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Apple's Wallet makes room for college student IDs

Students at an initial three universities will be able to use their iPhones or Apple Watches to make payments or get into their dorms.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

Student IDs at some universities, including Duke, can now be stored in the Wallet on iPhones and Apple Watches.

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Students now will be able to get into their dorms and pay for meals in the university cafeteria using just their iPhones or Apple Watches.

Starting Tuesday, students from three US universities will be able to add their student IDs to the Apple Wallet on their devices. That lets them use their phones and watches to pay for items or access buildings on campus like the gym or school library. All they have to do is hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near the readers where physical student ID cards are scanned, on and off campus. 

"When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet," Jennifer Bailey, Apple's vice president of internet services, said in a press release. "We're now thrilled to be working with campuses on adding contactless student ID cards to bring customers even more easy, convenient and secure experiences."

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The virtual student IDs arrive at Duke University and the universities of Alabama and Oklahoma on Tuesday. They'll expand to Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara and Temple universities by the end of the school year. 

Other universities also can roll out the service, but it's not as easy as a retailer buying an NFC reader and automatically accepting Apple Pay. Instead, the schools have to partner with Apple to be sure the integration works. 

The move is the latest push by Apple to make its devices even more indispensable. It's also a way to move its Apple Pay mobile payments service beyond just payments. The service initially started in late 2014 as a way to pay for items in stores without taking out a wallet, but Apple Pay now works with transit, loyalty cards and tickets. 

CEO Tim Cook famously has said Apple plans to "kill cash."

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