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Australian university launches digital card app

Andrew Hudson   ||   Aug 05, 2016  ||   

The University of Sydney Union (USU) is launching a new app that consolidates a number of student services, including select campus card utilities, in the form of a digital card.

According to The University of Sydney Union, the new free to download USU ACCESS app will feature a customized events calendar, a live newsfeed with updates from campus media outlets, and display information regarding ACCESS -- USU's campus card -- discounts both on and off campus.

Student ID card information is also displayed in the app along with the student's unique barcode, which can then be scanned at any university location instead of the card. Also included in the app is a calendar of USU events, as well as club events for which the student is a member. Clubs can also send notifications and updates to users through the app.

University officials say that the physical ACCESS cards will still be issued, and students can choose to use either the digital card on the app or the plastic card.

According to the university, students can present their digital ACCESS card to receive discounts at numerous locations on campus, and can take advantage of exclusive ACCESS-only offers as they happen via a "Trending Feed" viewable within the app.

The app is available to both student ID cardholders and the general public, though there are features that are reserved for students only, including the digital ACCESS card, trending feed and subscriptions to club and society notifications.

Certain features of the app are available offline, including the digital card to ensure students can still receive discounts offline. The "contact us" page in the app's settings is also available offline to ensure that students can be alerted to any major issues.

The app will also be used in conjunction with an existing coffee reward program on campus. After purchasing six coffees on campus, students are given a voucher for a free seventh cup. Now with the app, students who buy six coffees from a university location on the app will see the seventh free coffee voucher added to the app.

The app is still in the early stages and plans to implement additional functionality over time that will allow users to see whether they have a voucher available, a feature that is not currently supported. Coffee vouchers cannot be transferred between the app and card by the user. Reward vouchers are also automatically uploaded to the app instead of the card unless the student specifies otherwise.

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