While 125 kHz proximity is common in today’s access systems, the 13.56 MHz smart card is the technology of tomorrow. It provides more security and storage for access control systems, plus the cost of a smart card is comparable to that of the standard, traditional proximity card.
A smart card provides much higher security than a proximity card while handling a wide variety of applications—from holding biometric templates to cashless vending. It is very important that all of your customers be prepared for smart credential deployment, even if that facility only wants to currently install proximity. Besides aiding implementation, multi-technology readers are available to create flexibility in the transition while allowing your customer to leverage the benefits of smart cards now or in the near future.
Installing a multi-credential reader at every new door helps your customer plan for the future. Since multi-technology readers work on both proximity and smart card frequencies, they can still use current proximity credentials while migrating to smart credentials at their own pace. Best of all for the installer: when they switch to smart cards you won’t have to rip and replace and re-install all the readers.
Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is now being added to a growing number of mobile handsets to enable access control as well as many other applications. More than 40 million phones are expected to be NFC-enabled by the end of this year and over half the phones sold in 2015 will be NFC-capable. In some cases, existing 13.56 MHz smart card/multi-technology readers are already compatible with the new NFC technology which allows your customers’ user to deploy their own smartphones as their credentials to enable secure access into their facilities.
Using NFC-enabled smartphones in conjunction with your present smart card/multi-technology readers assures your customers that their systems are flexible and their investments solid.
Benefit with migration strategies
By promoting multi-technology readers to your customers, you show them that your organization is on the forefront of the credentials market, with information and suggestions that make you a partner as well as a provider. But multi-technology readers will help you in more ways than simply showing customers how they can create a planned program for introducing smart cards. Remember, a multi-technology reader reads both smart cards and proximity cards, so you can reduce your number of SKUs by carrying only one reader for both technologies.
You can promote yourself as the leading-edge supplier of credentials and access control solutions when you provide the path to help your customers migrate to smart cards. In addition, by helping customers better protect themselves with smart cards as part of an access control solution and showing them how smart cards provide myriad other applications, you set yourself up for future sales opportunities.
Jeremy Earles is the portfolio manager, Credentials & Readers, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Carmel, Ind.