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Digital Wallet UX Study

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8am - 10pm

All service hours

In November 2018 the UX Team explored user awareness and use of digital wallets and digital student card technology on campus.

Research Questions

  • Do users know about digital wallet technology? Do they use it?
  • What do users think of a digital student card option? Do they imagine they would use it? Why? Why not?


  • We conducted in-person guerrilla style surveys with 35 users in the library and University Centre
  • We completed an environmental scan on digital wallet/digital student card use in academic and public libraries throughout North America and Europe

What did we Learn?

  • Having access to a digital student card is not a pressing concern for students, most had not considered the idea of having an electronic version of their card before
  • Most students we spoke with did not use a digital wallet to store their loyalty and debit/credit cards. The small minority of students who did use digital wallets used Apple Wallet
  • Some students liked the idea of having a digital card because of convenience, and the peace of mind in having a backup option in case they forget their card
  • Those that disliked the idea worried about technical difficulties, privacy, attachment to technology, and exclusion of those without compatible phones
  • Our environmental scan revealed that academic libraries rely heavily on physical cards and the idea of adopting a digital card is still in its infancy

Our Recommendations

  • Consider relaxing the current library policy that requires students to have a physical student card to borrow library materials
  • Consider revising the library website to explicitly state that students require their physical student cards to check out library materials
  • Reach out to other university departments, such as Resident Life or Hospitality Services, to see if digital wallet technology is on their radar. If necessary, they could take the lead with the library as an important partner.

Year of Study


The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: lib.a11y@uoguelph.ca