November 16, 2023
In today’s digital age, innovative mobile credential solutions that offer convenience, security, and a wide range of functionalities are replacing traditional plastic student IDs. Since college students use their cards often, ID cards can be lost, stolen, damaged, or worn out.
For the past 30 years, physical student IDs were the only game in town—they worked and served their purpose; however, there’s an easier, more secure way to do things now. Technology stores data on a smartphone or watch, so plastic IDs are no longer necessary. We hope you’ll find this mini “how-to guide” to campus ID solutions useful. Keep reading to learn more about:
This information should prove helpful when you’re evaluating your school’s current student ID needs and challenges, so you can make the best decision going forward.
Historically, campus ID solutions included proximity cards, barcodes, RFID cards, and biometric technology. Schools chose the right type of technology for their unique needs and weighed the pros and cons of various factors:
Here’s a brief overview of how each type of technology works:
A proximity card is a contactless card that readers scan and read without inserting into a card reader. Proximity cards feature an embedded metallic antenna coil inside which holds the encoded data and use a low 125 kHz radio frequency to transmit to devices such as a door access reader.
When the card is placed on the reader, the card’s unique strand of numbers is passed to the access control panel, which verifies if the number matches an approved number in the internal database. If the card number is approved, the door will be unlocked.
To use a barcode on an ID card, you first scan the barcode with a barcode reader. The reader feeds the data into a computer system, which retrieves the information associated with that code. The barcode doesn’t contain a lot of information, it simply points to the data in the database software.
Scanning barcodes individually is very labor-intensive. Also, they don’t have a high level of security, as they can be more easily reproduced or forged.
Radio Frequency ID (RFID) cards have radio frequency identification technology. RFID cards communicate with a payment terminal using a radio frequency instead of a magnetic strip. RFID technology allows you to simply tap or wave your credit card near a card reader.
Biometric Technology enables the identification and authentication of a person based on recognizable, verifiable, unique, and specific data. When a card with biometric technology is used, the data stored is checked against the person's biometric data. Even though hackers can’t s predict or break biometrics like they can passwords, they still have the potential to breach them. Experts recommended using two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
We researched internal and client data and found that students wanted and expected mobile campus ID solutions. Our technology pioneers answered their call by developing Transact Mobile Credential, a secure, mobile-centric campus ID system. This intuitive, more intelligent student ID solution improves the campus experience for students and staff while prioritizing safety and efficiency. It fits with modern technology trends and provides a solid foundation for future developments in campus security and access management.
Mobile Credential is a digital student ID that can do everything a physical ID can do and more, thanks to NFC technology. NFC, short for near-field communication, allows devices like phones and smart watches to exchange small bits of data with other devices and read NFC-equipped cards over relatively short distances.
Mobile Credential uses secure NFC technology and is the only product on the market that integrates with Apple, Samsung, and Google Wallets. It also works with Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. This technology enables secure transactions by directly reading the mobile device using a contactless method.
It’s easy for students to use Mobile Credential:
Mobile Credential provides an all-in-one central location for completing and managing access control and stored value accounts.
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“At Transact, we’re very passionate about innovation and pioneering a new landscape. Bringing digital mobile credential into student ID is something that started over 15 years ago. We saw the vision for how NFC could be a game-changer for student ID, and started building that technology into our devices, finding the right partners to work with, and working with some of the biggest companies on the planet to integrate student ID into Wallet,” said Rasheed Behrooznia, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Campus ID Solutions at Transact. Mobile Credential was launched in 2018 after it had been rigorously tested by three schools eager to give it a try:
“Transact has been such a valuable partner to provide such an incredible mobile solution. These are quicker transactions; they’re secure transactions; and they're convenient transactions,” said Jeanine Brooks, Action Card Office Director at University of Alabama.
“These early adopters didn’t know how this would all play out and went on that journey with us,” Behrooznia said.
Learn more here about the first three schools that tested Mobile Credential, and how it was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.
More like this: Campus ID Case Studies
Campus ID solutions have transformed how college or university campuses operate and students do business. Let’s look at some of the exciting campus-wide features of Mobile Credential:
In addition to these features, Campus ID solutions offer valuable benefits to administrators and students:
According to a national survey, almost three-quarters of students reported moderate or severe psychological distress (National College Health Assessment, American College Health Association, 2021). Making mental health services more accessible is a top priority at Transact. We partnered with Talkiatry, one of the nation’s largest mental health practices offering in-network, virtual care. Access to Talkiatry's services will be incorporated into the Transact eAccounts app and be made available within the Transact Mobile Credential at participating campus. Once enabled, students can connect with:
In addition to connecting students to Talkiatry, Mobile Credential also provides instant access to free and confidential emotional support through the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our solution is so well-received and popular among school administrators and students, we recently surpassed one million Mobile Credential provisions. In fact, Transact Mobile Credential represents more than 80% of the market of mobile Student IDs on client campuses.
If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of Mobile Credential and learn how it can revolutionize your campus, reach out to a Transact representative to take the next step.