Problem Solver: Multi-Credential Readers Create Flexibilities

Sept. 3, 2013
Your customers can upgrade on their preferred timelines. When their switch to smart cards comes about, they will not have to tear out and re-install all of their facilities’ readers.

Help your customers and yourself by proposing multi-technology readers that read magnetic stripe, proximity and smart card credentials. This is more important than ever because the cost of a smart card is now comparable to that of the standard, traditional proximity card, which is the most used card in physical access control today. That role is being quickly taken over by smart cards.

A smart card provides much higher security than a proximity card and it can handle a wide variety of applications from holding biometric templates to being used for cashless vending. Smart cards used in conjunction with biometrics, such as hand geometry readers, raises the security level. A single smart card can store both the user’s ID number and biometric template.

There is no need to distribute hand templates across a network of readers or require the access control system to manage biometric templates. Integration to any existing access control application is greatly simplified, eliminating extra network infrastructure costs. Because the template only resides on the card, the solution also eases individual privacy concerns.

Bottom line: A great number of customers are still using magnetic stripe cards. In some cases, they have upgraded some buildings to proximity and are planning to upgrade others as budgets become available. You want to persuade them to go directly to smart cards. It is very important that all organizations be prepared for smart credential deployment, even if that facility wants to install proximity at present.

Multi-credential readers are perfect for such customers. Besides aiding implementation, multi-technology readers create flexibility in the transition – letting customers deploy any of the three technologies – while allowing companies to leverage the lower cost of smart cards. Since multi-technology readers work with magnetic stripe, proximity and smart cards, customers can still use their current credentials while migrating to smart credentials at their own pace.  

Emphasize how, during the transition, they can use both their old credential and the new smart credential. Your customer can upgrade on their preferred timelines, not due to the whim of technology that forces a "now or never" alternative. When their switch to smart cards comes about, they will not have to tear out and re-install all of their facilities’ readers.

Help Your Bottom Line

Multi-technology readers aid locksmiths in more ways than simply showing customers how they can create a planned program for introducing smart cards.  Remember, a multi-technology reader reads all three technologies of cards. Therefore, you can reduce your number of SKUs by carrying only one reader, one that reads all three technologies.

Secondly, since an aptiQ multi-technology reader reads aptiQ 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 technicians maximize space and service a very large percentage of the reader population with only one reader.

Jeremy Earles is portfolio manager, credentials & ceaders, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies