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Card, mobile credential, payment and security
Penn State Apple Watch serves as mobile ID+card

Penn State mobile credential to serve as primary ID across all campuses

Plans underway to mobile enable all use cases and locations systemwide  

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Feb 09, 2024  ||   

Penn State University is undertaking an ambitious project to replace magnetic stripe readers and implement mobile-first technology at its 20-plus campus locations.

According to the university, “all residence halls, administrative facilities and academic buildings at every Penn State campus will be compatible with the mobile id+ card by the summer of 2025.”

Penn State phone at reader
The university first launched its mobile credential for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Android in January 2023. The Penn State mobile id+ card program has been expanding from the main campus in University Park to other commonwealth campuses.

At the time of the initial launch, the university said it was installing contactless technology through a phased approach at all campuses.

“Physical cards will remain necessary, as not all University locations will accept mobile-only transactions, and access to academic buildings and other facilities and resources may still require the physical id+ card to be present,” they reported.

This newly announced initiative changes that initial plan, creating a system-wide mobile-first solution that ultimately eliminates physical cards.

“To simplify user experiences and enhance the security of University resources, Penn State IT has announced the mobile id+ card as Penn State’s primary credential,” says the announcement.

Reader infrastructure at most Housing and Food Services buildings has already upgraded to contactless/NFC technology, but this new push aims to deprecate physical cards in favor of the mobile-first approach at all locations.

Mobile-ready readers are currently launching in the administrative and academic buildings at Penn State's Beaver, Behrend, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, and Mont Alto campuses. These will be the initial mobile-first campuses starting in the summer of 2024.


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The only publication dedicated to the use of campus cards, mobile credentials, identity and security technology in the education market. CampusIDNews – formerly CR80News – has served more than 6,500 subscribers for more than two decades.

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