The Manhattan College ID card is essential for every student looking to make his or her way around campus. Without it, you can’t swipe into Locke’s, enter a dorm building or use the fitness center. But soon students can replicate some of the features of their physical ID cards by using an item that most never leave out of their reach—their smartphones.
This week Manhattan College ITS is launching the pilot of a digital version of the Jasper card that will be available for use on mobile devices.
“Sometimes people forget their cards and they can’t get into the fitness center or some other things. But they always carry their phones with them,” Cindy Duggan said. Duggan is the assistant director of web and collaboration for ITS and managed the mobile Jasper card project.
The digital Jasper card will soon allow students to access the fitness center and make purchases at some dining venues through newly installed optical scanners. As of press time, those specific dining locations were not yet finalized. Depending on the success of the pilot program this spring, usage of the mobile Jasper card may be widened to other areas around campus.
“I see it expanding, but I’m not sure if you would have access to the dorms,” Duggan said. “We’re seeing how it goes.”
In addition to having the functionality of the physical Jasper card, the mobile version will also display the remaining balance for a student’s ACDs and Jasper Dollars.
“It uses the existing payment channels; it’s not using Apple Pay or anything like that.” Duggan said. “You can deposit your money like you currently do.”
Once the pilot is launched, students can log-on to Self-Service and download their personal pass file for use on their smartphones.
The digital card will be available for both iOS and Android devices, utilizing the Wallet/Passbook and Pass2UWallet applications respectively.
Those who download their mobile Jasper card can also be alerted on where to use it from new beacons installed by ITS around campus. Bluetooth technology will send a notification to a phone’s lock screen informing that the digital Jasper card is accepted nearby.
As initially reported by The Quadrangle this past fall, the idea for a digital Jasper card as part of broader Manhattan College smartphone app was originated by ITS summer interns Michael Fulton and Joseph Reiss.
The app is currently still in the development stage and hopes to be released sometime in the near future.
“Going forward we hope to incorporate it [the digital Jasper card] into the app. But right now we see it as a separate thing that was easier to roll out,” Duggan said in explaining why the digital Jasper card was released first.
“It was good the students investigated these things because they know what we should be doing,” Duggan said. “It was good involving them on this project, because it helped us all learn what we need to do to address the mobile world today.”
She believes that the student body and even faculty and staff members will be receptive to using the digital Jasper Card around campus.
Freshman Eileen Becerra is looking forward to the launch of the pilot.
“I think this is a great idea, especially for students who are always forgetting their IDs,” she said. “There won’t be a need for them to back to their rooms anymore.”