Apple has started to integrate university student ID cards into the contactless payment system on the Apple Watch and the iPhone, Wallet.
Student ID cards are commonly used in the US as a method of accessing buildings, paying for food and drinks as well as other transactional services.
So far Duke University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma have all been brought onto the system. Johns Hopkins University, Santa Clara University and Temple University are expected to start using the service by the end of this year.
Apple originally announced the new Wallet function at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.
Apple on a mission to negate need for physical wallets
Apple Wallet allows iPhone users to store their bank and credit card information as well as flight and concert tickets and even cafe loyalty cards in a secure ‘wallet’ on their phone for easy access. The credit and debit cards can be linked to Apple Pay so that they can be used for contactless mobile spending.
Apple Pay is the most popular mobile payment service in use, experiencing more than 1 billion transactions in the last quarter alone, up three-fold from a year before. While most of those payments are related to people using their own debit and credit cards, Apple is on a mission to make Apple Pay broader by making it easy to use Apple Pay for more services to even include public transport passes.
Twelve US cities currently allow you to pay for tickets using Apple Pay. Users simply need to hold their phone where they would traditionally pass a ticket over to enter the transit gates.
Apple Pay for transport expands to Russia, China and Japan
Apple Pay is also available in Japan, China and Russia. “iPhone and Apple Watch have brought us into a new era of mobility, helping to transform everyday experiences,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services.
“When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet. By adding transit, loyalty cards and contactless ticketing we have expanded the capabilities of Wallet beyond payments, and we’re now thrilled to be working with campuses on adding contactless student ID cards to bring customers even more easy, convenient and secure experiences.”
Apple makes almost insignificant amounts of money on each Apple Pay transaction, but the tech giant isn’t trying to get rich this way. Instead, the new easy access systems reinforce the user's dependence on their phone. It also encourages users to have the best version of the iPhone they can afford to ensure that the system is working reliably.