OwlCard Goes Mobile: An Update


It has been a little over a month since Temple University’s student body and staff have been able to use their phones as their ID cards. OwlCard Mobile is available on Apple iPhones, Apple Watches and certain Android devices. It functions just like a regular ID card; granting access to buildings, meal plans and the ability to purchase with Diamond Dollars.

OwlCard Mobile is a pilot program with the educational technology company, Blackboard. Only six universities (including Temple) across the United States are part of this pilot program of digital ID cards.

A sizable portion of Temple students and faculty have signed up for the program: “6,800 people have downloaded the credential.” OwlCard Office Director, Scott Brannan tells us.

Students that have OwlCard Mobile say it’s a great “save” in case they lose their physical ID. It’s also just faster. “I forget my ID in my room all the time so having it like a backup on your phone is like a little comfort for me because like ‘aww. I forgot it… Ah it’s on my phone’. It’s also more convenient,” says freshman Lauryn Roberts.

However, some students are still opting for the classic plastic card.

Freshman Zai Karaha-Petion says she never thought about downloading the app: “I knew It was a thing. I was just like ‘I don’t lose my ID’ so I never really thought about it.”

A large portion of Temple’s student body has yet to use OwlCard Mobile, but Brannan expects more usage in the fall semester:

“We did it [the rollout] after the semester started. We did it in the spring semester, not the fall. I think you’ve always got a lot more interest in things in the fall semester…I think we’ll see a lot more adoption next year when the new class enters and the new transfer class [enters]. I think that will keep rolling current students into it.”

OwlCard Mobile is available to use on all of Temple’s US campuses including Center City, Ambler, and Health Sciences.

For instructions on setting up OwlCard Mobile, visit the OwlCard office’s website.

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