Smart Buildings and Access Control – Part 6 of 6

“Organisations now see the benefits of using mobile access”

Jaroslav Barton, HID Director of Product Marketing, Physical Access Control, Global Regions.

Jaroslav Barton, HID Director of Product Marketing, Physical Access Control, Global Regions.

Detektor International met up with Jaroslav Barton, HID Director of Product Marketing, Physical Access Control, Global Regions.

”Organisations are now looking for ways to create a digital experience for employees when it comes to access control”, he says.

How has thepandemic changed the access control market?

“We were the fi rst company to introduce contactless access control solutions and it has been an essen-tial part of our solutions portfolio for a long time. So, from this point of view, there was no diff erence for HID. I would say that the major change is in the new workplace conditions and how customers and organisations now want to manage them in a diff erent way. During the pandemic, companies have been very cautious, and we have seen an increased interest in new technologies that enable digital methods of operating access control to the premises, for example mobile access rather than plastic RFID cards that have been used traditionally.”


“The customers have started to realise that mobile access brings them additional benefits – not just high security and convenience for the end users, but it also helps them to maintain the required measures of safely returning to the workplace. Using smartphones, you can operate the door and the readers from a longer distance. There is no need to touch the readers like you need to do with some cards. But, even more importantly is the way that mobile credentials are managed, it is completely different to cards with RFID credentials. If you want to issue a new plastic card – the user needs to come to you, take a picture and you need to print the card for them. You also need to hand over the card to the employee, which requires personal interaction. With mobile credentials, all this can be managed remotely: you can send the mobile credentials to an employee over internet and he or she can download it. It is done in a secure way, and they can start using it immediately without any personal interaction.”

Which markets are early adopters of mobile access control?

“HID pioneered the mobile access market and we have seen that the adoption is not just by country but more about the type of organisation and how open they are to new technologies. We have seen a huge adoption of HID Mobile Access by technology companies and universities, because they see the benefits of using mobile access and how to issue the credentials. It is much easier and more efficient to issue credentials to a phone when you have 10,000 students enrolling in September, rather than to ask them all to come to the office and get their cards printed. This offers an improved user experience too. And this is what we have seen more recently; organisations wanting to make this process more efficient and to remove physical touch-points.”

Are smaller companies also adopting mobile access?

“We see adoption across the whole spectrum, from large corporations to small and medium sized organisations. These smaller businesses find other advantages. In a small company, typically employees are not required to wear badges containing a photo ID, because people know each other. So having a personal ID badge is not an issue. They simply need the card or the credential to open the door, so for them, using a smart phone is a more natural and easier way to manage the access control on a daily basis.”

Will traditional cards disappear?

“I do not believe the card will disappear, at least not during my lifetime. But the market is moving towards using smart phones and different smart devices like wearables as credentials. We also see many organisations where there is a coexistence between smart phones, mobile access and physical cards.”

The pandemic has made work-places much more flexible with many people working from home. How is this affecting the access control market?

“The mindsets of the organisations have changed. Before working from home was considered a benefit for the employees, today, it is a necessity for many organisations. I think organisations will be more open to employees working from home for a few days a week and will be looking for ways, how to manage employees more digitally. Secondly, organisations will be looking at how to make their operations more efficient, for example occupancy management. Some companies will discover that, previously they had 1,000 employees in their offices, and nowadays, maybe that number will be closer to 800 because there will always be some people working from home.”

And that will speed up digitalisation?

“Yes, and one of the next things with digitalisation and mobile access is the advantage of managing the visitors. Until recently, visitors arrived in reception and were queuing at the desk in order to provide their details. If everything is done digitally instead, they can pre-register online in advance, and by using mobile access, they can be sent their mobile credentials to their phone before arriving at the organisation and spend much less time in reception. Another big thing is the combination of access control solutions and indoor positioning and indoor location services. With location services, you can analyse how many people are in the offices and if spaces are used efficiently. During the pandemic, for example, it has helped organisations tell employees, to use a specific floor to keep socially distant. What is more, these systems can automate contact tracing because they know if people have come into contact with someone that has tested positive for Covid.”


Note: This editorial article has primarily been produced for the security trade magazine Detektor in collaboration with

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