Good news, coeds.
Apple announced that it’s launching a pilot program with three universities to support student ID cards in Apple Wallet. Students can add their ID cards to Apple Wallet, allowing them to do things like access dorms or pay for cafeteria meals holding their iPhones or Apple Watches above card readers.
Sayonara, too-easily-lost pieces of plastic.
“When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services said in a statement. “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.”
Duke University and the Universities of Alabama and Oklahoma are the three participating schools. Apple says the functionality will come to Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara, and Temple Universities by 2019. CNET reports that schools will have to actively partner with Apple to get student ID support — they can’t just enable the feature on their own.
Adding student ID cards to Apple Wallet makes a lot of sense for Apple, since it further enshrines the iPhone’s indispensability among young adults. A 2017 survey found three-quarters of all U.S. teens with smartphones have iPhones, and 81 percent of teens expect their new phones to be iPhones. In such an influential market, that’s gotta hurt for Android.
As someone who may have lost her student ID card once or twice, the feature also seems genuinely convenient, and potentially more secure than tying campus access and money to a small piece of plastic. Just be sure to keep a spare battery in your backpack.