What are the benefits of using mobile credentials
Source: William Pao, a&s International
More and more, end user entities from hotels to universities are installing access control systems supporting mobile credentials
, which are stored in the user’s mobile device. Indeed, the various benefits of mobile credentials have made them an increasingly popular and viable access control
Needless to say, credentials, in the forms of badges, cards or keyfobs, are the “what you have” factor in identity management. Yet more and more, mobile devices have also become a credential, whereby the unique user ID number is stored in the phone and transmitted to the door reader via Bluetooth, NFC or Wi-Fi.
And the growth potential of this technology is not to be ignored as a recent report by MarketsandMarkets suggests the mobile user authentication market size is expected to grow from US$550 million in 2015 to $1.7 billion in 2020, at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 24.9 percent.
“Over the past four years, the adoption of mobile credentials for access control has increased significantly, and is expected to account for 20 percent of all credentials by 2020,” said a recent blogpost
by U.S.-based systems integrator Security-Net. “While it will be some time before mobile credentials replace the tried and true plastic card completely, the industry is beginning to embrace this new technology.”
So what’s driving mobile credentgials’ adotion? The post listed three main benefits that could help explain their growing popularity.
Mobile credentials are less likely to get lost
According to the post, the largest security risk as it relates to access control is if a credential gets into the wrong hands, and with cards or keyfobs, this is more likely to happen.
“People could leave it on their desk, in their car or at home without a second thought. If this card is replaced with a mobile credential, the likelihood of it going missing decreases significantly. There are few daily tasks that can be completed without a cell phone. From tracking calendars, taking conference calls and checking emails on the go, a busy professional is never without their mobile device, and if they are, they typically know where they left it,” it said.
Mobile credentials offer more and are more convenient
As mobile devices have multifactor authentication built into them, with fingerprints, pins and facial recognition, this offers various advantages, the post said. “If an access control system utilizes these built-in features, users can gain the heightened security of multifactor authentication without the need for new hardware, which can be costly and time consuming,” it said. “In addition, mobile devices also have location services built into them, alleviating the need to scan an actual badge by using proximity servers to identify when a person is near a door they need access to.”
Mobile credentials can save money
According to the post, mobile credentials can be far more cost effective than the traditional access control badge. “They are easily upgradable and eliminate the cost associated with issuing a physical badge or access control card to every employee. Because employees are already using their cell phones, it makes sense to leverage the technology everyone already carries in their pockets. This is especially useful on college campuses
, where key cards are replaced frequently,” it said.
In conclusion, the post pointed out the benefits of mobile credentials, from convenience to increased security to long-term cost savings, make it seem the logical direction for the industry to go. “As implementation has picked up in past years, time will tell if the industry adopts mobile credentials exclusively,” it said.