OneCard Technology FAQs

General Information on Contactless Smart Card Technology

1. Increased Security and Safety

Upgrading to contactless smart card technology bolsters physical access to buildings while strengthening logical access to networks, computers, documents, data, student health and financial records. Additionally, smart card embedded technologies inherently thwart fraudulent card use and card cloning, not only ensuring secure building access, but also protection for other card uses such as debit purchases. Migrating to a “smart,” secure credential can also eliminate the need for physical keys — that can all-too-easily be copied and are notoriously vulnerable to loss or theft.

2. Cardholder Convenience

Photo ID, residence hall key card, library card, Dining pass, bus pass – how many cards do today’s university students juggle. With contactless smart cards, institutions can combine of all of those functions onto a single, highly secure campus “one card” and not only streamline their operations but greatly enhance the campus credential experience for students and staff alike.

3. Greater Flexibility

Beyond on-campus convenience, multi-application smart cards allow for secure interoperability with off-campus applications such as transit and banking. What’s more, with the added flexibility that smart card technology affords, new applications or updates to existing applications such as library privileges or dining plans – can be added or modified at any time without having to issue new cards.

4. Long-term Efficiency Gains and Cost Savings

Multi-function smart cards provide improved security operations, more efficient workflows and easier management of ID programs for students, faculty, and staff.  Due to better risk management with the increased security of smart cards, universities may also experience reduced insurance premiums.

5. Path to the Future

Migrating to a unified, underlying smart card technology platform for all application needs affords institutions the ability to transition at their own pace as budget and resources allow — laying a solid foundation for adding new technologies and capabilities as they become available or increasingly more affordable.


Questions Asked by Users

What is a contactless smart card?
A contactless smart card contains a chip embedded with information that it allows the card to communicate with a reader. Unlike a card that requires physical contact between the card and reader, a contactless smart card only has to be near the reader to allow the secure data exchange between the card and the reader.

Smart Card Alliance. About Smart Cards: Frequently Asked Questions.  Retrieved from

Why are we moving to contactless?
Contactless smart cards will give UGA the ability to improve security for its students, faculty, and staff.  In addition, the new card will provide greater flexibility and convenience to cardholders and it will give UGA a stronger foundation to build on for future card services and uses. 

Can you steal my information if it is contactless?
The underlying technology UGA is choosing for its smart cards is MIFARE DESFire EV2 contactless. An EV2 transaction adds another layer of security to cards by requiring the chip to produce dynamic data (a unique code) for every EV2 transaction — further protecting the card from unauthorized use. This process makes EV2 card information more difficult to steal and therefore makes your EV2 card more difficult to counterfeit.

Can I still swipe my contactless card at campus locations?
Yes, the card will work in all existing and new locations. The card will still have the magstripe and barcode as well and the new EV2 technology.

Whom do I contact if I have a problem with my new contactless card?
The UGACard is the official University of Georgia identification card for students, faculty, staff, official campus visitors, and their dependents.

Lost UGACards​

Your UGACard is a cash card and because your UGACard is your key to all services on campus, you should protect it accordingly. 

The UGACard Office will email you at your UGA email address if your lost card has been turned in. 

Report It!

If you have a Paw Points or a Bulldog Bucks account, follow the instructions in the Bulldog Bucks FAQ for “What Should I do if I lose my card?”

If you have special access to buildings, rooms, labs, or other secured areas, contact your department’s access control administrator to disable your card’s access until you get it replaced.

Access to the residence halls, dining halls, and Ramsey Center require the use of a PIN or Iris Image, so a lost card on its own will not give someone access to those facilities. 

Replace It!

Come to the UGACard Office at the Tate Center during regular office hours.

What is the cost of a new EV2 card?
Once the UGACard Office begins issuing EV2 cards, the fee structure will be as follows:

  • New, first time card: $30.00
  • Lost/Stolen Replacement card: $35.00
  • Upgrade to EV2 Smartcard: $15.00 + turn in old card

Can I punch a hole in my card?
Do not punch a hole in your UGACard. Your new smart card contains an embedded circuit and antenna wiring which can be damaged with a hole punch or other misuse. The UGACard Office has inexpensive card holders available for your convenience.

How do I know if my card is smart?
The new UGACard with smartcard technology can be identified with “LEAF 2.1” on the back of the card, below the magnetic stripe.

Can I use my current card, for how long?
Yes, but it will depend on the buildings, labs, and/or other services that you need to access. The UGA OneCard project is a multi-year phase-in. Door locks and other card readers will be changed out as budgets allow.  At such time that the doors or services that you require are changed, you will be notified that it is time to visit the UGACard Office to get your new smart UGACard.

Will my building readers change?
Yes, all building readers at the Athens campus will be changed.

Will I be able to use my smart phone?
Mobile phone technology exists that can allow a person’s phone to serve the function as their card.  However, this technology is still maturing and is not yet able to properly serve as a replacement or alternative for physical campus cards at UGA.  UGA will continue to evaluate the usage of mobile phone technology for performing card functions in the future.

What information will be on the new card?
Your name, UGAID number, Card Issue Level, card issue date, and your official University affiliation (Faculty/Staff, Student, Campus Visitor, etc.) will be printed on the card. Your card’s full 16-digit number will be written to the encrypted chip embedded within the card, readable only by secure, UGA-managed card readers.

Will my dependents need to get a new card?
Eventually. The services that your dependents utilize will determine when a new card will be required.

What should I do with my old card if I get a new card?
If you are upgrading your active, most recently-issued UGACard to the new smartcard, you will turn in your old card and receive your new card at a discounted price. Any other old cards should be securely destroyed. You can also turn them in to the UGACard Office.

Can the new card get wet?
Smart cards are highly water resistant. However, you should avoid exposing your UGACard to extreme heat, cold, or moisture, such as washing machines and clothes dryers.

How do I get or replace a card if I don’t work on the Athens campus?
As is the current procedure, UGACards can be applied for at any of the three main UGA extended campuses (Gwinnett, Griffin, and Tifton). Contact the UGACard Office for more information.

Will the UGA ID be on the card?