University of Alabama seeks a mobile ID touchdown
10 April, 2020
category: Digital ID, Education
Mobile ID authentication is getting a workout on an increasing number of U.S. college campuses, and some of the effort to figure what works is taking place at sports stadiums. That includes the University of Alabama, where football has long been the king sport, and where the massive football stadium — which can hold as many people as a mid-sized city — has been the site of an ongoing mobile ID effort.
Bryant-Denny stadium opened in 1929, and can handle more than 101,000 fans and spectators on college game days and now is accessible via mobile student credentials
Bryant-Denny stadium opened in 1929, and can hold more than 101,000 fans and spectators on college game days, of which there are eight per year during the regular season. That’s a seemingly endless stream of people trying to get through the gates, and that is why the University of Alabama is looking more toward mobile ID authentication to make things easier, more efficient and less frustrating for attendees and workers alike.
According to a recent report from PaymentsSource, the school has linked its Action Card (or ACT card) student ID program to Google Pay, following similar additions involving Android and Apple’s iOS. For football, holders of student tickets can use this new ID function to gain entry into the stadium for those all-important Crimson Tide games. “The university hopes that by including digital sports tickets with other functions, such as payments at local stores and access to classrooms, laboratories, libraries, dorms and other facilities, all of these actions will be easier,” the report said.
Payments are certainly part of this mobile ID program at Alabama and other schools, but a successful use of this technology in large, high profile events and locations could do much to further the case for other digital authentication and access use cases. Such efforts require that authorities upgrade legacy systems and securely and efficiently enable payment processing. But at the core of all that, of course, is authenticating the student who is trying to gain event or building access, or perform various other tasks with their mobile IDs.
“Football is one of the more obvious use candidates for this system,” the PaymentsSource article states. “It requires thousands of tickets to be processed, and linking ticketing and stadium entrance to concessions via the student ID is a way to encourage adoption. The service was also transportable, with the student ID/Google Pay combination available at the recent Citrus Bowl in Orlando, a neutral site.”
Students at the University of Alabama, along with their peers at Duke University and the University of Oklahoma, were among the pioneers in using an iPhone student ID as their official campus card via system provider Transact Campus. Now more than a dozen major U.S. universities have similar programs in place, with more certainly to follow.