Blackboard Supports Student ID Cards In Apple Wallet NFC System

Posted On: 10/8/2018

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WASHINGTON, DC — Blackboard has announced that its Mobile Credential service now supports student ID cards in Apple Wallet. This enables students attending institutions that use the Blackboard system to add their ID cards as "Wallet passes" to the popular Apple wallet system available through Apple Pay on iPhones and iWatches. An iPhone so enabled communicates by NFC with Blackboard contactless readers.

According to Blackboard, this added capability creates a seamless experience for students on campus by offering secure access to residence halls and facilities as well as payments for dining, vending, laundry and retail services.

Blackboard reports that it is the first campus credential solution provider to offer NFC-enabled contactless mobile IDs for iPhone and Apple Watch. "Today's tech-savvy college students will no longer need to carry and manage multiple cards when navigating campus," the company explained. "To use a student ID in Apple Wallet, students simply present their iPhone with iOS 12 or Apple Watch with watchOS 5 to enabled readers on campus."  

Transactions made through Apple Wallet are secure and frictionless. Moreover, colleges and universities can issue mobile credentials remotely, over the air, securely to a student's iPhone or Apple Watch.  

The ability to add student IDs to Wallet launched in early October at Duke University (Durham, NC), the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), and the University of Oklahoma (Norman). Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), Santa Clara (CA) University and Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) will launch their programs later in the school year. These institutions will use Blackboard's NFC-enabled equipment and an array of third-party NFC devices to effect a range of transactions at dining halls, athletic facilities, libraries, campus events, bookstores, laundry and elsewhere on or off campus where student IDs are accepted. In addition, and unique to Blackboard, students will also use this single mobile credential for secure access to campus facilities including residence halls.

"The use of iPhone and Apple Watch as an alternative to physical ID cards is a great way to improve the student experience," said Duke University chief information officer Tracy Futhey. "Blackboard has been an innovative partner in helping us bring this capability to our campus and make access to facilities and services even easier."

Royce Dickerson, a student at the University of Alabama, hailed the innovation. "I think that bringing the [Blackboard] Action Card to Apple Wallet will transform how we as students go about our day-to-day transactions," he applauded. He predicted that students' ability to scan their ID credentials on devices they already carry will shorten lines and get people where they're going more rapidly. "Apple Wallet paired with the new eAccounts app makes it easier than ever to view my balance, replenish funds, and check my meal plan," he added.

Blackboard strategic partners have committed to be a part of this extensive ecosystem that facilitates the use of the mobile credential across campus.  Such partners include ASSA Abloy, a leading provider of door opening solutions; Allegion, a leading provider of security products and solutions; and a growing list of other solution providers.

"Students' worlds revolve around convenient mobile solutions," said Blackboard Transact president David Marr. "They've come to expect a simple, frictionless mobile experience in all aspects of their lives, especially when it comes to the Apple devices they love and carry with them.

"We truly appreciate the role our client community has played in creating a student-centric environment to support such a transformative experience for Apple users," Marr observed.