Apple expands digital student cards to 12 more universities this year

Apple is making students’ wallets a little lighter. The company announced that it’s expanding contactless student ID cards to more than 12 universities in the coming school year, effectively giving more than 100,000 students the ability to use their iPhone as their school ID, rather than a physical ID card.

Using the tech, students can simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to a reader, where physical student IDs might be accepted, both on and off campus. That’s instead of having to pull out their physical ID card. ID cards can be viewed straight in the Apple Wallet and will allow access to things like dorms, cafeterias, and so on. Users can protect the card behind Touch ID or Face ID, but there’s also an optional Express Mode, with which users don’t need to authenticate before using their ID.

“We’re happy to add to the growing number of schools that are making getting around campus easier than ever with iPhone and Apple Watch,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services, said in a blog post. “We know students love this feature. Our university partners tell us that since launch, students across the country have purchased 1.25 million meals and opened more than 4 million doors across campuses by just tapping their iPhone and Apple Watch.”

New universities in the program include the likes of Clemson University, Georgetown University, University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, University of San Francisco, University of Vermont, Arkansas State University, South Dakota State University, Norfolk State University, Louisburg College, University of North Alabama and Chowan University. A number of other universities already adopted the tech last year, including the likes of Duke University, University of Oklahoma, University of Alabama, Temple University, Johns Hopkins University, Marshall University, and Mercer University. It’s expected more will follow over the next few years.

In general, digital IDs are likely to become increasingly popular over the next few years. A number of states have started testing mobile drivers licenses. They even have advantages over physical cards, like the fact that consumers can limit the information that is shared on a case-by-case basis — after all, the bartender probably doesn’t need to know your address just to discern whether or not you’re over the age of 21.

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