‘Why Use a Card When I Have My Phone?’

One card campus access control closer moves to Near Field Communications


Villanova and University of San Francisco

The most comprehensive implementations of NFC in access control environments have been at Villanova and the University of San Francisco (USF). Both feature aptiQmobile and, in both cases, CBORD was the integrator.

CBORD’s CS Gold, the one-card system in use at both schools, fully supports NFC credentials and seamlessly integrates with the aptiQmobile web service, so the credential download process is easy. Students download the aptiQmobile application from the iPhone App Store to install One Card credentials to their phones. To use the credentials, they simply open the app and present the phone to the reader. Access and spending are quick, easy and secure.

Villanova has learned that using smartphones as badges saves time that can be better spent on other issues. Assigning the credential to the students’ smartphones takes less work than printing and delivering a badge. If a phone is lost or broken, a new ID can be reissued to the new phone without even having the students come to their office.

“Today’s students are so technologically advanced that it is second nature for them to put everything on their phones and, most of the time, it’s already in their hands while walking across campus,” explained Kathy Gallagher, Villanova University director of card services. “We want to provide our students the utmost in security, convenience and flexibility through the technology we offer. It’s easier for students to use an app on their phone versus digging for their card.”


One card enhancements

“We want our use of Near Field Communications to enhance the USF One Card experience on many levels, which is why we introduced it for both door access and laundry payment,” said Jason Rossi, director of One Card and Campus Security Systems, University of San Francisco. “Our students have embraced it, telling us they prefer the convenience of their iPhones to digging for their One Cards. This convenience is important to us, but equally important is the security of using their existing contactless credentials, keeping our transactions secure. The combination makes for a first-rate experience for our students and our staff.”

An added benefit of the aptiQmobile NFC solution is that the organization may not need to change out their locks to use it when it becomes commercially available. If smart-enabled Schlage AD-Series locks or Ingersoll Rand smart readers are already installed, they are already NFC-enabled. It’s simply a matter of downloading the credentials to the students’ phones and they are ready to go. If non-smart access technology is being used, multi-technology readers can be installed to help ease into the transition by reading both the ID badges and the smartphones.


April Dalton-Noblitt is the director, Vertical Marketing, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Carmel, Ind.