Access Control RFID: Where You Can Use It

Businesswoman leaving the office using access control RFID card-key to unlock the doorDeciding what access control system to use for your club can be a little tricky. There are various systems that can be used, such as mobile access. One option is RFID access control.

This uses a system of tags and readers to allow access. Your members will need to carry a card or key fob and hold it up to the reader. So, when might you choose this over, say, mobile access (which uses phones and thus could be seen as more convenient)?

Here are some use cases for RFID access control:

If Your Members Would Rather Not Use Their Phones

One obvious use case is if you have a member base that are not entirely comfortable using their phones for access for privacy reasons. Although there are few privacy risks with mobile access, some people are not comfortable with it. This is often the case if you have an older demographic, less used to putting everything on their phones.

It’s also a good option for access to areas where people might not want to take their phones, such as pools. Aesthetically, RFID tags can be put in attractive membership cards, which allows people to show pride in their membership.

If You Have a Lot of Traffic at Certain Times

RFID readers have a good range and can be detected from several feet away. This reduces the need for people to crowd up against a reader to gain access, letting them get into the club smoothly. This reduces “traffic jams” that can happen at busy times or at the start of an event or meeting.

However, this does require readers with a slightly longer range. (Alternatively, you can intentionally set for a much shorter range to ensure that people stop when they enter the building, allowing their identity to be checked).

If You Have Readers Outside

RFID readers are very tough and durable, making them perfect for gates and other outdoor locations, especially if you are operating in an area prone to inclement weather. RFID readers can work in a wide range of temperatures, meaning fewer problems in either extremely hot southern summers or cold midwestern winters.

If You Need to Update Data Regularly

When compared to traditional access control systems such as magstripe card readers, RFID cards have the advantage of being reprogrammable. You can grant or revoke access to the building or specific areas remotely. This is also a feature of mobile access systems.

If You Are Upgrading From a Magnetic Stripe System

Magnetic stripe cards are less durable, have a shorter read range, and can easily be “scrambled” by other magnetic fields (as anyone who has ever put a hotel key card next to a credit card knows). This means constantly replacing cards. RFID cards last longer, although they do still have the obvious risk of loss.

Additionally, RFID cards are tied to the user’s identifying information. They can be remotely deactivated if they are lost or stolen and if somebody other than the owner uses one it can easily be detected.

If You Have a Secure Parking Lot

With a long range RFID reader, parking lot gates can be opened automatically as an authorized vehicle approaches, meaning you don’t have to have somebody manning the gate. The reader can be put in a holder inside the windscreen. This might have the downside of allowing access to an unauthorized user who has borrowed or stolen the car, but users can be educated on the need to take the card with them.

If You Don’t Have Many Visitors

One downside to RFID cards is that you have to give one out to all visitors. However, this becomes an upside if you typically do not give out guest passes, or do so only for specific events. You can be confident that only card holders have access, and if card holders are allowed to bring guests, the guests will only have access as long as they accompany the member.

RFID access is superior to traditional access control methods, and has some advantages over mobile access, especially for older demographics less comfortable using their phones. If you are interested in an RFID access system (or any other cloud-based access system, contact Card Lock today.

(Proximity) RFID, Security Solutions
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