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York University mobile ID

York University details time and environmental impacts of its mobile credential program

Projections include 400 kg of PVC eliminated, 12,000 hours of queue time saved

Chris Corum   ||   Nov 10, 2023  ||   ,

This fall, York University launched its new mobile YU-card that can be stored in Apple or Google Wallet. The mobile credential, launched with partner Transact, can be used anywhere the physical YU-card can be used.

Applications include photo identification, payments, dining plans, access control, as well as authentication for library, recreation facilities, exams, events, and discounts. It will also provide new capabilities, such as directly loading flex funds through the eAccounts application.

New students getting their first credential from the institution are not required to pay, but York does charge existing cardholders a $20 fee to upgrade to new mobile ID.

According to a university announcement, it is estimated that the digital ID will cut 400 kilograms of plastic and PVC each year.

“Mobile YU-cards create an important sense of identity and pride as a member of the York community, while being more efficient and cost effective,” says Tom Watt, interim assistant vice-president, Ancillary Service. “Issuing mobile credentials saves an incoming class from approximately 12,000 hours of wait time every year and eliminates the replacement fee for lost cards, as mobile cards can be transferred to a new device for free.”

New students getting their first credential from the institution are not required to pay, but York does charge existing cardholders a $20 fee to upgrade to new mobile ID.

According the YU-card website, “Mobile YU-cards are available to all new students, faculty, instructors and staff. Mobile cards are available to current community members as their physical YU-cards become due for renewal. If you wish to replace your card before the expiration date, please note that there is a $20 transition fee to mobile when your current card is returned to the YU-card Office.”

This fee could help offset some of the financial impact that campuses often experience when the mobile credential reduces or eliminates their lost card revenue. At least until the existing students matriculate or leave campus, the $20 fee should provide some buffer.

For those without a compatible smartphone, plastic cards will remain available at no cost, but the mobile YU-card will have additional features including access increased security through two-factor authentication and the ability to immediately revoke lost credentials.

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