Access control cards are easy and relatively cheap to issue to staff and indeed other people, such as contractors, to give them access to your premises and to control where they can go and for how long. Cards can be made active and inactive at the touch of a computer button and can be programmed and issued within seconds. Access card technology will work for a single point of access system all the way through to multi-door, multi-site applications. It is easy to collect and re-programme cards. They can be branded with corporate messages. They can have photo ID included and can even have a credit added to facilitate cashless transactions at the canteen or vending machines. Modern card readers tend to be of the ‘present and touch’ type though magnetic swipe is still a popular mechanism.
Biometric access control systems using fingerprint or retina readers are increasingly popular. Retina scanning can be applied to guests but is more often only utilised for high-security applications to control the movements of staff. Fingerprint systems can be applied to a single point of access system all the way through to multi-door, multi-site applications. Once a user’s fingerprint has been scanned into the backend management system, it can be used very much in the same way as an access control card.
Proximity fobs will allow users to open door locks without necessarily having to present the fob to a reader. They only function to provide access/egress but will leave an audit trail so that movements can be recorded.
With all of the above systems, a staff personnel database makes them work efficiently (with contractors and guest being added temporarily or permanently) and provides the ability to assign access levels. It is possible to link the system to an HR database to avoid double data entry.