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Mobile student IDs are quickly gaining traction across universities in the US. Last year alone, several major universities adopted them, including New Mexico State University, Auburn University, and Northern Arizona University, to name a few. 

The increased popularity of this mechanism is largely due to its flexibility. Students can tote their mobile IDs via iPhones and Apple Watches (among other devices) to make purchases and access different buildings around campus. 

Mobile student IDs present a secure, convenient way to navigate campus – and college life – for students. Considering that most college-aged students are digital natives, it is a welcome opportunity to modernize largely analog functionality. 

How Mobile Student IDs Work

Mobile student IDs replace the plastic ID cards of yore and can be used both on and off-campus to gain entry to different parts of a college or make book or food purchases. According to Apple, April 2021 marked the first time since mobile IDs were launched in Wallet that they were used more than plastic IDs. Their success is also highlighted by the fact that some universities are now only issuing mobile student IDs, including the University of Alabama, which will issue mobile IDs to their 38,000 students. 

The benefits to modern IDs are multifold. Since IDs are attached to devices, theft and replacement of IDs are moot issues. Eliminating the possibility of a lost or stolen card gives students an extra layer of security and privacy. Students can use mobile IDs to access student recreation centers, residence halls, libraries and more. They can also be used to pay for meals, vending machine snacks, books, and other purchases. 

Some of the features and functionality include: 

Meal Plans​ – Integrate with existing POS systems to process plan types across the board, including flex accounts and other plans, across all dining locations.  

Stored Value – Promote contactless payments by facilitating multiple account types and online access for students to make cashless purchases.  

Door Access Control – Secure the university campus with elegant mobile door access control solutions that are user-friendly and flexible.  

Capacity Management​ – Manage capacity and help promote social distancing and campus venues with student mobile IDs.  

What to Consider 

If your university is considering implementing a mobile student ID solution, there are several considerations to take into account: 

Use Cases – Determine what your mobile student ID can be used for, including building access, book store, meal plans, vending machines, event tickets, attendance tracking, or other use cases. 

Configuration and Personalization – Mobile student ID solutions can typically be configured to your university’s needs. Many solution providers enable you to choose your goals and which third-party vendors you’d like to use and they will configure the solution to your unique needs. 

Integrations – Most universities already have a slew of core systems and platforms they use. Consider mobile student ID solution providers that support integration with your existing systems. 

Arrow Payments is your partner in all things higher education. If you’re considering mobile student IDs, contact us today for a free consultation. 

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