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University of Texas student government pines for mobile ID

News of Apple devices now supporting mobile credentials on the iPhone and Watch has turned quite a few heads. Now, a student government push at the University of Texas at Austin wants to usher in the era of mobile IDs.

As reported by The Daily Texan, the university’s student government has started an initiative to bring mobile IDs to UT after being inspired by an article detailing the Blackboard Mobile Credential at Duke University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Alabama. A representative for Texas’ student government has even gone so far as to reach out to Apple directly to find out how to incorporate mobile IDs on UT’s campus.

Students at the launch campuses for Blackboard’s Mobile Credential have been leveraging the mobile IDs on their Apple devices for the best part of a month now. The solution provisions a mobile credential to students’ Apple Wallets to then be used on iPhones and Watch to conduct transactions on campus everywhere their ID card was previously used.

UT’s Police Department, commenting on the idea of bring mobile IDs to UT, sees a potential benefit in the form of fewer lost student ID cards. The prevailing idea being that mobile credentials would help reduce lost IDs, as people are less inclined to lose their phone than they are a student ID card. In fact, the UTPD Lost and Found no longer accepts lost student IDs due to the shear number of cards — upwards of 20 per week. UTPD now sends lost cards directly to the university’s ID Center.

It’s worth noting that the move to mobile credentials doesn’t happen overnight, unless a campus has prepared for the migration by installing more advanced card reader hardware and infrastructure. Nevertheless, the era of mobile credentials is creating a buzz right the way down to the student level, and the barometer looks to be moving more by the day.

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