PennCard to move to RFID technology

The University has announced that it is introducing new RFID technology which will transition from the magnetic stripe currently used on the PennCard, the University’s identification card, to a contactless chip. A contactless card has an embedded chip and antenna which transmits the Penn ID when it is held within a few inches of the card reader.

This technology will offer a number of benefits to the Penn community including:

  • Improved security of access & card technology on campus;
  • Faster transaction speed eases access;
  • The ability to integrate the PennCard for use in other systems; and
  • Enhanced operational efficiency by standardizing card technology.

In addition, the transition to chip technology allows the University to better position itself for future developments and applications in card technology such as the integration with SEPTA’s plans for its new payment technology.

The Project is jointly sponsored by the Divisions of Business Services, Public Safety, and Information Systems and Computing.  Please address any questions about the project to