Mobile Phones Can Now Replace ID Badges

Access Insights News Tagged

In this age of mobility, there’s a lot we can do from our phones. We do our banking, we keep in touch, we manage our schedules, we watch the news…and every day the list of things we can do is growing. Our phones have even begun to replace the contents of our wallets. With the introduction of services like ApplePay and thumbprint technology,

 We can order and pay for coffee, verify our identities, and pay bills.  So, why are we still bothering to carry around cumbersome access cards on college campuses, or in office building to gain access?  Not any more…

The Benefits:

How many times has a student or employee forgotten or lost their access credential?  To most people their cell phone is their life line to the entire world.  It is not easily lost or forgotten or at least not for very long.  By installing a simple app on a phone its now possible to have a person’s cell phone act as their ID badge and access card.

The benefits of switching out access cards and utilizing the technology on our phones to replace them are innumerable. But, her are a few important ones.

 Increased Security: Mobile apps use an encrypted smart card technology versus traditional ID access card technology which is far less secure.  Mobile credentials can’t be easily cloned like standard ID cards therefore provide greater security and protection.

 Lower Costs: Manufacturing Photo ID cards is expensive. Replacing lost or damaged costs adds to that expense. The proximity card, the ribbon, and the printing systems can be very expensive when you add them all together.

Convenience: It’s simply easier and more convenient to carry around your phone, as you already do, then add another card or key fob to the list of things you need to remember.

The Technology

So, how is it done?

There are a few technologies that make these tasks possible. Near Field Communication (NFC) is one and it may already be in your phone, embedded in a chip. With this technology, your phone would scan just like an access card. NFC is simply a form of radio-frequency identification and gives off information that another device can read. With NFC, you must hold your phone up to the device reading it, just like an access card.

Readers are also employing BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy technology to turn your phone into an access card. Just like traditional Bluetooth that currently communicates with your car, or wireless headset, BLE simply has a smaller read range and consumes less energy.  BLE technology is also enabled on iOS devices as well as Android making it work on almost any smart phone.

The technology exists and is easy to use so it might just be time to do away with the annoying access cards, and take the next step forward in card-less access control technology.