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Sheridan presents mobile onecard business case as a model to peers

Newsroom authorby Cameron WoodJan 3, 2024

Aesha Brown presents at a podiumSheridan’s ground-breaking mobile onecard was front and centre last year as the college hosted several institutional peers as part of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) annual C3X Conference & Expo.  

The day-long workshop presented by Sheridan and TouchNet, a global payments company, told the story of how the institution went from concept to implementation and served as a case study for other Canadian schools looking to introduce mobile technology to their student identification. 

In August 2022, Sheridan became the first Canadian college to roll out the TouchNet OneCard Campus ID in Apple Wallet, enabling full-time students to use their iPhone and Apple Watch to access classrooms, labs, make purchases, and more. This service was expanded to Android users ahead of the Fall 2023 term. 

Full-time Sheridan students can conveniently and securely add their Sheridan onecard to their smartphone to complete any action they would previously complete with their physical onecard. Once the onecard is added to a student’s mobile device, it serves as their official student ID and enables students to tap to enter or tap to pay. This is done through integrations with TouchNet Campus ID and 360u app. 

Aesha Brown, Sheridan’s Associate Director, Business Services Projects and onecard, discussed the initiative’s ties to the college’s commitment to introduce more people-centric technology. She detailed the challenges faced, strategies employed, and shared essential insights intobest practices for a successful go-live experience. 
"We built a business case that aligned directly with (Sheridan’s) strategic plan. And what we do is try to embed the onecard into everything that students do on campus, using people-centric technology," Brown explained, underscoring Sheridan's commitment to innovation as a key enabler in the institution’s strategic vision. 

TouchNet Student PanelA panel of Sheridan students also offered their perspectives on the new mobile onecard, with an overwhelming agreement of convenience over having a plastic ID card. Students can use the mobile onecard to access classrooms, labs and athletic facilities, or pay for food services, printing and laundry machines in residence. 

Fourth-year Animation student Anita Guimaraes explained that as a student, having the mobile onecard on a digitial device provides not just better convenience and accessibility, but is also much more economical. “If you lose your plastic onecard ... you have to pay (to replace it),” she explained. “Or if you’re a forgetful person, it’s very inconvenient. But you always have your phone on you. It’s just easier.” 

Sharmeen Taheri, a recent graduate of Sheridan’s Child and Youth Care program, added, “In this day and age, we are switching over to digital more, and with that in mind, we are going forward in time. This is the next step to improving all our colleges.” 

Sheridan was the first Canadian college to introduce mobile student ID, and TouchNet’s first post-secondary partner in the nation. The project earned an Honourable Mention from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers’ (CAUBO) Quality and Productivity Awards Program in early 2023 for Sheridan being the first in Canada to launch a fully-functional mobile student ID program. 

Approximately 60 post-secondary peers attended the TouchNet-sponsored event. NACAS is an international professional trade association that supports the non-academic segment of higher education responsible for generating business through a diverse array of campus services. The association's annual C3X conference provides attendees with the opportunity to learn how other auxiliary and ancillary leaders are meeting students’ evolving needs. 

Pictured top right: Aesha Brown, Sheridan’s Associate Director, Business Services Projects and onecard, presents as part of the annual C3X Conference & Expo.  

Pictured bottom left: Students pose with TouchNet Product Marketing Manager Nadine Nelson. Back row, L to R: Anita Guimaraes,Vidhya Ganapathy Subramanian, Nadine Nelson. Front row, L to R: Alejandra Barahona Tijerino, Isabel Cordero, Sharmeen Taheri, Jennifer-Gloria Aremu.

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