August 10, 2023

Purdue Mobile ID, Mobile First effort kicks into high gear this week with Boiler Gold Rush, Boiler Gold Rush International orientation

Volume turns up for 10,000 incoming Boilermakers for fall semester

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Beginning this weekend, nearly 10,000 incoming Purdue University students will discover the ease of use, convenience and enhanced security from a Purdue Mobile ID for accessing residence halls and campus buildings, making BoilerExpress transactions and even paying for laundry.

Kicking the Purdue Mobile ID implementation efforts into high gear are Boiler Gold Rush International (Aug. 12-14) Boiler Gold Rush (Aug. 15-19) orientation sessions for incoming undergraduates. These activities will lead up to the first day of classes for the fall semester on Aug. 21.

All incoming Purdue undergraduate students will be issued Purdue Mobile ID — and not a physical identification card — as part of Purdue’s innovative move to a Mobile First ID system. More than 8,000 incoming students participating in BGRi, representing 24 countries, and BGR for domestic students will be the first major groups to go through the Purdue Mobile ID experience in what will become a new normal on the university’s West Lafayette campus.

“‘Mobile First’ is a strategy used by many universities, and at Purdue, all incoming new students for the upcoming fall semester will be issued a Purdue Mobile ID, which will become their primary identification on campus,” said Tim Riley, university bursar and assistant controller for Purdue. “Physical ID cards, meantime, will be provided as an alternative to undergraduate students who do not have a smartphone device or if theirs is not compatible with Purdue’s new mobile credentials system.”   

Additional Information

Within the Mobile Credentials system launched as Purdue Mobile ID is the Mobile First strategy, which calls for all new students beginning in summer and fall 2023 to have a mobile ID on their smartphones and smartwatches. Mobile First’s goal at Purdue is to eliminate the need for hard-copy ID cards for all 50,000 West Lafayette students over the next few years. 

A $25 fee will be assessed for a hard-copy Purdue ID card, and a process is in place for students who can explain why the fee should be waived, said Loribeth Hettinger, senior associate bursar of ID Card Operations/Support.  

Graduate students also may need physical cards because some academic buildings, laboratories and other facilities will still require the physical Purdue ID card for access in the short term. 

Faculty and staff on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus will continue to use physical IDs and are not participating in the Purdue Mobile ID program, Hettinger said.  

Since the launch of Purdue Mobile ID on April 19, over 17,000 Purdue students have downloaded the Transact eAccounts app for using Purdue Mobile ID, including 7,550 planning to attend this fall and 4,270 new students who enrolled this summer, Hettinger said.

Through Purdue Mobile ID, students can add their ID to Apple Wallet or Google Wallet and use their iPhone, Apple Watch or Android devices to access campus buildings, purchase meals and more, Hettinger said. Using Purdue Mobile ID, students can simply hold their device near a reader to access residence halls and campus buildings, make transactions using BoilerExpress, use their meal plans and even pay for laundry.

Purdue has been laying the groundwork to launch Transact Mobile Credentials since 2013, first by updating campus infrastructure for door readers and point-of-sale devices to be mobile-ready. Purdue is installing contactless and tap-to-pay technology using the Transact system through a phased approach across campus. 

Purdue Mobile ID was led by Purdue’s ID Card Operations/Support, in partnership with Student Life and Purdue Information Technology. The new Purdue Mobile ID for students is enabled for smartphones via Transact Mobile Credentials.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini,, 765-430-6189 

Sources: Tim Riley, 

Loribeth Hettinger, 

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