Students can now use Apple devices for full range of campus transactions
Temple University is the next campus to launch Blackboard Mobile Credential, the solution that enables Apple iPhones and Watch, as well as Android devices, to make the full range of on-campus transactions.
As reported by The Temple News, Temple's installation will enable students, faculty and staff to access campus buildings, fitness facilities and dining halls with their mobile devices in the same fashion as they did previously with a plastic OWLcard.
To use the feature, students and staff must download Blackboard's eAccounts app, and then add their OWLcard to Apple Wallet, while for Android users the mobile credential will reside in eAccounts. Users can then enter their university credentials and use two-factor authentication to confirm their identity.
Blackboard Mobile Credential is available to any student carrying an iPhone 6 or later running iOS 12 and Watch Series 1 or later running OS 5.
Android users running operating system 5.0 or later also have access Blackboard Mobile Credential, but will will need to have their phone's screen "awake" to scan their mobile device. However, Mobile Credentials provisioned to Apple Wallet will reside in Express Mode by default, which means the user doesn’t need to physically turn on or wake the iPhone or Watch -- or even launch the Wallet app -- to conduct a transaction. Users can opt to turn Express Mode off but doing so will require the presentation of a second form of authentication for every transaction in the form of Touch ID, Face ID or passcode.
Temple is the fourth university to go live with Blackboard Mobile Credential, following the initial batch of launch institutions: Duke University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Alabama. The remaining two of the initial six universities announced by Apple last September -- Johns Hopkins University and Santa Clara University -- are expected to launch soon.
A majority of Temple's facilities currently feature NFC-capable card readers, but there remain a few academic buildings that are yet to deploy the technology.
In buildings where there are not card scanners, Campus Safety will allow entry to students and faculty who pull up the image of their OWLcard on their phones to show to security, said Scott Brannan, director of the OWLcard Office, in a Temple News interview.
“It’s the next wave of technology, and we know that our students really embrace technology usage and like new things," Brannan added. "We don’t just say 'yes' to everything, but this is a good advancement, there’s extra security in this, and we think it’s a great step forward."