A Guide to Badging System Accessories

From lanyards to anti-skimming holders, a review of accessories for display and retention of ID badges and access cards


Badging systems have become an integral part of today's security conscious world and are commonly seen across a wide range of venues. Corporations of all sizes, medical and educational facilities, government and public buildings and sports centers are just some of the locations where badging identification is being used and often in conjunction with a building's access control system. In addition, badging systems are available for use in visitor management systems or on a one-time basis at conferences or events.

New developments in technology have provided security and facility managers with a variety of choices in badging systems that range from basic computer-printed and laminated paper badges to plastic cards with magnetic stripes to the newer, all-in-one smart cards. Whatever the choice though, badging systems are not complete without some type of badge holder with accompanying attachment device in order to allow the prominent visibility of, and easy access to, the identification. After all, part of the value of a badge or combined access card/badge is that other employees and security personnel can visually verify a person's identity and right to be in a secured area.

Smart Badge Holders Make the Scene

A new and innovative badge holder designed to prevent unauthorized data skimming of embedded information provides a shield against unauthorized access to contactless information stored on PIV cards, CAC cards, and other contactless smart card applications. The new secure rigid plastic badge holder allows the wearer to display his/her ID while affording privacy protection by providing a barrier to unknown or unauthorized wireless communications through the smart cards' contactless interface and allows card reading without the need to remove the card. When the activation tabs are squeezed, the card is able to communicate with a reader. As soon as the tabs are released the smart card is shielded again. The wearer controls who reads the card and when it is read without having to remove the smart card. This new badge holder virtually eliminates the need to worry about combating identification theft, significantly improving security across industries for users including government employees, consumers, business executives and security professionals.

Making It Easier to Wear an ID Badge

There are almost as many, if not more, choices of badge holders and related attachment accessories (i.e., lanyards, reels, clips, etc.) as there are choices of badging systems. Selection of the appropriate holder and accessory can help diminish the "nuisance" factor of having to wear and prominently display the identification or to easily access it for use with a card reader. Depending on the application, budget or access control system, an assortment of off the shelf options is available, as well as customized solutions.

Attachment accessories are normally categorized into lanyards, reels and clips and card holders are typically divided by application into three basic categories - corporate/employee IDs, visitor IDs and event IDs. Holders can also be divided by style into three basic categories - semi-rigid card holders, wallet-type card holders and rigid card holders.

Determining the best style with the most appropriate attachment accessory can help to ease the implementation of a badging system policy and the following guidelines can offer some assistance in making that choice.

Semi-Rigid Card Holders
Application: Corporate/Employee IDs, Visitor IDs, Event IDs
Suggested Venues: Office Buildings, Financial Institutions, Sales Meetings
Pro: Reasonably priced
Con: Easily marred with general wear and tear

This category of badge holders consists of vinyl enclosures designed to protect and accommodate a wide selection of card sizes, shapes and materials. Available in a variety of thicknesses, most common are the heavy-duty clear vinyl holders with slot and chain holes and/or clips at the top for use with a variety of accessories.

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