Maybe most people didn’t notice, but the year 2016 was a turning point for many reasons.

In 2016, the number of mobile phones outnumbered the world’s population. And according to the World Economic Forum, per Statista, there were over 8.58 billion mobile phone subscriptions in use worldwide in 2022, compared to a global population of 7.95 billion.

Given this reality, the role of the smartphone in access control arises naturally. We use our mobile phones to access our bank accounts, email, social media, and many other key aspects of our lives. Why not use your phone to access workspaces, lockers, and other places that require secure physical access?

Well, this reality is already taking shape—and the future potential is welcome news for any organisation wanting to improve physical access control and security.

What is mobile access control?

Mobile access control utilizes smart devices (e.g. mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, etc.) to function as a person’s credentials to enter business facilities or any other restricted area.

What does this look like?

Let’s say you’re based in your company headquarters in London. And you’ve got a colleague “Sam” who works in your office in Amsterdam. Sam’s planning to come over to your office for a meeting next week. So, you send him an invitation by email or SMS, along with a link that enables adding an access badge to his digital wallet. Since modern smartphones have biometric capabilities, Sam’s identity can also be verified before access is provided.

Upon arrival at your building, access has already been scheduled and approved via Sam’s smartphone. Just by holding the device near the reader, Sam can unlock access to the building and to the meeting room.

 

 

His smartphone won’t allow him entry to other secured areas of the building. And as soon as Sam leaves the facility, access is terminated.

In a nutshell, that’s how mobile access control works. It may sound simple, but the potential advantages are significant.

Tangible benefits of mobile access control

If you paid attention to Sam’s story, you noticed a few key highlights, such as:

  • Sam’s invitation, authentication, and access privileges were all accomplished remotely.
  • Sam’s access, from entry to exit, is fully controlled via a central command.
  • Secure building access was fully tailored to the context of Sam’s visit.

Mobile access technology is quickly becoming an indispensable part of security in corporate, government, and educational settings. Given the convenience advantage, more organisations of all sizes are looking to install these systems. It’s not surprising that many administrators are pivoting away from printed ID cards and plastic badges that can easily be lost, damaged, or stolen (or shared). Plus, these older methods don’t allow for inherent biometric identification.

Mobile access control offers a more convenient experience and improved security for anyone who enters a physical space. It’s no wonder that building administrators want to hear more about this innovative technology.

Potential scenarios

We can see how mobile access control could be used in a wide variety of scenarios. To name a few:

  1. In a hospital, the number of doctors/employees and the number of areas to secure can be a huge access headache for administrators. But what if each user was provided access via their smartphone through centralised management? For example, the entire hospital staff could have their access authorised according to their shifts. And nobody would be able to enter areas that do not apply to their job responsibilities. New hires wouldn’t have to wait for an access badge to be created. And when someone stops working at the hospital, their access could be turned off instantly and permanently—no more hunting down keys or ID badges. Imagine the possibilities…
  2. Similar applications could be implemented in corporate environments. For example, commercial real estate could easily leverage this. If a company subleases part of its corporate workspace to optimise resources, mobile access control could be part of the package. In any area rented or leased, tenants could be given mobile access control capability. And it could be integrated with the overall security of the facility, thus fostering flexibility and efficiency.
  3. In education, campuses could be secured using mobile access control technology for everything from campus access to locker security to enabling students to enter labs and sports facilities any time during the day. For extra-large campuses, this could save significant time and resources versus having thousands of students wait for separate badges to be issued.

For situations that require the highest security, like military or government facilities, mobile access control could be used as part of a multifactor authentication strategy making unauthorised entry nearly impossible.

Endless possibilities

Mobile access control provides intelligent and affordable solution for managing identification credentials. Furthermore, by using a cloud-based platform, administrators can manage credentials and generate reports remotely. These solutions could be fully integrated into existing security systems, helping to enhance the safety of employees and clients.

Mobile access credentials will be a game changer for companies facing security and access challenges. Not only will on-site security improve, but it will also provide total visibility into who’s-going-where within your facility. Operators can keep track of all visitor and employee entry and exit activities in real-time and be able to deblock credentials with Two Factor Authorization (2FA), on your phone, after a period of inactivity. We also envision automated authorisation requests based on location, and more possibilities becoming a reality, depending on each organisation’s business objectives, using mobile access technology.

The future is now

The future of mobile access control has arrived. As an innovator in access control solutions, Nedap will help lead the way forward.  You can already experience an unprecedented level of security and convenience when accessing their buildings and facilities, thanks to Employee Badge in Apple Wallet powered by Nedap Mobile Access.

Would you like to start the conversation about your organisation’s mobile access journey? Let’s click here and find some time together to do that.