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How to use student ID cards with Apple Wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch

College students in the US can’t survive without their student ID cards.

They need them to access their dorms, classrooms, and buildings like the library and even to pay for laundry and dinners around campus. That means, if they lose it or leave it behind, it can be a pain to do even the simplest tasks. Luckily, Apple offers a way for some students to add their ID cards to Apple Wallet so that they can use an iPhone or Apple Watch in place of their physical ID.

Unfortunately, this feature is limited to over a dozen universities in the US. But Apple has plans to expand. To find out if your school supports student ID cards in Apple Wallet – and, if they do, how to set it up – keep reading.

Which universities support student ID cards in Apple Wallet?

Initially, since last autumn, only three universities supported student ID cards in Apple Wallet. Here’s the full list of universities as of August 2019:

  • Arkansas State University
  • Chowan University
  • Clemson University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Louisburg College
  • Marshall University
  • Mercer University
  • Norfolk State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Temple University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of North Alabama
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Vermont

How to add your student ID card to Apple Wallet

Getting started

Here’s what you need to use your student ID card in Apple Wallet:

  1. An Apple device: iPhone 6 and later (running latest version of iOS), or Apple Watch Series 1 and later (running most recent version of watchOS).
  2. eAccounts app: Available from the App Store, this app is used by your school to confirm your identity and generate secure passwords.

You’ll need to sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID. You can use your student ID on up to two devices with the same Apple ID.

Add your student ID card to Apple Wallet

  1. Sign in to the eAccounts app with your school ID and password.
  2. Tap Add to Apple Wallet and follow the prompts on your screen.

School credentials on Apple devices are protected by two-factor authentication.

Remove your student ID card in Apple Wallet

  1. On your iPhone: open Wallet, tap your student ID card, tap the three-dot icon, and tap Remove Card. Or open Settings, tap Apple Wallet and Apple Pay, tap your student ID card, and tap Remove Card.
  2. On Apple Watch: Open Apple Wallet and tap and hold your student ID card. When the remove icon appears, tap Remove Card. Or, in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap Wallet and Apple Pay, tap your student ID card, and tap Remove Card.

How to use your student ID card with iPhone or Apple Watch

It’s easy: Hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near a reader anywhere physical student ID cards are accepted. You can do this wherever you use your student ID card – your dorm or library, the campus bus, the cafeteria, etc. And, yes, you can leave your physical student ID card at home.

Express Mode on

Express Mode is on by default when you add your student ID card so that you can hold the top of your iPhone or the display of your Apple Watch within a few centimeters of the middle of the card reader until you feel a vibration. You’ll see Done and a checkmark on the display. You won’t need to validate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode, or even wake or unlock your device to open an app.

Express Mode off

However, if you turn off Express Mode, you’ll need to authenticate on iPhone via Face ID, Touch ID – and then you can hold the top of your iPhone within a few centimeters of the contactless reader until you see Done and a checkmark on the display. On Apple Watch, double-click the side button to access your cards, and swipe to select your ID card. Then hold the display up to the card reader.

  1. To turn off Express Mode: Open Wallet, tap your ID card, tap the three-dot icon, and tap the Express Mode on/off button.

How to manage student ID funds in Apple Wallet

You can add money to your student ID card account with Apple Pay or a credit or debit card – as long as you’ve set it up in the eAccounts app or added money via your school’s self-service machines.

View account balance on iPhone

  1. Open the Apple Wallet app.
  2. Choose your card. You’ll see up to three account balances on the front of your ID card.
  3. If you want to see more balances, tap the three-dot icon.

View account balance on Apple Watch

If you’ve added your card to your Apple Watch, you can view account balances in the Wallet and Apple Pay apps on your Apple Watch.

Want to know more?

Check out Apple’s news announcement and support page here.


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