Blugold IDs now digitally available

You can now carry your Blugold ID on your phone

More stories from Winter Heffernan

April 3, 2023

Photo by Winter Heffernan

Forgot your ID? You can now use your phone.

Blugold cards have now entered the digital realm and can be used on your phone, tablet or smartwatch. Whether you are a student, faculty or staff member, the card you use to access buildings and make transactions no longer has to be fished out of your wallet.

“The digital ID can be used anywhere your physical Blugold ID card would be used,” Kent Gerberich, the chief information officer and director of the UW-Eau Claire’s Learning and Technology Services, said.

According to the new mobile ID card webpage, the process of setting up a digital ID is different between Apple and Android users. 

“It is very straightforward and basically involves downloading the application to your smartphone and signing in with your UWEC credentials,” Gerberich said.

Android users must go to their connection settings; from there they must enable and turn on near-field communication (NFC). Then the user must make sure Google Wallet is their default payment application. The process after this point is similar for Apple and Android users. 

The user must download the Transact eAccounts Mobile app. Once the app is opened, the user must search for the UW-Eau Claire and log in. Finally, the user must hit add to wallet. 

For more specific instructions and troubleshooting, visit the digital ID webpage or email the UW-Eau Claire LTS help desk.

Gerberich said the digital ID app is secure as long as the user’s phone is password locked, or has some other form of authentication like facial or touch ID.

“These mobile IDs are very safe. They are stored in the same place where your credit cards are,” Joseph Dokken, the Information Technology commission director, said.

Gerberich said the process of allowing digital IDs took a little over a year.

Dokken said his involvement was mainly in marketing the project. He said the project team included Daren Bauer, Mike Lutz, Dan Drumm and Craig Ernst. The whole project was overseen by Gerberich.

“The first big step was finalizing the quote and getting everything purchased. From there a number of backend systems had to be updated,” Gerberich said. “But, by far the biggest step was updating all 1000-plus doors on campus to allow for the digital ID to be used.”

Gerberich said that there are some discussions starting to decide if the digital ID will become the primary form of identification and replace the physical card. He said nothing has been decided at this point, however.

Gerberich said that since the majority of students have phones on them on campus, digital IDs are great for using services that would normally be only accessible with a physical ID.

“I have it on my phone and have used it. It works very well,” Dokken said, “It has come in handy for me because I do not carry my ID around. Before the mobile ID, there were a few instances I had forgotten the physical card.”

For more information on the new form ID, visit the official announcement webpage, or email [email protected].

Heffernan can be reached at [email protected].