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Marshall University goes mobile credential only for student IDs

Marshall University has taken the decision to move exclusively to mobile credential on its campus, making the Marshall Mobile ID the only form campus credential being issued to students, faculty and staff. Marshall is a Transact Mobile Credential campus, and began provisioning the Marshall Mobile ID last summer.

Prior to going exclusively mobile credential, Marshall offered its campus community the Marshall Mobile ID as an option in addition to the traditional card. “Marshall’s campus card features a mix of MIFARE contactless and mag stripe technology,” says Bob Dorado, Marshall Mobile ID Project Lead. “We are now only printing cards for constituents that don’t have a phone capable of supporting mobile ID or for areas that require visible, wearable credentials.”

It did help that the Marshall Mobile ID saw strong adoption amongst the campus community right out of the gate.

“It’s been very well received. Of our new students that came in for the 2019-2020 school year, about 80% of students with eligible devices chose mobile over traditional cards,” says Dorado. “At that time we didn’t support Android devices but as of Spring 2020 we now support both.”

When asked what drove Marshall’s decision to go exclusively mobile credential, the answer was simple: COVID-19.

“With COVID-19, for everyone’s safety we wanted to eliminate students coming to our office and standing in line,” says Dorado. “The staff was having to disinfect the photo area after every student – we didn’t think that was safe or practical.”

Changes due to COVID-19 and a different campus environment this fall changed orientation for Marshall, making mobile ID more than just an added convenience.

“During the first year, aside from new students that initially chose mobile ID, returning students, faculty and staff were switching from card to mobile for the convenience,” Dorado explains. “But with our new student orientation being 100% online this summer it just made sense to make mobile ID our primary university credential.”

To further support the mobile credential only environment, and keep students from needing to report to the card office in person, Marshall is also leveraging online photo submission. “All students submit a photo for approval by our staff along with a valid, government-issued photo ID for identity verification,” says Dorado.

The mobile credential at Marshall is accepted on all readers on the university’s card system, and anywhere that a Marshall university ID card is required.

“This was another advantage during COVID-19; everyone maintains possession of their device and taps it themselves on the readers,” says Dorado. “There’s no exchange of cards or devices between cashiers or attendants.”

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