Jeff Staples, vice president of market development, Blackboard Transact
The student ID in the year 2020 will hold true to one function from its past – it will continue to provide the means of identifying an individual. Otherwise, the student credential will have largely shed its skin as a plastic, mag stripe ID card and will adapt to the usage habits of the user.
Institutions will employ multifaceted identity strategies to serve the needs of their constituents based on their personal preferences and how they consume university services. But what will these strategies call for?
ISO-standard contactless cards
These highly secure, fraud-resistant cards will have supplanted practically all non-secure, mag stripe-only cards and continue to provide a low cost means of enabling users while adding a flexible display to the front of the card to display account balances, one time passwords, and more. NFC-compatible contactless cards will ride the wave of broad adoption and foster acceptance of the student ID at all locations on campus and many off-campus locations as well.
Having already established a presence in 2014 and expanding rapidly across financial and security solutions, NFC enabled mobile devices will have hit full stride by 2020, providing nearly all users with a ubiquitous user experience and the ability to use their mobile for transactions everywhere on and off campus.
Taking advantage of integrated biometrics and strong cryptographic capabilities the mobile device will offer not only a virtual representation of the ID but also incredible transaction capabilities. A user will be made aware of deals or usage opportunities nearby, redeem points or coupons on demand, obtain last minute tickets and then access facilities and events all with their mobile device.
Students will also use their mobile-linked identity for authentication in online transactions and high-security applications like testing. That ubiquity will be the key to widespread adoption and use, and the higher education sector will lead the way as it provides a 360-degree user experience for its constituents, giving rise to an ever increasing population of adult users who expect and demand similar services after graduation.
Multi-factor authentication can utilize two or more of something you know (a PIN), something you have (a card or mobile), and something you are (a biometric value). By 2020, biometric values alone will suffice for a number of transaction types.
Software and processor advances will reduce processing times and virtually eliminate the false positives and errors that plagued earlier uses of biometrics in one-to-many scenarios. While privacy concerns and laws may limit adoption in some areas, standards will evolve and ultimately pave the way to new, lower-priced solutions.
The resulting transaction data will prove invaluable to the university as it guides future investment. And when combined with academic records, transaction data can also help to identify at-risk students who may not be engaged, enabling universities to address their needs before it’s too late.
Consequently these advances will translate into a more engaged and productive student body, helping to ensure a better student experience, higher retention rates and ultimately the positive outcomes of graduation and more engaged alumni. A robust mobile credentialing strategy, in particular, will give alumni additional opportunities to engage with their alma mater and forge life-long connections.
Here and now
Of course these advanced transactions and resulting experiences will be made possible only by those institutions that have prepared their infrastructures to facilitate them.
The time to act is now. Waiting until 2020 will only put the institution further behind and make it more difficult to address the progressive students needs and expectations. All of the aforementioned innovations are rooted in technology and services that are here or are on the near horizon, and when taken in context this future state is only 5 short years away.
So develop and refine the strategic credential plan and commit to the ISO-standard solutions that will pay dividends for departments across the entire campus. Finally, invest with both confidence and a relative sense of urgency, as clearly the decisions made by an institution today will pave the way for the transactions of 2020 and beyond.
About the AVISIAN Publishing Expert Panel
At the close of each year, AVISIAN Publishing’s editorial team selects a group of key leaders from various sectors of the market to serve as Expert Panelists. Individuals are asked to share their unique insight into different aspects of the campus card market. During the months of December and January, these panelist’s predictions are published at CR80News.