Member Discussion

Is Commercial Access Control Ready For NFC (Large Scale Level)?

Not necessarily from the Manufacturers side but on the end user side? Will the iPhone 6 finally make this happen on a large scale? (Various Android phones have been ready for a while) Will Businesses allow NFC on personal phones? How will you set up Business iPhones? Individually or mass through software?

Smartphone-based Credentials: a solution in search of a problem.

You touch on some of the big operational management issues that come with NFC credentials, ie:

  • Will Company IT departments support personal mobile phones?
  • Will people allow the company to push work-related apps/settings to their personal phones?
  • How do companies ensure all their employees pay the phone bill each month (to guarantee access)?
  • What happens when the phone battery is dead?
  • Company Executives get iPhone 6s! But what about the night custodian that doesn't have a smartphone?

At some point, plastic cards might seem like less of a headache.

Most of my corporate clients issue combined access card/photo identification cards. I don't see any significant benefit in using an NFC device as an access credential if you still have to issue a photo ID card to employees. For that and the reasons that Brian mentioned, I don't see NFC replacing other types of credentials in the corporate world anytime soon.

I have seen some interest in NFC in other markets, such as schools, multi-family housing, athletic clubs and other recreational facilities. Here, the relatively high rate of user turnover, combined with a desire have the user pay for (or provide) their own credential, makes NFC an attractive choice here.

I also see situations where a client might use multi-technology readers that read NFC in addition to other types of credentials. This would allow the facility to mix and match the types of credential that it uses. For example, regular employees might be issued prox cards, while temporary employees and contractors might simply have their NFC phones enabled for the duration of their visit. If desired, employees could also have their NFC phones enabled, allowing them to use either their access card or their phone to gain entry. (Similar to how some companies now issue both an access card and an access keyfob to their employees.)