Get Smart with the Right Access Card

July 1, 2011
SDI_0711_Access Control Integrated Systems_Get Smart with the Right Access Card

In an industry where technology providers launch new developments regularly, it is vital for systems integrators to be current with what is available and to know what solution works best for their customer. In the realm of access control, while it is important that all organizations are prepared for smart credential deployments, systems integrators need to help users understand the benefits that multi-technology readers bring to the table over proximity cards.

Smart card proficiencies

Multi-technology readers combine the ability to read both proximity cards and smart cards in one reader. And while a facility may want to install 125 kHz proximity technology at present (because it is the most common in today's access control systems), 13.56 MHz smart cards are the technology of tomorrow. It provides more security and storage for access control systems. And with the price of smart credentials comparable to proximity today, there is no reason not to suggest to your customers that they should start deploying smart cards.

It's important to promote to those not willing to make that upgrade today to at least incorporate multi-technology readers so that when the time comes for them to make the switch to smart cards, they will not have to rip out and reinstall all of their facilities' readers. Since multi-technology readers work on both the proximity and the smart card frequencies, customers can still use current proximity credentials while migrating to smart credentials at their own pace.

Although proximity is a "harder" technology than magnetic stripe, it is relatively simple to duplicate. Customers should not take proximity's limited security for access control lightly.

A smart credential, for approximately the same price, provides a higher level of security, more convenience and far greater functionality than a proximity card. Among some of the benefits, smart credentials have the ability to manage access and make payments.

Multi-technology readers aid integrators 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. Thus, for an investment of about ten percent more, you can reduce your number of SKUs by carrying only one reader—one that reads both technologies. Secondly, since a Schlage multi-technology reader reads Schlage card formats plus the formats of many other popular brands, you can reduce the number of vendors you carry, increasing shelf space and again reducing SKUs. Lastly, carrying a multi-technology reader in the service vehicle helps your technicians maximize space and helps them service a large percentage of the reader population with only one reader.

It's a win-win for you and the customer

Help your customers migrate to smart cards. Show them why the time is now and how simple this is to do. Doing so will enable you to stay in the forefront as the leading-edge systems integrator of credentials and access control solutions in your local market. Not only will you grow their business, you will develop the skills necessary to install access control in many additional vertical markets.