As more businesses begin to leverage the benefits of mobile access credentialing technology, it’s important that security professionals understand the foundation behind such capabilities.
At the center of mobile credentialing is a digital key app, which is a secure mechanism used to send a signal from a smartphone to unlock a specific door. Using a mobile digital key to open a secure door is gaining popularity and is now being used beyond just the corporate office environment. Hotels have begun to leverage mobile digital keys, using them to remotely check-in hotel guests. This eliminates the need for a guest to visit the front desk to receive a physical key card to access their hotel room.
Regardless of the specific use case, mobile digital keys provide a multitude of benefits, touching on every aspect of access control credential management. Here are a few benefits of mobile digital key technology over a traditional access control credential.
Mobile digital keys eliminate physical cards and reader technology
With a mobile digital key, users no longer need to have a physical key card to enter a secure area. Instead, a smartphone can be used to communicate with a secure door to gain authorized entry.
While some people may inadvertently forget to bring their key card into the office, people rarely leave home without their mobile device. Moving the credentialing technology to a mobile device reduces the frequency of someone forgetting or losing an access control card.
In addition, mobile digital keys do not rely upon card reader technology. While mainly used for interior doors, the digital key communicates directly with the smart lock and not with a reader. This adds an additional layer of security by eliminating a reader that can be tampered with or spoofed.
Easily manage access credentialing and privileges
Managing people who have access control privileges in a building can be a timely and costly process. Not only does a dedicated individual need to be responsible for adding new users into an access control system, but that person also needs to coordinate the creation and delivery of a physical access control credential. This can include making sure lost cards are deactivated, printing cards that contain a photo, and ensuring there are enough cards in inventory for both new users and replacement cards.
Unlike Bluetooth technology, a digital key mobile app provides a faster, more secure connection and does not require a card reader in order to work. Digital key mobile app technology simplifies the access control management process by eliminating physical cards completely and the need to monitor and pay for card inventory. Instead, a smartphone becomes the credential.
Enhanced temporary credentialing capabilities
Visitors are an inherent part in a building environment, whether that is a client visiting the office, an HVAC technician who needs to enter the building to service the ventilation system, or a person delivering food. Many traditional access control systems offer visitor management capabilities, but these systems can be limiting as they require a physical card and staff interaction with the visitor to present them with a temporary credential. At the end of the visit, the temporary credential also needs to be returned.
A digital key does not necessarily require a specific mobile application to work. Via text message or email, a visitor receives a secure message. When the link in that message is activated, it communicates with the smart door lock to unlock the door and grants the person access. Specific parameters can be placed around the temporary mobile credential, such as making the mobile credential valid on a certain date, specific window of time, or only for specific doors.
Thanks to digital keys, access control credentialing is now easier and more flexible for both the user and system owner, literally placing access control into the palm of the user’s hand.