In the past, students at the University of Iowa were required to carry multiple ID cards if they wanted to attend sporting events, access dormitories or perform a number of other daily academic-related activities. To make life easier for students, faculty and staff members, the school is rolling out a new program that will provide individuals with a single badge, according to a report by independent newspaper, the Daily Iowan.
Around 9,000 student ID cards - dubbed the Iowa One card - have been handed out so far. Many community members were already using badges for residence hall functions that required access control, the news source said.
"We have a campaign in progress to re-card the rest of the residents in the next three weeks," UI spokesman Tom Moore said, according to the Daily Iowan. "When that population is served, we will begin the conversion to the Iowa One card for other students, faculty and staff."
The Iowa One cards are contactless, which eliminates the need to students living in dorms to get a separate ID for access to their residence halls.
"[The Iowa One card] eliminates the need to carry the extra Prox card," UI sophomore Blake Jorgensen told the Daily Iowan. "I use it the same way I used my last one but I like the fact that I can use it and get access to my hallway."
Furthermore, the new student ID cards are integrated with local Hills Bank, allowing users to access bank accounts via their ID badges, the news source said. This process is not new, as the old ID card also had similar functions, but it gives Hills Bank a unique opportunity to appeal to incoming freshmen looking to have a local bank account.
"During orientation, we connected over 25 percent of the incoming freshmen with ID cards that are also attached to their bank accounts," said Ken Hinrichs, an executive at Hills Bank and Trust Co., according to the Daily Iowan. "There has also been very strong interest in new accounts with the IDs linked to the cards, as returning students have come back to school from the summer."
Using multi-functional, contactless ID cards is becoming more common throughout multiple industries, including education and the private sector. As advances in technology continue to drive innovation, ID cards will likely continue to be more useful to users.