May 23, 2019 | 78° F

Apple adds student ID feature to Apple Wallet

Photo by Facebook |

As a college student, it always feels like the end of the world when you misplace your school ID. The RUID is a student’s convenience pass. Not only does it grant you access to dining halls, gyms and library printers, but it also serves as your access key to get into your on-campus residence hall or apartment. And in some cases, for those that have RU express, your student ID is used to make purchases, such as clothing from the book store or food at local restaurants around campus. 

Some Rutgers students may see this as just another result of RU screw, but the fact of the matter is that it happens to college students across the country — until now. Last month, Apple partnered up with six universities nationwide to provide students with an identification card option that is completely digital. 

The ID program went into effect Oct. 2 at Duke University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma, and provided students with the option to add their ID to Apple Wallet. Compatible with an iPhone and Apple Watch, the reader devices located on campus and off campus not only give students access to residence halls, dining halls, gyms, libraries and campus events, but they also will be allowed to pay for things at the bookstore and local restaurants. Essentially, the digital ID functions exactly like the physical copy traditionally administered.

“When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet. By adding transit, loyalty cards and contactless ticketing, we have expanded the capabilities of Wallet beyond payments, and we’re thrilled to be working with campuses on adding contactless student ID cards to bring customers even more easy, convenient and secure experiences,” said Apple’s vice president of Internet Services, Jennifer Bailey.

Provided by Blackboard, the near-field communications technology-compatible reader devices will allow students to gain access to buildings with a flick of the wrist.

“Using Near-Field Communications Technology, students will be able to access a multitude of services on campus just by waving their phone or watch near compatible readers,” according to an article by Inside Higher Ed.

The ID program will soon be implemented by three more schools — Johns Hopkins University, Temple University and Santa Clara University — and it seems like a convenient and innovative idea. Aside from providing students with easy access to their student ID, it also may provide even more security for students. For instance, if you’re ever using Facebook, there are always posts about a Rutgers student losing their ID, which can be a bad thing if it gets in the wrong hands. Having this system implemented would reduce the number of students losing or misplacing their ID because it will be in their phone.

“I think it would increase safety, but it would probably end up being a nuisance, especially when it comes to visitors,” said Linda Farag, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

Aside from providing better security, this new program may even be more eco-friendly than the traditional ID. For instance, students who choose to use this option instead of a physical ID, which is typically made of plastic, would help the University reduce their carbon footprint by the decreasing the number of IDs printed each year.

Although there are a multitude of pros to this ID program, there may also be some flaws. For example, if a student either forgets their phone in their room or their phone dies, they will not be granted access.

“I’d say it could cause issues especially with dead phone batteries. But still an interesting concept,” said Anisha Patel, School of Arts of Sciences junior. 

Because of this ID program, it is evident that Apple is trying to bridge the gap between technology and higher education. It will be interesting to see how effective this program is and whether Apple will choose to team up with other universities after this year.

Almier McCoy

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