The Days of the Access Badge are Numbered

The Days of the Access Badge are Numbered

There is an upgrade to building access security badges, The days of lanyards, proximity passes, and access badges are nearing its end. You would think badges and biometrics are already sorts of high tech but this technology will actually combine these into one neat little package. The technology’s hardware is nothing new to everyone and in point of fact, we use one almost every day. It is a gadget that practically everyone owns, the smartphone. A new and innovative technology is emerging for people to use this handy device which is already packed by themselves with powerful security packages unto themselves. Most phones now have a host of authentication features that are state of the art and Virtually foolproof. Face recognition, fingerprints scanners, voice analyzers, pattern recognition, and multi-factor authentication are all but standard features of any modern smartphone these days.

Via SIM and NFC

One promising direction is via the usage of the SIM module ( Subscriber Identity Module) of the smartphone’s owner. The company that a certain person needs access to would either send the person a text message and prompts that person to download security credentials. These would then install an applet into the module and will enable the bearer of the SIM to use their phones as their keycards moving forward, with the necessary restrictions. The phones NFC chip (near-field communications) will become the pass-through mechanism for the building’s proximity locks.


Via an App and Bluetooth

Another approach is using an application which takes advantage of the phones internal biometrics and security features. Just by downloading an app, they can use their smartphones to grant them access to areas where they are allowed. Monitoring employees have never been easier and at real-time too. This app will have a centralized and virtual “command center” where building managers can monitor how their spaces are being used. More and more companies such as and other reputable companies are taking this direction over the SIM and NFC route.

The Advantages

The most obvious advantage is added security without adding cost and additional hardware. Users will no longer carry a card but would rather be using their smartphones as their keycards. Administrators can almost instantaneously create, manage, issue and revoke access credentials over the air, be it in individual or by batch. This will greatly improve the efficiency and speed of implementation by building admins and managers. Furthermore, smartphone credentials are harder to lose, as it is a personal thing. People often lose a card or a fob and tailgating or sharing passes are a common problem area. The scenario where one would let another take his or her access badge would be gone or limited, as no one would just let anyone borrow their phone.


Security would, of course, be beyond the smartphone itself. For example, the security between the reader and the phone should be looked at and enhanced. There should also be contingencies for phones running low on power and dying. One company suggests that the tech should be working in conjunction with the existing access security systems for buildings that exist, for a more streamlined operation.

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