Mobile id+ card is anticipated to launch for students in January 2023

Vector image of student using mobile id+ card to pay laundry machine
Credit: Andrew Heckathorne

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new mobile Penn State id+ card is anticipated to launch in January 2023, allowing students to use their mobile devices to conveniently, safely and securely access campus housing facilities, purchase meals, and more. 

"Mobile devices are playing a more significant role in the higher education landscape," said John Papazoglou, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services. "Penn State's continued advancement of student resources is a part of the University's student-centric mission. The mobile id+ card enhances this mission, bringing the University closer to a digital campus." 

The University is installing contactless and tap-to-pay transaction technology through a phased approach at all 24 campuses. Upgrades to card readers will include exterior residence hall doors, interior residence hall doors, commons buildings, LionCash and meal plans, and on-campus laundry washers and dryers. Integrating the technology into other resources is in development, and additional details will be shared as they become available.  

"Continuously advancing the security of student resources through updated features, processes and technology is a priority," said Aliana Steinbugl, director of physical security for Penn State University Police and Public Safety. "The new seamless mobile experience helps increase security for students by allowing them to open their residence hall door lock through their new id+ card or mobile device. These enhancements will help make Penn State a more secure University." 

"The improved security doesn't mean students shouldn't take precautions," Steinbugl added. "Students should never hand over their phone or physical id+ card to complete transactions, and lost id+ cards should be deactivated immediately." 

The University encourages students to download the Transact eAccounts app from the App Store or Google Play on their mobile devices ahead of time. Students must upload their photo and have the Transact eAccounts app to use the contactless technology after launch day. Photo requirements and instructions for photo uploads are available on the id+ card photo submission page

"This new technology provides the kind of seamless student experience envisioned in One Penn State 2025 and is foundational for our vision of a digital campus," said David Gindhart, associate chief information officer. “Penn State is the largest university to implement this technology campus-wide and the first in the Big Ten." 

A process is already underway to provide new physical id+ cards for Penn State community members, separate from the mobile id+ card launch. Cardholders who received their current id+ card before May 10, 2022, will receive a new physical credential in the spring of 2023. Physical cards remain necessary, as not all locations accept mobile-only transactions. Access to specific buildings and resources will still require the physical id+ card to be present during a transaction. 

For more information, visit the id+ card mobile page.