The big mobile credential announcement last month was the emergence of CBORD as the second card system vendor to support mobile student IDs on Apple devices. As one of the first CBORD partnering campuses, the University of Vermont is now beta testing mobile credentials on Apple devices.
According to a report from local NBC affiliate WPTZ, more than 20 students at UVM have been testing the system that will enable student CATCards, Vermont’s student ID, to be used via iPhones and Apple Watch.
The mobile credential initiative at UVM will enable students the option to use their mobile devices to conduct transactions at some 3,000 readers across campus. The full range of CATCard transactions will be supported on Apple devices including paying for print/copy, accessing academic buildings and dorms and purchasing food and beverages from campus dining locations.
“I think it’s huge,” said Mark McKenna, director of the CATcard Service Center at the University of Vermont, in a statement to WPTZ. “This is a big step towards eliminating the plastic ID.”
University officials expect the system to have completed the testing phase and be widely available to members of the UVM campus community in October.
One of the major advantages of mobile credentials is that students are less likely to forget their phones than they are their plastic ID card. Despite the added convenience and modern feel of mobile credentials, UVM isn’t giving up the traditional campus card just yet.
McKenna says that Vermont will continue to issue the CATCard to the campus community for the foreseeable future, especially for students and staff who may be priced out of the requisite technology for mobile credential use. Additionally, mobile credentials at Vermont will initially only be available on Apple devices, but McKenna expects to add Android support as soon as the technology becomes available.
The University of Vermont was one of six CBORD partnering universities named in an announcement last month that will be launching mobile credential initiatives this fall. Other CBORD campuses expected to launch in the coming months include Clemson University, the University of San Francisco, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Kentucky.