Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

By Hilding Arrehed, Vice President Cloud Services, Physical Access Control, HID Global

Cloud technologies are giving people access through their mobile phones and other devices to a variety of new experiences, while making their environments smarter and more data-driven. The modern campus is now undergoing unprecedented change with the advent of identity- and location-aware building systems, virtual assistants, and “personal IoT” solutions that recognize people and customize how they access buildings and the services and resources they need.

Until now, though, these capabilities could generally only be developed and delivered on a building-by-building or, at most, campus-by-campus basis. This is now changing in three important ways.

First, the adoption of mobile identities is accelerating, with many universities already moving to “mobile-only” access control that integrates multiple applications into a unified mobile experience. Second, an installed base of millions of physical access control system (PACS) readers, controllers, panels and locks worldwide will soon be connected to the cloud and IoT. And third, these systems will also be married with location services capabilities that enable universities to know where people are in a building or on campus.

This trifecta of technological developments provides the opportunity to create a common cloud platform upon which developers can build, deliver and manage innovative and data-driven trusted campus solutions.

Physical access control transformation

It has been estimated that by 2020, 20% of physical access control solutions will be shaped by mobile technology and cloud architectures. Cloud-based platforms will ensure identity-aware, seamless and more consistent service delivery and user experiences while improving how identity solutions are delivered.

For example, bridging biometrics and access control has been challenging in the past, because it requires a trusted platform designed to meet the concerns of accessibility and data protection in a connected environment. These barriers can be addressed through a secured and connected cloud architecture that can remotely manage all readers and users -- including on-boarding, template loading and enrollment activities for supported authentication modes.

Cloud platforms will also provide the backbone for quickly adding complimentary applications like secure print, virtual photo ID and vending, as well as other access control use cases and emerging permission-based transaction capabilities yet to be developed. These platforms also give university administrators greater flexibility to upgrade their security infrastructure, scale it as they grow, improve maintenance and efficiency, and get the most out of their investments. Key among these is a location-services platform that delivers high-value data for a host of new applications and capabilities.

It has been estimated that by 2020, 20% of physical access control solutions will be shaped by mobile technology and cloud architectures.

Another benefit of cloud platforms is the opportunity to adopt new, more flexible subscription models, such as enabling easier replenishment of mobile IDs when smartphones are lost or need replacing.

Subscription models will make it easier for universities to issue and manage IDs for accessing buildings and services across the campus, and they have the potential to further streamline forecasting, budgeting and reporting while pushing mobile credentials from a product-based model to more of a service-based approach. Mobile ID subscription licenses can be transferred across the university’s students, staff and faculty, all while provide administrators with an opportunity to register multiple mobile IDs across multiple devices without incurring additional cost.

Universities are already using cloud technologies for ID card issuance, using platforms that give them the option for hardware, software and other resources to be leased and their costs bundled into a service offering billed on an annual or monthly basis. This service model cuts multiple layers of program costs and improves user convenience for requesting and receiving their ID cards. This also making it easier for administrators to scale the card office to accommodate future technology capabilities or changing volume demands.

Cloud-based access control will be accompanied by simplified development environments that are designed for easy integration into vertical solutions. This will fuel innovation and a new way to look at university design as the convenience of mobile apps is married to the power of data analytics -- from both location services and access control devices connected throughout the campus. The result will be more intuitive and seamless service delivery, better workflow planning, regulatory compliance, remote hardware configuration, and predictive access control system maintenance capabilities.

Enabling a new chapter in university access control

Millions of installed physical access control devices are already poised to form a global cloud platform for trusted workplace innovation. These devices need only be connected to the cloud and supported by software developer kits (SDKs) and open application programming interfaces (APIs).

To enable these connections to cloud-based services, IoT functionality will be embedded in access control panels as app extensions. With these IoT connections, access control systems will deliver real-time data to the cloud, which will facilitate remote diagnostics and a more predictive approach to system maintenance to help protect against emerging vulnerabilities.

