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The Campuscard App – A secure solution to the NFC problem

6 pagesPublished: August 9, 2023


The Campuscard Berlin is the largest unified student ID system in Europe with 140 000 student IDs at ten universities. The system has been developed in house by the Service Center Campuscard at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with major innovations to the student ID process. As a continuation, we started to develop a Campuscard App as a next-generation solution, which should completely emulate the physical cards, so that the users only need to use their smartphones.
With the NFC-based infrastructure in Berlin in place and no way of modification, we needed to find a way to create an app, which can emulate NFC and securely communicate with the card-readers of the service providers. In addition, we had the requirement of data privacy, so that we were very much discouraged to use Google Wallet or NXP Mifare2Go if any other solution was possible.
This was accomplished by creating a ground-breaking solution, which to our knowledge has not been tried anywhere else, the cloud-based secure element.
This enables a host-card emulation with integrated security, without using the local secure-element of the device, which, because of the lack of standardization, would make testing of the app very problematic. Our solution solves this by moving this component to the server side, thereby standardizing it and making testing of the devices more manageable.
The development of our app was started in 2019, and we plan with full feature roll-out by mid-2023.

Keyphrases: Campuscard App, NFC, Security, Smartcards

In: Jean-François Desnos and Martín López Nores (editors). Proceedings of European University Information Systems Congress 2023, vol 95, pages 216--221

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Tamas Molnar and Dominik Dreiner},
  title     = {The Campuscard App -- A secure solution to the NFC problem},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of European University Information Systems Congress 2023},
  editor    = {Jean-Fran\textbackslash{}c\{c\}ois Desnos and Mart\textbackslash{}'in L\textbackslash{}'opez Nores},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {95},
  pages     = {216--221},
  year      = {2023},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/nq66}}
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