Mobile student ID coming soon to Android devices

Eight months after the launch of a mobile Bear Card for Apple devices, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Ken Boyer said the digital credential will become available for Android devices in the second quarter of 2020.

“The Google version of the mobile credential in Google Wallet has been in beta testing at Mercer since early fall,” Boyer said. “We are using the results of this test to fine-tune and advance the platform for general release later this year.”

According to previous reporting by The Cluster, the mobile Bear Card was first available for Apple devices in late May 2019. Boyer said 3,198 students, faculty and staff have enabled the digital ID since.

The Office of Auxiliary Services anticipates that 2,500 more users will sign up once the Android option is available.

Some students told The Cluster in 2019 that older versions of Apple devices did not allow them to use their mobile Bear Card once the battery ran out. However, Boyer said most users “have been very supportive in the university’s efforts to bring these services to our campus community.” 

Why? One reason is that the mobile option is more sustainable.

“While we still offer the plastic Bear Card and the choice is the users’, it is our hope as the service continues to develop more and more, people will choose the mobile credential, which is environmentally more friendly,” he said.

Boyer said the Android ID option is not the only new initiative from Auxiliary Services planned for 2020. The office recently installed a Pharmabox, a vending program offering over-the-counter medicines and health products, in Tarver Library.

Auxiliary Services also oversees Mercer Dining and Mercer Mail & Document Services.

“Mercer Dining continues to introduce new and enhanced services, meal options and sustainable refill cups and programs on both the Macon and Atlanta campuses,” Boyer said. “Mercer Mail & Document Services has a new graphics and design manager to assist students, faculty and staff with print projects.”