The State of Digital Transformation in Higher Education


The State of Digital Transformation in Higher Education


The State of Digital Transformation in Higher Education


Since the start of the pandemic, 63% of business leaders in a variety of industries stated they've embraced digital transformation sooner than originally planned.

However, this extends far beyond traditional businesses. Digital transformation in higher education is also accelerating and improving campuses through coordinated technology shifts that strengthen the institution's operations and strategic direction.

More importantly, digital transformation is increasing value and adding a new level of convenience and safety to the student experience.

As the need to keep up with the ever-changing campus environment continues, it's important, as an administrator, to stay on top of the digital transformation trends in higher education.


Student ID and Mobile Credentials

Mobile credentials are in high demand in the space of higher ed technology. They offer students a convenient way to access buildings (improving campus security), hold event tickets, manage meal plans and printing, pay at book stores and concession stands, and even track class attendance.

Their scan-and-go technology is opening the door for universities to fully transition to a touchless campus, a feature that plays into the students' requirements of:

  • Convenience
  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Health and safety


One of the primary reasons mobile credentials have gained traction on campuses is their ability to be personalized. Campus administrators can select goals and choose the capabilities and third-party vendor relationships they want to improve the student experience. The campus ID solutions can then be configured accordingly to match student and administrator needs.

The University of Alabama's partnership with Transact perfectly demonstrates the adaptability and value mobile credentials can add to the student experience - let's take a closer look.

Before implementing a mobile-centric campus ID solution, many problems presented themselves while the University relied on traditional student ID cards:

  • Students were constantly worried about losing their "action cards"
  • When students did lose their cards, campus security became a big concern
  • Accessing campus and paying for things wasn't a seamless experience

Administrators quickly realized the one device students don't lose is their own. So, with the help of Transact, they were able to implement mobile credentialing based on the campus' unique needs, which transformed it into a mobile-centric environment. Students were pleased with the convenience and the University was able to see an ROI on the investment generated from the cost of not having to replace traditional IDs and rekey locks.

Contactless Payments

As previously mentioned, mobile credentials open the door to more flexible payment options, and with the impacts of COVID-19, they became one of the go-to solutions for keeping students healthy and safe.

Contactless payments quickly became a sweeping trend, not just on college campuses but everywhere payments can be made. In fact, only 16% of consumers are still carrying physical cash, making it an opportune time to implement a cashless campus solution.


All students have to do is hover their enabled mobile wallet near a compatible card reader and it will pick up and complete the transaction. Contactless payments streamline the transaction process and offer students and administrators simplicity, accessibility, and flexibility, three traits highly valued in a campus setting.

Streamlined Student Purchasing On- and Off-Campus

Like contactless payments, streamlining student purchasing on- and off-campus is another need being met by a current trend.

As universities grow and find new ways to improve the student experience, it's apparent students need an easy way to connect all campus purchases across integrated point-of-sale solutions tied to campus ID cards or mobile credentials.

A prime example of Transact working to streamline student purchasing on- and off-campus is through our partnership with Gonzaga University.

Gonzaga was searching for a way to accept payments remotely, without connecting to an unsecured wireless network. For the University, it was essential to find a solution that exceeded PCI Council guidance for mobile payments and minimized data security risks that could negatively impact customers and merchants.

As a result, Gonzaga piloted Transact Payments ePayments for ticket sales at two national basketball tournaments. The PCI-compliant solution enhanced the ability to process payments at university ticket sales locations on- and off-campus.

The capability fully integrated with their existing system and provided the university a secure solution to use designated iPads for mobile payments. The streamlined higher ed payment solution, overall, was well-received by students.

Transact is Leading the Way for Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Digital transformation in higher education is moving quickly, and like 89% of companies across a variety of industries, there is a need for more agile and scalable IT that meets students' needs.

As you aim to improve the student experience, it's essential you stay on top of these trends and implement solutions as needed. It will keep your campus at the forefront of higher ed technology.

If you are searching for solutions that adjust as trends evolve, Transact is your go-to source. We are building technology for a connected campus.

Our Campus ID, Campus Commerce, and Integrated Payment solutions are built with the needs of students in mind, and ease of implementation and adaptability administrators appreciate.

We want to tailor capabilities to work best for your campus and your students. To learn how we can help make your campus a leader in digital transformation, contact us today!