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Contactless Student IDs Coming to More Universities

Apple’s contactless student ID feature replaces a physical card with an iPhone app. The service is being rolled out to twelve additional universities this year.

Contactless payment systems are ubiquitous in shops across the world. This technology is slowly emerging in higher education. Apple’s contactless student ID feature is part of the Wallet app. It allows students to access dorm rooms and pay for meals and other necessities with an iPhone or Apple Watch.

The technology is slow to adopt, as it requires partnering with student ID technology providers. These companies design and manufacturer student ID processing systems, such as card readers. Apple must work with these third party companies to integrate contactless technology. The new launch adds CBORD, Allegion and HID as partners.

Currently, Apple provides contactless student ID capabilities to 7 institutions. The new launch will add an additional 12 universities to the program.

The feature has proven reasonably successful. According to Apple, 4 million doors have been opened using this technology. Students have also purchased 1.25 million meals using the Wallet app.

Overall, contactless payment systems are gaining adoption. Contactless payments currently account for about one fifth of credit cards in use today. By 2022, contactless payments will account for over half of the credit cards in circulation.

Contactless payments are sold as a convenience to the end user. Apps such as Wallet are attempts to replace one’s physical wallet. For now, contactless payments are not accepted everywhere, and users still need to carry a wallet. As more vendors accept contactless payments, user adoption will likely increase. Adoption by vendors and consumers is interdependent.

The upcoming launch provides 19 institutions with contactless student ID capabilities:

  • Duke University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Alabama
  • Temple University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Marshall University
  • Mercer University
  • Clemson University
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Vermont
  • Arkansas State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Norfolk State University
  • Louisburg College
  • University of North Alabama
  • Chowan University


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