Access control solutions provider, ASSA ABLOY, is presenting a free webinar discussing how Apple Wallet is enabling the University of Oklahoma to increase convenience and security on campus by issuing mobile credentials to students.

Registration is now open for the webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, February 27th from 2:00PM – 3:00PM EST.

In the "Increase Security with Mobile Student IDs" webinar, Tyler Webb, Director of the Sooner Card at the University of Oklahoma will detail the university’s journey from traditional access control to mobile student IDs. Attendees will learn how adding Sooner Cards to Apple Wallet has made Oklahoma’s campus more convenient and more secure than ever before.

CR80News caught up with Oklahoma’s Tyler Webb ahead of the webinar event to discuss how mobile credentials are changing the ID landscape on Oklahoma’s campus.

“Now that mobile campus cards have arrived in fully functioning form, we’re really seeing the ID technology of the future,” says Webb. “Schools are going to see the security and convenience that comes along with it.”

The webinar is intended to shed light on Oklahoma’s implementation process with Mobile Credential with the hopes that attendees can benefit from the lessons learned.

University of Oklahoma Mobile Credential in Apple Wallet.

“Every university is at different levels when it comes to things like hardware,” says Webb. “So in this presentation I’m going to look at our deployment in a way that even universities that aren’t using any NFC readers or contactless cards yet can benefit as well. We’re addressing this at all levels.”

The University of Oklahoma was one of the three launch campuses to use mobile credentials announced on October 18. Key to Oklahoma’s deployment was its longstanding technical migration to NFC capable hardware. “We had been working toward this since 2013, hoping that the day the mobile student ID solution would arrive,” says Webb.

Since just its October launch Webb says that Oklahoma has seen more than 50% of its on-campus, residential students opt to be issued a Mobile Credential.

“With our newer built residence halls we opted for ASSA ABLOY solutions for both perimeter and individual residence hall doors,” Webb explains. “It was required that we use card and mobile to access those spaces, and to do so seamlessly.”

ASSA ABLOY is one of the access control manufacturers whose hardware is fully compatible with Oklahoma's Mobile Credential. All three launch institutions for Mobile Credential are using locks from ASSA ABLOY.

For the first time since the solution went live on campus last October, we can now learn more about the access control side of the system, and how Mobile Credential is breathing new life into the student transaction experience.

“I hope attendees will see how mobile campus cards are the tech of the future. It’s an attainable goal, more-so than you might think,” says Webb. “It just takes a series of half-steps or quarter-steps to get there, and we will highlight some of these steps in this presentation.”

For more, register and tune in for ASSA ABLOY’s free webinar detailing Mobile Credential with the University of Oklahoma.

Connecticut's Westhill High School will begin printing the contact info for a suicide prevention hotline on the backs of all student ID cards thanks to the efforts of one of its students.

As reported but he Stamford Advocate, Westhill senior Alyssa Goldberg saw a post online encouraging students to advocate for schools to print the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on the back of student ID cards and decided to petition her school to do the same.

Printing the hotline number on Westhill student IDs seems a fairly straightforward endeavor with images of the backs of the credentials showing no form of card technology, and plenty of real estate to work with. The student ID cards already display contact info for the school and its website.

The Westhill High School student ID card will begin printing a suicide prevention hotline on the card's back side.

Printing suicide prevention hotlines on student ID cards has also been a topic of discussion at the collegiate level, with an increasing number of universities adding valuable resources to the backs of campus cards.

Universities across the country have moved to implement resource contacts on campus cards, including at the University of Oregon, the University of Oklahoma and George Washington University. Additionally, State Senate bills and advocacy groups have established avenues for universities to take measured steps toward adding these resources to campus cards.

Westhill High School's principal has fully backed the idea and says the process of printing the number on the ID cards can be done through the company that takes students’ class photos and distributes the cards.

In addition to the hotline number and local advocacy groups, the high school continues to provide traditional services to students including offering assistance from guidance counselors and social workers.

