One of the South’s biggest universities has become the latest academic institution to embrace mobile student ID technology. Alabama’s Auburn University has announced that its “Tiger Card” – named after the Auburn Tigers women’s basketball team – can now be added in virtual form to students’ iPhone or Android smartphones, or to the Apple Watch wearable device.
The mobile ID card solution, developed in collaboration with CBORD and Allegion, offers both access control and payments applications. Students will be able to use the virtual IDs to access campus buildings, and to buy meals or pay for laundry.
The virtual cards also offer considerable administrative advantages for the school. Mobile ID cards can be issued or revoked instantly and remotely by administrative authorities.
Auburn’s move is the latest sign of the growing popularity of mobile ID technology on campus. A year ago, Apple announced that it was working to bring iOS-compatible virtual student ID cards to a slew of universities across the country; and this year brought a report that Auburn’s home state rival, the University of Alabama, would deactivate its remaining magnetic strip ID cards, having first established a mobile student ID card back in 2017 that was enthusiastically embraced on campus.
For its part, Auburn University emphasized the contactless nature of the technology in a statement announcing the move – a particularly strong benefit in the COVID-19 era.
“It’s something our students have wanted, and we have worked hard to bring the safest, most secure and most convenient method of accessing buildings and services to campus,” said Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Bobby R. Woodard.
Auburn’s move comes at a time of growing excitement about mobile ID technology on a much broader scale beyond school campuses. Major tech companies including IDEMIA and Apple have been working with government authorities to develop officially recognized mobile ID cards, with the latter company having recently announced that it would enable iPhone users to store virtual driver’s licenses after the launch of its next major operating system update, expected this autumn.