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Upgrading the University ID for access and cashless transactions

Photo Credit: University of the Philippines/Misael Bacani

Students and employees of the University of the Philippines (UP) are about to bid farewell to their barcoded ID as the new and improved radio frequency identification (RFID)/near-field communication (NFC) cards will be rolled out soon.

According to a recent press release, the University has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with a prepaid online payment app for the creation and deployment of the cards.

Not only that, but this will also come with the accompanying facilities needed for the use of the new UP ID.

Background of the initiative

As shared by the University President, the project was initially envisioned as a meal card for the students who are on scholarship programs with food allowance.

When IT experts in the University were asked how it they can employ a system similar to some establishments wherein money is loaded onto a card and the card is used to buy food and beverages, the online payment app came up, since the company already has that system.

Coincidentally, the company was also looking at the University as a potential partner for the deployment of its services.

From the original plan of merely being a meal card, the project evolved into the “powered up” UP ID, where students can receive their allowances and stipends, and pay for dormitory and other school fees, among others.

The company’s Founder and CEO emphasised that the partnership with the University will play a big part in an even broader initiative toward digital financial inclusion in the country.

He added that there is a confluence of objectives between their company’s undertakings and the goal of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which is to have at least 20% of all commercial transactions digital by 2020.

Benefits of a digital ID

Primarily, the purpose of the RFID/NFC UP ID is for internal University transactions. These transactions include those in libraries, offices, and cafeterias.

Moreover, the ID will be used for access and timekeeping.

Students and employees across the whole UP System will have the option to avail of the company’s financial services, which are external to the University.

However, for this to work, the users need to have these as the new UP IDs to be issued are inactive for these services.

These additional external financial services by the company are not endorsed by the University nor are required by the University of its constituents.

Should the UP ID owners decide to enable these services, provided that the cards are valid and active, theirs will be a private and personal agreement with the company.

The deployment of the new UP ID is expected to begin in August of this year.

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