The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Credit: Sydney Judge

Students at Temple University can now use a digital ID on their smartphones or Apple Watches to enter buildings, purchase meals, and perform other services in place of a physical student ID.

Temple University announced Monday that it has joined Apple’s student ID program, which allows student and staff members to tap their phones near contactless card readers. Temple's student IDs are managed using Apple Wallet and also displays remaining student account balances.

Temple freshman Robert Loebe cited convenience as an advantage of having a digital ID. 

“I’ve lost my student ID many times,” Loebe told The Daily Pennsylvanian in October 2018. “I think students are less likely to lose their phones."  

While Penn has also been looking into the feasibility and advantages of going digital, the University has not announced any changes yet, Vice President of Information Technology Tom Murphy told the DP.

To enroll in the digital ID program, people are required to have an iPhone 6 or later edition, an Android smartphone, or an Apple Watch Series 1 or later. Students and staff members can still choose to continue using their physical Temple ID cards.

Cindy Leavitt, Temple University’s vice president for information technology services told Temple Now that the university appreciates the added security and convenience that comes with the digital ID program.

“We are proud to be one of the first schools in the nation to roll out the program supporting iPhone and Apple Watch, positioning Temple as a leader in shaping how mobile credentials can be used in a campus environment,” Leavitt said.

Temple's more digital friendly switch follows Duke University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Oklahoma in joining Apple's digital ID program. Johns Hopkins University and Santa Clara University are also expected to follow suit soon.