Transact Campus ID Case Study

Pennsylvania State University

Penn State has implemented Transact Mobile Credential across 24 campuses, with an 84% adoption rate in just over a year


"Transact Mobile Credential has made a big difference, and it's exciting. It lays the foundation to create a digital campus at a beautiful place like Penn State." 

David Gindhart
David Gindhart, Associate VP, Business Technology Solutions, Pennsylvania State University

Replacing traditional student ID cards with the Penn State Mobile id+ card

Penn State joined four other higher education institutions in Pennsylvania in offering the Transact Mobile Credential. Students have adopted Mobile Credential, and as of spring 2023, PSU has over 25,000 provisions.

Students have faster entry to dining services—tap their phone and go

Transact Mobile Credential has enhanced PSU's operational efficiency by reducing wait times at dining halls and retail food facilities. Students can now enter without searching for a physical card simply by tapping their phones.

Integrate their one-card program to streamline package pick-up

Penn State's Mobile id+ card lets students use parcel lockers with Transact Mobile Credential and Luxer One® partnership.

Penn State and Transact Campus 

Pennsylvania State University is a public university with 24 campuses and 88,000 enrolled students throughout Pennsylvania. 

Penn State and Transact have been partners since the mid 1990s. We worked together to create education products for their one-card program, on-and-off-campus commerce, and payment options. 

Today, PSU offers many Transact products to simplify campus services and improve students' experience. These include Transact Transaction System Enterprise (TSE), Transact Online Photo Submission, Transact Mobile Credential, Transact Off-Campus Merchants, Transact ePayment, Transact Payment Plans, and more.  

David Synder, Associate Vice President of Auxiliary and Business Services at Penn State, said, "At Penn State, we don't want to be followers; we want to be leaders. It's all about what we can do to enhance our students' experience." 

Pennsylvania State University making the transition from plastic to mobile student ID cards 

Mobile Credentials are becoming popular on college campuses, and digital IDs have become crucial in school recruitment. A study by Transact found that 70% of Gen Z students prioritize digital Student IDs when selecting a college. 

PSU has partnered with Transact for more than 30 years because they are always looking for new solutions to stay competitive. 

Penn State University wanted to modernize its campuses and merge technology into physical spaces. David Gindhart shared, "We have something we call our digital campus initiative, and that is bringing advances in technology and fusing that into our physical campuses." 

Penn State used Transact TSE, a student ID management solution for higher education, and Transact Mobile Credential to give students access to campus through mobile and contactless versions of their id+ cards. This NFC-enabled technology is available on Apple, Samsung Wallet™, Google Wallet™, Apple Watch, and Samsung Galaxy Watch. It seamlessly integrates with Penn State's door access and security system, ensuring a smooth transition and enhanced security measures. 

Penn State collaborated with Transact for two years to update its campuses. They replaced brass keys and access cards with mobile student IDs for accessing buildings and facilities. With these mobile IDs, students can use their prepaid Lion Cash to pay for food or merchandise on and off campus. 

Zack Kyle, IT Project Manager at Pennsylvania State University, emphasized the collaborative effort, stating, "We were phasing out ID cards, and we landed where everyone else landed, Mobile Credential." The partnership between us and Transact helped that out. As a project manager, this is definitely one of the most impactful projects that I have ever worked on. I don't think there's anything that we'll do in the next couple years or the next decade that will change the student experience as much as this." 

David Synder echoed this sentiment: "This partnership with Transact and rolling out Mobile Credential has been a phenomenal experience." 

Transact Mobile Credential has improved Penn State's student experience while streamlining operations 

Penn State used different methods to inform students about Transact Mobile Credential. These methods included social media, banners, and printed materials. The goal was to ensure the success of the program. 

On day one, Penn State had over 13,000 students provisioned. By the spring of 2023, they had over 25,000 faculty, staff, and students provisioned.  

Launching the Mobile Credential system culminated two years of work, with significant adoption rates among students, faculty, and staff. 

David Gindhart stated, "The students understood the technology and what it was going to do for them; what we see from the students is that they love the convenience of it." 

Kayla, a Penn State student, echoed this: "Being a college student, I'm so busy, I have so many things I have to keep track of, and having to have my wallet with me, pull my card out of my wallet, that's just not something I want to have to worry about." 

Implementing Mobile Credentials has significantly improved student convenience. It has made it easier to get food and shop during busy times. 

In the past, students had to present their physical cards to the cashier. However, now they can tap their mobile phones to gain entry. 

David Gindhart states, "We're also seeing an impact in our operations. You can get long lines at places as large as Penn State, whether at the dining hall or retail food facilities. Those lines are getting smaller." 

Expanding Transact Mobile Credential into other PSU programs 

Penn State plans to continue innovating its Mobile Credential system, extending its use to other areas. David Gindhart empathized, "We're excited about some of the things we want to do in the future with this new technology.   

We can enable package pickup for our students using the Luxer One® lockers. And we're even looking into whether we can bring this technology into our vast alumni network." With these advancements, David reaffirmed Penn State's commitment to remain a leader in the technology space within higher education.  

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Mobile Credential
since launch

40Years in Business

12M+ Customers Served Annually

1.63+ million Mobile Credentials issued to students and staff at Transact Partner institutions

Key Reasons Campuses Nationwide Trust Us

App & Mobile Website Award Icon

2022 Gold Stevie® Award:
App & Mobile Website
Transact Mobile Credential

Most Innovative Tech Company Award Icon

2022 Silver Stevie® Award:
Most Innovative Tech Company
Up to 2,500 employees

New Product, FinTech Solution Award Icon

2022 Silver Stevie® Award:
New Product, FinTech Solution
Transact International Payments

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2022 Bronze Stevie® Award:
App & Mobile Website
Transact Mobile Ordering

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