4 minute read

Mobile IDs: Debunking 9 Common Myths

9/6/2022 9:00:00 AM

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the future of the campus experience centers around mobile technology and the ability to manage access and payments from anywhere at any time.

Mobile IDs have a significant role in making this a reality and the benefits of digital wallets are undeniable, but we know taking on a technical transformation like this can be daunting. Fear not, we’re here to break down a few myths about mobile IDs in higher education and demonstrate there may be fewer hurdles than you think.

Myth 1: We can’t launch a mobile campus ID with our current university app.

False. OneCard Campus ID was developed to offer mobile IDs through a university’s existing app or through TouchNet’s 360u app. With a specialized integration package, your OneCard Campus ID is incorporated into your institution's mobile app. However, if you need a mobile app, we have you covered. With 360u by TouchNet, students can add their mobile ID to Apple or Android devices.

Myth 2: We’d have to purchase all new access and payments hardware.

False. While it’s true that door and payment readers need to have a certain level of functionality, it is not true that you have to replace every piece of hardware across campus. Our team works with you to complete a thorough audit of your existing systems and hardware. With this information, we evaluate your readiness for mobile IDs and determine an action plan to get you there.

Myth 3: Mobile ID is only available for Apple users.

False. OneCard Mobile ID is available for iPhones, Apple Watches, and Android smartphones.

Myth 4: Some of our students don’t have smartphones.

True. However, with our mobile ID program, institutions can still offer plastic ID cards with NFC chips in lieu of a smartphone-based credential. While it is important to accommodate all students, studies do indicate that the vast majority of higher ed students own a smartphone. According to the most recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center on mobile technology usage, 96% of U.S. adults ages 18-29 own a smartphone.

Myth 5: It’s too expensive. The transaction fees are too high.

False. While there are costs to consider in making the transition to mobile IDs, the higher the adoption of mobile IDs actually means printing fewer physical ID cards. This translates to cost savings in materials as well as staff time to manage card printing. Additionally, Mobile ID credentials are comparable to the cost of DESFire plastic IDs.

Myth 6: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is the same experience as Near Field Communication (NFC).

False. While both are ‘languages’ used for short range communication between devices, a few key differences exist between BLE and NFC. NFC provides a smoother and more secure experience for access and payment transactions, making it the preferred technology for digital wallets.

NFC uses two-way communication to send and receive tokens between devices. BLE only sends information one-way and has a longer range. Unlike BLE, NFC requires no power to function and connects within a few centimeters, making transactions more secure. NFC can only communicate with one device at a time reducing unintended connections. And lastly BLE requires pairing where NFC does not, making NFC easier to use.

Myth 7: We would have to reserve ISO numbers and switch credential formats.

False. OneCard Campus ID works with hardware providers in a way that allows institutions to retain their existing credential formats and forgo reserving ISO numbers.

Myth 8: We can’t switch to mobile IDs because we have a high population of students who for religious reasons practice "no tech Fridays."

False. Access control systems may be configured to allow overrides with brass keys or passcode pads to unlock doors for specific time periods when students would be abstaining from using digital technology.

Final Myth: Your students and staff will love mobile IDs.

TRUE! You can believe the hype on this one. As digital natives, Gen Z not only prefers a mobile-first experience, they expect it. Smartphones are many students' go-to resource for navigating through the world and making it possible for them to use their student account with just the tap of a phone brings it all together.

Learn more about OneCard Mobile ID and request a complimentary Mobile ID Assessment to get started on your journey.