Off to College – NFC-enabled Student IDs Available This Fall

USA Universities Leading the Way:  Duke University, University of Alabama, University of Oklahoma, Johns Hopkins University, Santa Clara University and Temple University will Deploy  NFC-enabled Student IDs

Soon college students will be returning to campus for the fall semester with all the essentials of university life: laptop, textbooks and NFC-enabled student IDs.

At the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that starting this school year, six U.S. colleges and universities will begin using digital student ID cards as part of the release of iOS 12 and WatchOS 5.

Using NFC technology, Apple Wallet and an app created by Blackboard, students will be able to load their student IDs into their Apple Wallet. By simply tapping their phones or Apple Watches to an NFC tag, students will have the ability to access buildings, pay for meals, go to the gym and other functions that a traditional plastic student ID card provides.

“At Duke we’re continually looking for technologies that can improve student experiences and working with Apple was a natural fit,” said Tracy Futhey, vice president and chief information officer, Duke University. “With the ability to add the DukeCard to a Wallet on the iPhone and Apple Watch this fall, students will be able to access buildings and make payments across campus in an even easier way.”

The technology will be launched initially at Duke University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma. By the end of the year Johns Hopkins University, Santa Clara University and Temple University will all deploy NFC-enabled student IDs.

In a prepared statement, the On-Campus Development Team at the University of Oklahoma said:  “Oklahoma University is proud to work with Apple to bring the ability to add the Sooner Card to a Wallet on an iPhone and Apple Watch. This fall, students, faculty and staff will experience the secure and efficient ability to access buildings and campus-wide events, as well as make payments where the Sooner Card is accepted.”


Not only will the new NFC feature allow for future engineers and innovators on college campuses to experience the power of NFC technology, but it also illustrates the growing rise of NFC in many of the areas the NFC Forum’s Special Interest Groups are focusing on today:

  • Internet of Things SIG – The ability to tap into dormitories and the gym illustrates the secure access that NFC technology provides and how NFC technology can turn dormitory doors into smart doors.
  • Retail and Payment SIG – While Apple Pay has been around for a few years now, the ability to pay with a student ID card illustrates further development in the retail and payment industry.

Approximately a year ago, Apple unlocked the potential of NFC tags in its iPhones with the release of iOS 11. This fall, it’s exciting to see Apple exploring the technology’s broader potential and giving users more access. With this in mind, we are already looking forward to what may be available next fall with NFC technology. One thing is for certain: NFC-enabled devices will be appearing more frequently on students’ 2018 back-to-school shopping lists.

Share Button