The ID card initiative at Westhill has since spread to the neighboring Academy of Information Technology and Engineering, which has now also gained approval to add the suicide prevention hotline number to the back of its student ID cards beginning next year.

Following a new mandatory meal plan for incoming students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the university's dining services has seen a significant bump in student spend to the tune of $500,000 more than the year before.

As reported by The Daily Cardinal, incoming first-year Wisconsin students were first required to have the meal plan starting last semester. The result has been a student spend increase of $500,000 in campus dining halls as compared to figures from Fall 2017.

Depending on which tier meal plan is chosen, first-year students living in residence halls must make at least a $1,400 minimum deposit onto their Wiscards -- UW-Madison's student ID card -- for on-campus dining. The move to the mandatory plan has “rebounded” the dining program from where it was a few years ago.

The meal plan was announced last year and fully implemented last semester. Per the Daily Cardinal report, there was trepidation from some students over the mandatory nature of the program and a potential impact on low-income students and those with dietary restrictions.

Dining officials say the meal plan structure isn't just transparent with students about their dining expenses, but has also helped to financially stabilize a dining program that had started to see a decline in sales. The additional funds raised from the mandatory plan will be reinvested into the dining program, notably in the form of labor as Wisconsin dining halls had been short staffed.

“This helps stabilize our program,” said Jeff Novak, University Housing Director, in a Daily Cardinal interview. “To be able to maintain the hours that we need and the appropriate staffing.”

A majority of the $500,000 boost in spending is due to meal plan buy-in, but dining officials also believe that a growth in UW-Madison’s enrollment has contributed. This year’s freshman enrollment was up by 250 students over the previous year.

“The vast majority of those students live in university residence halls,” said Brendon Dybdahl, Division of Dining spokesperson, in a statement to The Daily Cardinal. “We believe that this growth also played a large role in this year’s increase in student spending with dining.”

Also contributing to the increased spend is that a majority of first-year students from Fall 2018 have selected higher-tiered meal plans.

Citing figures from University Housing, The Daily Cardinal reports that some 73% of the 6,848 residential students chose more than the Tier 1 plan for on-campus dining. Of those, 54% opted for the $2,100 Tier 2 plan, while 19% chose the Tier 3 plan that requires a deposit of $3,100. Just over 25% of first-year students chose the base, $1,400 Tier 1 plan.

Texas could be the next state to make the student ID card a valid form of voter identification at voting booths, following a bill proposed by Texas State Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood this week.

The issue of voter identification, and how to execute it, is a topic of discussion that's crossed paths with the campus card before. It's a seemingly fragmented conversation that's ultimately decided on a state-by-state basis, but one that calls into question whether the student ID card should take on a larger role in the identity chain.

State Rep. Zwiener's House Bill 1950 seeks to add student ID cards to the list of acceptable forms of voter identification at polling locations across the state. The bill would allow Texas college students to vote after presenting a campus card alone.

In a press release from Zwiener, she explains that she introduced the legislation in order to encourage increased civic engagement among young people.

Today, I filed HB 1950 that would allow college student to vote using their student ID. When young Texans engage in the electoral process, they stay engaged for the rest of their lives. #txlege #Democracy

— Erin Zwiener (@ErinForYall) February 19, 2019

The bill would add student IDs to the current list of acceptable credentials. Per the Texas secretary of state, voters must currently present one of the following forms of photo identification in order to vote:

In order for students to use their campus card to vote, they must be enrolled at a public college in Texas and be registered to vote. Like the other acceptable forms of voter ID in Texas, the student ID card must also bear a photo of the cardholder. Per the Texas secretary of state's office, the name on the photo ID used at the voter booth should also match the voter registration card or be "substantially similar."

Citing statistics from the Texas Institutions of Higher Education's Enrollment Forecast 2017-2030, Zwiener’s release noted more than 600,000 students are currently enrolled in public universities in the state of Texas.

The University of San Diego has decided to launch ParkMobile, a parking payment and reservation app, on its campus to enable students and campus visitors to easily pay for parking from their mobile devices.

