Apple's iPhone 6 could become the new campus card at many colleges and universities, according to one campus card industry business consultant. 

For the past 50 years, colleges, universities, hospitals and corporate campuses have been issuing plastic cards and badges to their students and employees using a variety of card technologies. New hardware and software in devices like the iPhone 6 are paving the way for the transition to digital – using smartphones as both a secure form of identification and payment processing.

Robert Huber, who developed the "All Campus Card" concept in 1985, and which combined many traditional campus applications and consolidated them, along with a FLEXible spending account using a single card, envisions these same organizations, accepting user-provided mobile credentials, such as smartphones, in lieu of institution issued IDs.

"Most college students today purchase their own smartphones and manage their accounts via the web," reports Huber. "Using their phones as their new campus card will invariably be seen as an added convenience and customer benefit by most students."

Huber predicts, "I expect to see a wave of campuses shifting from plastic cards to user-provided virtual credentials by the end of the decade,"

The new Apple iPhone 6 includes features which are similar to many campus cards:

  • Apple Pay processes payments via a mobile credential.
  • Data encryption protects the privacy of personal credit card numbers.
  • An internal Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip (similar to Bluetooth Smart) is a more secure payment technology than traditional magnetic stripe cards.

 Huber said that Apple's introduction of this new technology via the iPhone 6 is a game-changer … one that Huber is now adding to his next "Campus Card Industry Forecast", which will be released on December 1, 2014