Why mobile credentials will see momentum down the road

Why mobile credentials will see momentum down the road
While mobile credentials have gained more attention in the industry, actual adoption hasn’t been that great across verticals due to various reasons. However this will ultimately change, making mobile devices the access control credential of choice.
 
That was according to a recent blog post by ASSA ABLOY.
 
Access control has been a growth market, and mobile credentials have been cited as a top trend in access control. However, the actual installed base has been less than overwhelming.
 
“There is a workplace function where mobile phones are the exception: access control. The technology exists, for sure. Mobile seems a natural fit for convenient security. The device you carry everywhere — the smartphone — can replace a separate RFID card. The mobile phone is at the center of many exciting innovations in access control,” the post said. “So why does the physical credential still reign supreme in offices and commercial buildings?”
 
The post cited various factors, including a general reluctance towards mobile credentials when cards and keyfobs can get the job done – that is, to protect premises and manage time attendance. Meanwhile, cybersecurity has also been cited as a factor.
 
“Security professionals are unwilling to jeopardize security by adopting innovations perceived as unproven,” it said. “Research supports the notion of wary security managers. One European Commission Digital Transformation Monitor report suggests 51 percent of businesses with a BYOD policy believed they had suffered some kind of mobile security breach.”
 

Benefits manifold

 
Yet mobile credentials do have their advantages, the post went on to say. “Everyone is more careful with their precious handset. Student halls of residence, for example, can expect a significant uptick in site security from mobile phone credentials. Few students would instantly notice a missing smart-card; almost none survive for long without their mobile,” it said. “Phones can also be protected with biometrics much more cheaply than whole premises.”
 
Further, according to the post, mobile credentials help to project a contemporary image for the end user’s business. “Perhaps that’s why the SMARTair solution attracts major interest from the fast-growing, design-conscious co-working and shared office sector. When Openow-equipped phones replace plastic key-cards, there’s no need for a card activation terminal at reception. Access feels slicker,” it said.
 
All these benefits will combine to drive mobile credentials adoption, the post said, citing various sources. “By 2020 Gartner predicts 20 percent of organizations will use smartphones for access, in place of plastic smart-cards. These same positives outweigh those surmountable issues with mobile access,” it said.
 
“The end users most likely to transition to a full mobile credential-only system are those who have to deal with large numbers of temporary visitors or who experience exceptionally high card turnover rates. Examples include building sites at which contractors require access to varying locations, as well as universities and hotels where large numbers of cards have to be replaced each year,” the post added, citing IHS Market senior analyst Jim Dearing.
 
And the company has the solutions to suit the mobile trend. “Phones open new possibilities for keeping credentials up-to-date without the need for separate readers or a return-to-base. To take one example, the new SMARTair Openow solution enables security managers and site users to manage virtual keys inside a secure app. If a security admin cancels a virtual key, it vanishes immediately from a user’s Openow app,” the post said. “These virtual keys can be created and sent from anywhere. Facility managers can check and amend every virtual key’s access rights whenever they want, and wherever they are.” According to the post, students and staff at the new Arkansas State University campus in Queretaro, Mexico, are already using Openow.


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