TouchNet has launched a new mobile ID solution for students aimed at combining digital student ID with event access and payment functionalities.
Dubbed “360u”, the new offering builds upon TouchNet’s previous OneCard mobile app. As such, it retains the core function of acting as a virtual student ID card that students can keep on their smartphone, but it also supports contactless door access via Bluetooth or NFC.
As for payment functionality, the app can be used by students to make purchases from vending machines, pay for laundry and printing services, and buy meals from a dining hall.
What’s more, the app offers wayfinding capabilities, which could be particularly helpful on large college campuses.
Speaking to CR80News, TouchNet’s Senior Director of Product Strategy, Ryan Audus, explained that the app will be further enhanced with new features in the future. “Moving forward, we anticipate bringing in other functionality like bill payment, shopping cart capability, and partner services,” he said, adding later that “eventually the ability to make tuition payments” will further incentivize students to use the ID app.
The upgraded app is part of a broader boom in the mobile ID technologies, which are increasingly being adopted by post-secondary institutions. This month brought news that Illinois’ Benedictine University started using mobile ID cards with payment and access capabilities provided by Transact, for example; and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville launched a mobile ID system for Apple devices in October.
TouchNet says it has already piloted its enhanced app with four as-yet-undisclosed universities, and that schools currently using the OneCard app will be able to upgrade the app to the 360u version when it is officially launched.