“We continue to see increased interest and adoption by ASSA ABLOY customers,” says Angelo Faenza, Vice President of Campus Electronic Access Control of ASSA ABLOY Openings Solutions Americas. “The strength of our long-time partnership with Transact puts us in a great position to lead the industry in secure NFC access control and continues to produce great user experiences for students and faculty nationwide.”
As a sign of wide-spread industry support, Transact has since added support for Allegion locks with the Transact Mobile Credential launch at Mercer University. According to Staples, this addition – and other access control manufacturers on the horizon – greatly enhances the options available to campuses and further proves the value of an ISO-centric NFC solution.[blockquote align=’left|right|full’]“Mercer University is proud to be among the first schools in the nation to give our students the ability to conveniently and securely access their daily tasks through Transact Mobile Credential. It’s just what our students need to easily move throughout campus without having to carry multiple credentials.”
— Ken Boyer, Associate Vice President at Mercer University
In addition to the new campus clients and new physical access control options, there’s also been advancements to the software underpinning the solution. Despite being supported for Mobile Credential from day one, Android is now embedded into Transact’s eAccounts platform so that the user experience is similar for students across iOS and Android devices.
“There’s always been a huge focus for us on lifecycle management, front-ended by our eAccounts app, dating back to before the initial Mobile Credential launch,” says Staples. “Earlier this year we updated eAccounts, whereby Android support is natively embedded in the app meaning that any school can roll out both iOS and Android Mobile Credential on day one if they so choose, and we continue to enhance our offering at a rapid rate.”
Vending with Transact Mobile Credential
A key goal of Transact Mobile Credential has been ubiquity of use across the campus environment. “In order for it to fully succeed, we were committed to making the Mobile Credential work everywhere the plastic card was accepted, from the beginning,” explains Dan Gretz, Senior Director at Transact and leader of Transact’s Innovation Practice.
Similar to extending use to third-party access control readers, Transact has also been working to extend Mobile Credential to third-party payment devices.
Most recently, Transact certified and rolled out support for third-party vending devices from Coinco. The readers are live at the University of Alabama, and acceptance required only a firmware upgrade and not a complete reader replacement.
“The addition of Coinco opens up more opportunity for more campuses,” says Gretz. “We’re also in conversations with other major vending providers and expect to add further support throughout the coming year.”
A post-plastic world?
Transact Mobile Credential for both major mobile platforms is still young – less than a year old, in fact. But over that short period of time the solution has quickly proven itself a fully featured alternative, if not replacement, for the plastic card.
“We’ll always have support for a physical card, and we expect that even those campuses already issuing Transact Mobile Credential will continue to have some subset – albeit progressively smaller – that will require support for a card or non-mobile form factor,” says Staples.
Future rollouts, however, will undoubtedly be tipped in the direction of Mobile Credential. “Going forward, our clients will be mobile-first and may not provide both form factors to every student, but this isn’t a card vs. mobile conversation,” says Staples. “Every client has summer camps, special events, contractors, and a wide range of other special instances where a limited-duration or limited-use credential — be it card, wearable or biometric — will be a suitable solution.”
While it’s right to reiterate support for the traditional campus card now and going forward, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Transact has championed a vision for a post-plastic landscape for quite some time.
“We chose ISO standard NFC back in 2008 and shipped our first devices in 2010, and that vision has paid off,” says Staples. “We did that expecting it would give us the greatest array of options in our roadmap, and provide our clients with the greatest degree of choice. And it did from Felica, MIFARE Classic and DESFire all the way up to Android Mobile Credential and now Mobile Credential on iOS.”
“There’s far more to come, and we owe much of this growth opportunity to adopting and committing to an ISO standard approach from day one,” adds Staples. “The payoff has been huge for Transact and our clients.”