Dan Gretz is the senior director of market development at Transact Campus Inc. and led their go-to-market planning for Transact Mobile Credential.
Transact Mobile Credential for Google Pay is a boon for students, faculty and staff-members, allowing them to access contactless facilities and make quick and seamless payments across campus. One of 15 finalists selected from 90 entries in five categories—NFC Forum judges awarded Transact for its market-leading innovation Transact Mobile Credential, which supports NFC-based student IDs natively for both Apple Wallet and Google Pay.
NXP’s Tanja Leimenstoll spoke with Dan Gretz about their mobile credential solution and NFC.
NXP: Tell us about Transact Campus Inc. when did you first consciously get in contact with NFC?
Our move to Transact Mobile Credential began a decade ago. In 2010 we began supporting NFC-based physical ID cards in our solution and shipping the first NFC-capable devices.
NXP: How did you come up with your business idea?
Students have simply come to expect compelling mobile experiences in their daily lives, including access to campus services. At Transact, we started the journey to exceed those expectations long ago as we saw the power of the ubiquitous use of a campus ID card, culminating with our award-winning Transact Mobile Credential—a secure NFC-based contactless solution that allows the student ID to be added to Apple Wallet or Google Pay on students’ iPhones, Apple Watches, and Android phones, and used all over campus for fast, safe and secure contactless transactions. That innovation path continues for us to help our clients transform their student experience.
NXP: What does your application do to make a change in everyday life, and how does it use NFC?
Transact Mobile Credential lets students and staff use their campus IDs through the mobile phone which is inevitably already in their hands. Guided by a mobile-first philosophy, Transact is the first and only campus credential provider to offer native NFC contactless mobile IDs in both Apple Wallet and Google Pay. Transact Mobile Credential helps schools minimize lines and crowds to adhere to social distancing requirements and gives students a contactless and convenient way to transact with their student IDs on their phones for retail, dining, laundry, vending and ticketing, plus contactless access control to residence halls and campus buildings. Transact Mobile Credential is supported on all NFC-enabled Transact-manufactured reader hardware and third-party access control, vending and printing readers that support NFC.
NXP: In one sentence, how would you explain to a child what and why you’re doing this?
Transact Mobile Credential puts the campus ID on students‘ phones and watches.
NXP: Why did you choose NFC?
The high security and ease of use are what led us to choose NFC for our mobile credential. Particularly in the university space, it is of utmost importance that mobile credentials are safe and secure. Of equal importance, with numerous high throughput areas on campus, universities require fast transactions. Whether processing thousands of transactions an hour in the campus dining hall, or admitting ten thousands of students to a weekend football game, fast transactions are critical to the student experience.
NXP: What are you working on now for your next-gen product?
Our focus right now with the Transact Mobile Credential is working on a path for more rapid adoption across all types of schools. NFC and Mobile Credential have been huge initiatives for us, but there’s no finish to this. We have many clients still using physical cards, so adoption continues and we want to make that process as simple as possible, so schools can serve their students‘ expectations. This is a continuum. We’re constantly looking for new ways to improve the student experience, the response time and delivering the right service to the right users at the right time.
NXP: How do you see NFC and applications like yours evolving over the longer term? What do you think is crucial for the further penetration of NFC applications?
As NFC Mobile Credentials are part of our broader ecosystem of organic and third-party solutions, we have an opportunity to create amazing experiences that touch every aspect of a student‘s daily life. This unique, ubiquitous user experience demands that each use case can be supported, so it will be critical to continue the support of related specs from Apple Pay and Google Pay.
NXP: From your personal point of view, which (other) NFC application should be part of a smart home/living in future?
While our view is geared toward the student living experience, we believe that the work being done on these college campuses is a perfect preview of the smart home of the future. These students will graduate and leave campus, expecting these NFC-facilitated experiences to continue in their daily lives at work, home and play.
NXP: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
NXP Semiconductors’ secure MIFARE 2GO cloud service is designed to manage digitized MIFARE product-based credentials. The service enables scalability across all compatible Android NFC-enabled phones and now gives students convenient mobile access to campuses. For more information visit nxp.com/MIFARE2GO.