The ParkMobile app is now available for over 2,000 spaces on the USD campus. New stickers and signage will provide information to students and campus community on how to pay for parking using the new app. ParkMobile is free to download for iPhone and Android devices, and users can additionally register on the company's website.

After setting up an account, students can immediately begin using the system with their registered mobile device. The ParkMobile app enables users to pay for parking on-the-go by remotely viewing, updating, and adding time all from their phones.

"The University of San Diego is excited to partner with ParkMobile to provide our campus community and visitors with a convenient parking payment option for short-term parking," says Wajma Lyons, Director of Parking Services at the University of San Diego.

ParkMobile provides its parking app exclusively across North America. The company's parking solution has been implemented in over 3,000 locations including college campuses, airports, and sports stadiums. ParkMobile has seen significant inroads in higher education, with the company reporting that more than 125 universities across the country are now using the solution in some capacity.

ParkMobile users can quickly pay for on-street and off-street parking without having to use a meter or kiosk, as well as reserve parking at stadium venues for concerts and sporting events. Reservations are also available for metro area garages, allowing users to drive into a city without having to worry about or spend time searching for parking.

Let's face it, there's not much happening on the back of a student ID card. Mag stripes and barcodes aside, in most cases the reverse side features little more than a paragraph of tiny, black-and-white legal jargon and perhaps the odd financial network logo.

But a growing number of institutions are putting the backs of their IDs to a different use by printing campus resource numbers, emergency services lines and other pertinent information for students. Even recently, initiatives have been formed calling for the backs of student ID cards to be used for more effectively to better serve the students carrying them.

We discussed this very issue back in 2016 in our "On the flipside" story devoted to what a university can do when it comes to printing on the back of its campus cards. And we found that it's actually a bit more involved than one might think.

Unlike the front of the card where aesthetics rule the day, the backs of IDs can offer little in the way of unused space as they compete with card technology elements. But it's valuable real estate nonetheless, and there are certainly ways to utilize that space effectively.

In our writeup hear from a host of vendors and campus card professionals alike as they discuss the unofficial best practices for printing on the back of ID cards, see some suggested disclaimers, examples of printed content, and learn the key challenge of making it all fit.

We're living in a post-mobile credential era on campus. Blackboard’s Mobile Credential has been in the wild since October and is now fully available to students on four campuses, with two more in tow.

Temple University, the latest Blackboard campus to go live with Mobile Credential, has seen a very positive response to the use of Apple devices for campus transactions. The university reported provisioning some 5,000 mobile credentials in its first day and a half alone.

At other launch campuses, the solution has seen similarly high levels of adoption. Duke University, one of the initial three campuses, has reported some 70% of its freshmen class have already been provisioned a Mobile Credential.

At yet another of the launch campuses, the University of Alabama, issuance rates continue to strengthen. “The response from the students has been excellent,” says Jeanine Brooks, Director of the Action Card at the University of Alabama. “We continue to trend upward daily in the number of mobile Action Cards provisioned to our students, faculty and staff.”

“From day one, provisioning has gone very smoothly for our campus community with the program,” adds Brooks. “Students are very comfortable with the minimal process to add their Action Card to their iPhone or Apple Watch, and once they’ve downloaded, a lot of them spread word of the program to their friends.”

Having gone live in October, the launch campuses missed the busy freshmen orientation window, which likely would have boosted adoption rates even higher. “We’re seeing pretty amazing numbers,” says Dan Gretz, Business Development at Blackboard. “We all had high hopes for adoption coming into it, but to arrive where we have from the October launch date is a great story.”

Universities are starting to look at this [Mobile Credential] differently than they’ve looked at card technologies they’ve deployed before, Gretz adds. “This isn’t being viewed as purely a utility, but also as a strategic differentiator for the institution.”

 A modern solution for a modern student

Using mobile devices to support daily function is now common practice. But this particularly strikes a chord with college students for whom the smartphone is perhaps the most prized possession.

