Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Purdue launches mobile credential with Transact

Andrew Hudson   ||   May 11, 2023  ||   , ,

Purdue University is the latest institution to launch mobile credential, partnering with Transact to deliver the new Purdue Mobile ID to students for use on Apple and Android devices. Purdue students can now add their ID to Apple Wallet or Google Wallet and use their smartphone or smart watch devices to access campus buildings, purchase meals and more.

According to an official university release, the new Purdue Mobile ID enables students to access residence halls and campus buildings, make transactions using BoilerExpress, use meal plans and pay for laundry. The new Purdue Mobile ID is being supported through Transact, and is being launched specifically for students on the flagship West Lafayette campus.

Beginning this summer, all incoming undergraduate students will provision a Purdue Mobile ID and not be issued a physical ID card. This is part of a "Mobile First" strategy employed by Purdue that seeks to eliminate the need for physical ID cards. The ultimate goal is for all of Purdue's some 50,000 students on the West Lafayette campus to be provisioned a Mobile ID in the next few years. Faculty and staff will continue to use physical ID cards and are not participating in the Purdue Mobile ID program at this time.

Purdue has been laying the groundwork for Transact Mobile Credentials since 2013, beginning with updating campus reader infrastructure and point-of-sale devices to accept mobile transactions. The university is also installing contactless and tap-to-pay technology through Transact in a phased approach across campus.

“We’re thrilled to build on our on-campus experience and roll out Purdue Mobile ID to our students,” says Loribeth Hettinger, senior associate bursar of ID Card Operations/Support at Purdue. “This will greatly simplify some of our bottlenecks by streamlining our ID card distribution processes to our incoming freshmen while also meeting student expectations – and even save them the time and resources they end up spending when losing a physical card.”

Purdue's move to mobile carries with it the expected benefits of a mobile credential, including secure and convenient transactions, as well as remote credential issuance that eliminates the need to print and mail physical cards to students.

Current students will be able to keep and use their existing physical ID cards alongside their Purdue Mobile ID. In the short term, graduate students may need their physical cards in select academic buildings, labs and other facilities that still require the physical Purdue ID card for access.

“We know that Purdue students have high expectations for their technology solutions, and mobile credentialing naturally fits in this space,” says Beth McCuskey, vice provost for Purdue Student Life. “We are excited to launch Purdue Mobile ID as a new way to enhance the student experience.”

Purdue's ID Card Operations/Support office will also work with any university department heads who may have special use cases for the Purdue ID and who want to ensure those use cases can support the Mobile ID. Hettinger and her team are spearheading the work with faculty, staff and student organizations on special use cases and have fielded requests for attendance tracking and door entry, among other requests.

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