Samsung’s now offering new digital student ID support in its own Wallet app. Galaxy users, specifically those who have recent A, S, or Z series devices, will be able to pull up their campus card to access facilities and food at a tap around supported institutions just as easily as using Samsung Pay.
The news comes as Samsung gets ready to announce new devices, including its latest foldable phones, at its yearly Unpacked event next Wednesday.
Back in my day, we had to carry around ugly plastic student ID cards to tag ourselves into smelly weight rooms and grab dry burgers on a meal plan. Today, some students have gone through school and earned a four-year degree without ever needing to carry a physical card.
Early on, Android phones occasionally had to rely on a dedicated app for a particular school’s system, but later, companies like Transact helped universities build solutions that can integrate cards into Google Wallet as well. That same solution will now let students add the NFC-tappable campus ID to Samsung Wallet instead if they’d like. Samsung’s Wallet app made an official return last year to bring together digital keys, pay cards, and even crypto.
Apple’s had contactless student ID support for several years. Schools like Johns Hopkins in Baltimore enabled electronic IDs in 2019, which nestled itself nicely into Apple’s Wallet app alongside students’ first credit cards and concert tickets.
To add a supported school ID to Samsung Wallet, you’ll need to download the Transact eAccounts Mobile app from the Google Play Store, set it up, and add it to the wallet. Student IDs on Samsung Wallet will work even when users’ Galaxy devices are on Power Reserve mode, so a dead battery won’t leave them stuck outside their dorm at 3AM.
Not all Samsung devices will work; you’ll need one of the following US-model Galaxy phones with Samsung’s eSE embedded secure element and Android 12 or higher:
- Galaxy S Series: S20 or later (some S20 FE 5G models may not work)
- Galaxy Note Series: Note20
- Galaxy Z Series: Flip 5G, Fold 5G, Z Flip 2, and Fold 2 or later
- Galaxy A Series: A53
Samsung will also be releasing support for student ID on Galaxy Watches this fall. Although the company hasn’t provided a list of its wearables that will work, it’s safe to assume at least one will.
Some of the first schools to support student IDs on Samsung Wallet include Penn State, the University of Florida, Central Michigan University, the University of North Alabama, and the Stevens Institute of Technology. In total, the company currently has support from 68 higher-education institutions in the US.