Temple students can now access buildings, pay for lunch with their phones

The university's OWLcard can now live on mobile devices.

Tap and go.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

First announced with a splash at last year’s Apple keynote conference, Temple University students can now tap their phones and Apple Watches to access buildings or pay for lunch.

On Monday, the North Philly university announced that its OWLcards, students’ ID and payment method combo, can now live on mobile devices through the Blackboard eAccounts app on qualifying Apple and Android devices.

“We are delighted to introduce a new way to use OWLcard to members of our Temple community,” said Cindy Leavitt, Temple’s VP for information technology services and chief information officer, in a statement to the press. “OWLcard Mobile on iPhone and Apple Watch combines added security with the element of convenience.”

Here’s a quick demo of how the tech works:

Leavitt said Temple is 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.” Last year, the mobile access setup came into effect at Duke UniversityUniversity of Alabama and University of Oklahoma.

Students should still hang onto the physical OWLcard though: As part of a multi-phase roll-out, certain features like paying for parking or borrowing library books are not yet operational with the mobile credential.

Through the mobile app, users can also suspend or cancel their physical card if they lose it.

Companies: Temple University
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