Canada’s York University rolls out mobile student IDs to reduce plastic usage

Student holding York University Yu-card mobile student ID
DIGITAL ID: The YU-card can be used to access campus buildings and services and make purchases

Students and staff at York University in the Canadian city of Toronto can now store a digital version of their ID card on their Apple or Android device and use it to access university buildings, access on-site services including libraries, events and exams and make purchases at on-campus retail outlets.

The university has launched the digital version of its YU-card for all incoming students as part of an overall transition to mobile credentials that “for an institution of York’s size […] eliminates approximately 400 kilograms of plastic and polyvinyl chloride consumption per year”, the institution says.

“Mobile YU-cards create an important sense of identity and pride as a member of the York community, while being more efficient and cost effective,” the university’s Tom Watt says.

“Issuing mobile credentials saves an incoming class from approximately 12,000 hours of wait time every year and eliminates the replacement fee for lost cards, as mobile cards can be transferred to a new device for free.” 

“Two-factor authentication, required for mobile cards, also provides an additional layer of security and cards on lost devices can be revoked immediately to maintain security of campus buildings,” the university adds.

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