One of the most important aspects of commercial security nowadays is controlling access to your building. Luckily, thanks to recent advancements in access control technology, key card entry systems are a simple and secure way to get your staff in and out of their offices and keep them safe at all times.
While there are various alternatives available when it comes to the key card door lock system, we will discuss the many different types of systems available, how they work, and a few considerations you should think of before making a final decision.
Keep reading to learn more about choosing a key card access system for your organization and discover how Action 1st Loss Prevention can help you throughout the entire process.
What Technology Do Key Cards Use?
Key card entry systems for buildings are a security system that allows users to use a card instead of a typical key to gain access to specific areas of a building or system. If you've ever been to a hotel, you've almost certainly used a key card to gain access to your room. But how exactly do key card security systems work?
Electronic key card door lock systems are activated via proximity, tapping the door card reader, or swiping a card through the reader, depending on the type of card reader entry systems installed in the building. Some door access card reader systems also include the ability to unlock doors via a smartphone app.
When the credential is presented at the door card reader, the access control system identifies and authorizes the credential. After the credentials have been verified, the access control system unlocks the magnetic door lock, allowing the individual to gain access. After the individual has entered the building, the access control system immediately returns the door to a locked position, ensuring that the door is securely locked after each entry.
Types of Key Card Entry Systems
There are many different types of key card lock systems, and while they all might sound similar to each other, each has its own set of distinctions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common systems below.
RFID Proximity Cards
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) proximity cards feature a sensor-enabled microchip inserted within them that unlocks specific doors when the card is brought close to the reader. RFID cards also have the advantage of not being withdrawn from the wallet or held close to the keycard reader, as they can normally be read from a few inches away. RFID cards are the most difficult to forge and use microchips and radio technologies to provide the highest level of protection.
Magnetic Stripe / Swipe Cards
For larger enterprises with multiple people accessing the same areas, a swipe card door access control system provides an easy-to-use, low-cost security option. A swipe card is a key card with a magnetic stripe along one edge that carries the credential data, similar to a credit card. The user merely swipes their card through a magnetic reader to initiate an action, such as unlocking a door or paying for a transaction.
Wiegand cards use magnetic wires to permanently embed the user’s access in the card. Wiegand key cards are most commonly used with on-site access control systems and store unique binary data that cannot be erased or reprogrammed by magnetic fields. Because these cards don't include a microprocessor or other easily breakable components, they're a more durable option and have quickly become the industry standard when it comes to keycard entry systems.
A key fob is a security token or a small, durable gadget that authenticates users attempting to gain access and is commonly kept on a key ring. Key fobs are extensively used in offices, buildings, condominiums, gyms, fitness centers, and other businesses that require members to have access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mobile credentials are the newest door access control system alternative, allowing users to use their smartphone credentials to gain access, and it functions similarly to a key fob. Instead of user credentials being saved on a physical card, the unique user access ID is stored on a mobile device, allowing the phone to be used as an electronic key to unlock a door equipped with a reader and an electronic lock. All entries and doors can be managed in a single mobile app using Bluetooth technology and significantly simplify security monitoring.
Keycards or Mobile Access?
The type of key card entry system you use will mostly be determined by personal preference and how secure or convenient you want the entry and exit points to be. Here are a few more things you might want to consider before choosing a key card door lock system for your business.
How Many Areas Need Monitoring?
After identifying your immediate needs, start by examining your property and determine which areas require monitoring. Many facilities have multiple entry and exit points, as well as multiple employees that require access.
Who Will Need Building Access?
Aside from employees, you will also need to think about who will need access that isn't directly involved with your company. Consider whether your company often has after-hour deliveries or will need to allow cleaning or maintenance providers to gain access.
Identify Immediate Needs
The first step in selecting a key card lock system is to assess your most immediate needs. Depending on the location of your organization, the type of business you conduct, and the hours in which you conduct service, there may be a specific system that matches your needs.
Upgrade to a Key Card Entry System for Your Business with Action 1st Loss Prevention
Key card entry systems improve building safety and security and ensure the daily operations of your business run smoothly. However, with so many alternatives and each providing its own set of advantages, picking the right keycard entry system for your organization can be a challenging process.
Do you have any more questions about key card lock installation for your business? Look no further than Action 1st Loss Prevention.
At Action 1st Loss Prevention, we can help you select and install the best key card door entry systems that improve the overall security of your commercial business and protect its visitors and employees. With over 30 years of experience, we specialize in offering various key card access systems that fit the security demands of any organization we work with. We also provide full training to ensure that you get the most out of your security investment.
Contact Action 1st Loss Prevention today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help your company stay safe.