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York University is the latest to go digital with mobile identification cards

Moving away from plastic is more sustainable, efficient and aligned with student expectations.


York University is the latest institution to usher in digital identification cards. The mobile YU-card can be uploaded onto phones and into digital wallets to access buildings and services – such as libraries, meal plans and recreational facilities – on the Toronto-based university’s three campuses. Students, staff and faculty will still be able to obtain plastic cards, but the YU-card will have additional features, such as easy access to campus security and safety phone numbers and increased security through two-factor authentication.

In 2021, the University of New Brunswick became the first Canadian University to issue digital ID cards.

At York, the digital ID card  is also estimated to cut 400 kg of plastic and PVC consumption and save more than 12,000 hours in queue time at the YU-card office per year. Darrick Chin, manager of the YU-card office, said that the new system demonstrates York’s commitment to innovation and sustainability – and is more aligned with student needs. “We know that students have an expectation for digital services,” he said.

In the first few weeks since the launch, over 65 per cent of incoming students had opted for the mobile card.

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