Digital Bear Cards Coming Soon for iPhone and Apple Watch

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Mercer Among First Institutions to Partner with Apple, Blackboard on Mobile ID

MACON/ATLANTA – Mercer students, faculty and staff will soon have the opportunity to make their Bear Card and their iPhone or Apple Watch one in the same.

At the start of Summer Session 1 on May 20, members of the Mercer community will be able to add their Bear Card to Apple Wallet and use their iPhone and Apple Watch to access buildings and facilities, buy lunch, go to the University Center, register for events and more.

Additionally, incoming freshmen attending the “Make it Mercer” event this weekend will have the opportunity to provision their digital Bear Card for use when they begin classes this fall.

“We want to give our community choice and convenience,” said Ken Boyer, associate vice president for Auxiliary Services. “Students always have their phones close at hand. Now, they have the convenience of their Bear Card with it, too. They don’t have to worry about losing their card or digging it out of their pocket or purse to get in a building. They can tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the reader and unlock the door or pay for a sandwich.”

Mercer is among the first institutions to launch contactless campus IDs in Apple Wallet, joining the likes of the University of Alabama, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Temple University and the University of Oklahoma.

Bear Card in Apple Wallet, which works with the iPhone 6 and later and Apple Watch Series 1 and later, is not only convenient but also provides greater security for those who may lose their plastic card as it requires multifactor authentication on the device to keep the card information secure.

Mercer will continue to offer the option of a physical Bear Card.

Bear Card in Apple Wallet is part of a five-year plan by Mercer Auxiliary Services to transition the campus ID from traditional Mag Stripe cards to the more secure MIFARE DESFire EV2 contactless card technology. This new card technology will offer the Mercer community a truly convenient touch-and-go experience thanks to increased operating distance and speed, and greater security and reliability with advanced encryption.

Auxiliary Services worked with a number of partners, including Blackboard Transact, the vendor that supplies the software for the campus transaction system, as well as Allegion and others. Reader devices across the University and at businesses around Macon that accept Bear Bucks have been updated to accept contactless cards and mobile credentials.

For more information on Bear Card in Apple Wallet, visit auxiliary.mercer.edu/bear-card/.

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Kyle Sears