as you fumble through your bag in search of your student ID. After a few minutes, you come to a realization: you left it on your desk this morning. You rush back to your dorm to grab it, but can’t get into the building without your ID card. You have to call your roommate for help, and your whole schedule for the day is thrown off. If only you had your ID!

It’s no exaggeration to say that college students are some of the busiest people out there. Between classes, work, and extracurriculars, they are always in a hurry. And all college students know that their daily routine requires that invaluable ID card. Much more than simply a means of identification, that small plastic card is a key to access dorm rooms, facilities like the gym or library, campus events, and pay for food, laundry, textbooks, printing and more. So, as any college student knows, forgetting or losing an ID card can be a disaster.

Luckily, the mobile wallet provides a solution. This is why various universities decided to work with Apple to create virtual ID cards that can be used on and off campus. Currently, Duke, University of Oklahoma, and University of Alabama have implemented these mobile IDs, and they’ve been a huge success. Housed in the Apple Wallet on an iPhone or Apple Watch, mobile student IDs are convenient, easily accessible, and always on hand. With NFC technology, students can now leave their physical wallets behind and use their mobile ID for a wide range of activities, from grabbing coffee to working out at the campus gym.

And it’s never been easier. College students already carry mobile devices everywhere they go, and now they will always have their mobile ID without having to think twice about it. For these students, forgetting a plastic ID card is no longer a problem.

This is just one example of how the mobile wallet is growing in usage and popularity--far beyond the realm of strictly mobile payments. While they provide a method for easy and secure financial transactions, mobile wallets are also a way to store mobile loyalty cards, tickets, coupons, and now student IDs. And, from the success we’ve seen at these universities, it won’t be long before mobile wallet IDs make their way to schools across the US and abroad. In fact, Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara and Temple Universities are already planning to implement mobile IDs by the end of this school year.

As smartphone usage and growth continues to skyrocket, so does the demand for mobile solutions to everyday inconveniences—like a forgotten ID card. As this technology expands beyond colleges to the workplace, driver’s licenses, transit, and more, it may not be long before you, too, will be leaving your physical wallet behind.

Ariana Alessandri