But using smartphones isn’t just reactionary anymore, as students are increasingly identifying the utility that their devices carry. In fact, it was a student-driven initiative that inspired Alabama’s adoption of Mobile Credential in the first place.

“It was important for us to launch Mobile Credential as our Student Government Association had issued a resolution in late Fall 2016 requesting a mobile card option for the Action Card program,” explains Brooks. “This was a lesson learned as we viewed the convenience of the current plastic card differently than the students did.”

“We realized we had built a campus-wide enterprise program, integrated with multiple campus systems, with the plastic card as the tool to access those systems,” adds Brooks. “But students would forget their card and would have to either go back to find it, do without access to a number of campus services that day, or pay for a replacement card.”

Early experiences at Alabama suggest that transactions via mobile credentials could be adding new levels of efficiency.

Auburn University is mandating two-factor authentication for access to student accounts. The changeover will begin with class registration and email access later this month when the university will start to require students to use DUO, a two-factor authentication service.

Auburn chose DUO as a way to keep students' identities safe and protect their information. Students can sign up using the DUO app or by visiting the university's login page at When signing up, students are also asked about the type of device they are registering — whether a mobile phone, tablet or landline. If students choose the mobile option, they are asked to enter both their number and smartphone model.

The app is required for mobile users, and is free to download on the App Store and Google Play. Students can quickly scan a QR code to conduct registration via the website. Auburn has also posted a detailed step-by-step guide for students to help make the enrollment process as smooth as possible.

DUO, as with other two-factor authentication solutions, helps to secure user information with the presentation of a secondary proof of identity at the time of login. For example, possessing your smartphone in addition to knowing your password. After registering with DUO, users are prompted to choose an authentication method, consisting of either a passcode, push notification or call to the student's phone.

Various Auburn systems and applications will require two-factor authentication, including direct-deposit areas of the university's web portal, AU Access, and the VPN Client. DUO will also be required in order for students to access their TigerMail accounts -- Auburn's email system and primary method of communication. Two-factor authentication through DUO will also be required for class registration, as well as for access to all Office 365 products beginning February 25th.

The University of Utah is now revisiting its access control policies for campus residence halls and updating its guest policies following the death of student on campus last October. In total, the security overhaul has plans to implement upwards of 30 campus safety recommendations.

As reported by local CBS affiliate KUTV, many of the recommendations deal specifically with on-campus housing, which serves some 3,800 Utah students. Those recommendations follow reports from investigators that the student's killer had “easy access” to residence halls.

Already implemented has been a visitor policy refresher, including how to enforce the policies, for all university housing staff. The university has also assembled a task force that is asking other universities for best practices regarding overnight guests as part of a larger review of Utah’s policy.

Utah also plans to install more door access readers to restrict access to campus facilities. Currently, students swipe ID cards at the perimeter doors of residence halls. Following the new installation students will swipe a second time once inside the building to gain access to the lobby area, elevator or stairs.

Utah is still in the process of acquiring funding for the additional card readers, at which point the installations can commence. The university has set a completion date for the project at end of this spring semester.

Another access control danger that the university is trying to curb is one that campuses across the country face: tailgating. “No tailgating zone” posters have been hung around campus as a first step in the education efforts.

The university has also posted a listing for a new "resident outreach coordinator" position, whose role will be to address students’ housing concerns. Hiring is expected to take place in April. “This person will have sole responsibility to follow up and make immediate contact with those students as soon as we become aware of their situation,” said Barb Remsburg, director of housing and residential education at the University of Utah.

The full list of 30 safety recommendations and the university’s progress on each item has been published in full on the University of Utah's website. The resource lists a number of recommendations related to suspicious behavior and providing students with the necessary tools to report it to police. Other recommendations call for the physical access control changes to be made as a means to better secure Utah's campus and its community.

Per the resource page, the university is currently working on, has completed, or has set action dates for all 30 of the proposed recommendations.

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