WMUB Reports: Virtual Bear Card


This year auxiliary services at Mercer began offering students the choice to use a virtual bear card on their phone instead of a physical card, to find out how this is working after the first couple months, I sat down with head of aux services, Ken Boyer.


Ken Boyer: Hi, my name’s Ken Boyer I’m the associate vice president for auxiliary services at Mercer University. I’d have to run the exact numbers for you now but about 70% of our incoming freshman class have adopted it. We are looking right now at other platforms and hope to be announcing something here in the very near future. The bear card is through apple wallet, it uses NFC communication process to apple wallet. Not really, we’re still finding our way through the process, some students are still learning, the biggest challenge was the multi factor authentication which is an increased security mechanism. With the program students on our campus were not used to using MFA to authenticate. We don’t want to have but one active credential  on campus at any given time, the reason being that if you were to lose your physical card and it being active, someone could be out transacting business on your behalf and you not be aware of it so we try to keep the security to one active credential at a time. With that being said the newer iPhones beginning with the 7 series on up have built in battery life that extends when the mobile credential will work even if the battery isn’t running other phone applications at the time for up to two hours after the phone dies. We’re still working with transact our transaction system provider and Apple to fine tune the processes including enhancements to work more seamlessly with vending machines across campus and with the bear print process but those processes are going well and we’re continuing to see growth in those areas every day.