Vanderbilt University sign on brick wall

HID Global Enhances Student Experiences at Vanderbilt University; Enables IDs on iPhone & Apple Watch

Embracing the benefits of touchless access using smartphones, Vanderbilt University expanded its investment into campus safety and security by leveraging HID Mobile Access® to deploy campus IDs on iPhone and Apple Watch through Apple Wallet. 

The enhancement builds upon the university’s initial investment in mobile-enabled technologies from HID Global. These technologies capitalized on the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and mobile devices among students—90 percent of whom reside on campus throughout their Vanderbilt education—and faculty to create a campus-wide identity and access management program. 

The investment continues to pay dividends. “Keeping students safe is our top priority. HID Mobile Access was the optimal solution for protecting students and allowing Vanderbilt to move to a mobile solution for securely accessing our campus and services. The integration of campus IDs on iPhone and Apple Watch brings added convenience for our entire campus community,” said Mark Brown, Director of Business Services Technology with Vanderbilt University. “Beyond the convenience and security—two very important considerations—this mobile solution gives us the freedom to provision and modify credentials remotely, which has been significant for protecting the health of our students and staff during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.” 

Vanderbilt initially tapped HID Global to implement a mobile credential solution compatible with Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth technologies. HID Mobile Access, powered by Seos® credential technology, was deployed alongside a reader infrastructure comprising HID® Signo™ Readers, HID iCLASS SE® readers, and OMNIKEY® desktop readers to manage access to buildings. It complements the ecosystem by facilitating the usage of the already issued credentials for all other adjacent use cases. The solution allowed Vanderbilt administration to issue mobile credentials that let students, faculty, and staff access buildings and services with their mobile devices, as well as efficiently provision/de-provision credentials remotely without person-to-person contact. 

Elevating the Convenience Factor

Next, the university wanted to add support for credentials in Apple Wallet without compromising the existing access infrastructure or its security. This was easily accomplished by using HID Reader Manager to upgrade firmware on the university’s physical access control readers to extend support for NFC-based credentials in Apple Wallet. The university uses the flexible HID Origo™ Mobile Identities API integrated with CS Gold®, a higher education transaction system from CBORD, for credential lifecycle management.

With campus IDs in Apple Wallet, students can complete any action that would have previously required a physical ID card — both on and off campus — with just their iPhone and Apple Watch.  Students simply present their device to a reader to enter dorms, libraries, and fitness centers, buy lunch, make purchases at campus stores, pay for laundry, print documents, and more.

The university’s Commodore campus ID cards on iPhone and Apple Watch provide an extra level of security and privacy, so students do not need to worry about misplacing their physical card when they are enjoying campus life. Transaction history is never shared with Apple or stored on Apple servers. If a student misplaces their iPhone or Apple Watch, they can use the Find My app to immediately lock their device and help locate it.

We are pleased we can support Vanderbilt University in achieving its goal of delivering a safe, secure, and convenient mobile access solution with the added flexibility of supporting the Apple Wallet platform. With integrated HID Mobile Access, issuing credentials to new users is as easy as having them download the app, validate identity, and seamlessly add their credentials to Apple Wallet.