Exclusive: How the pandemic accelerated digital transition in access control

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The COVID-19 outbreak had many consequential effects on the world at large. The security industry was no different in being affected by the lifestyle changes that the pandemic brought.

For instance, one such example has been an increased interest in reader technologies migrating to more digital and mobile-based credential solutions. Aside from their clean aesthetics and hands-free ability, their popularity most certainly boils down to customer convenience. Technology has become such a hybrid in our day-to-day lives that many of us are now rarely more than an arm’s length away from our phone.

Thus, converting smartphones into an access control credential targets their pain points and makes their life easier. You can now remotely monitor your security systems from anywhere through cloud-based solutions. Therefore, why should you not also be able to use your phone to scan entry into a secured room?

Smartphone credentials certainly plays into ACRE’s core values of being a customer-first and forward-thinking company that does everything it can to bring value and convenience to our customers’ lives, both installer and end user.

For instance, due to current global events, the increasing prices of semiconductor components worldwide are raising the cost of card and tag technologies. This means that the availability of cards has taken a significant hit. The industry has seen wait times increase from four weeks to 52 weeks.

Flexible access control

In response, ACRE has recently released new Bluetooth modules that enable our OSDP and Wiegand VR series readers to be quickly and easily retrofitted to Bluetooth capabilities. This provides excellent flexibility and cost-saving measures for the installer. At the same time, it means end users do not need to buy new Bluetooth readers outright, saving them money in their pocket.

Because delivering credentials is a digital transaction, it naturally bypasses the current supply chain issue that the sector is experiencing for these parts. In this sense, ACRE’s forward-long-standing approach to innovative security technologies and transitioning to digital solutions is being validated.

That said, while convenience and operational efficiencies are compelling factors to switch to Bluetooth readers and credentials, a total switch from a card-based access control system to smartphones can be prohibitive for some organisations.

Fortunately, thanks to our new Bluetooth modules, the choice does not have to be entirely one system or the other. By upgrading a reader to a Bluetooth reader, new users can use mobile credentials on that reader. But, at the same time, their old card will still also work on the upgraded reader. This is another low-cost solution to the current supply chain issues that many customers feel and further testament to ACRE’s core beliefs of being a forward-thinking, customer-first brand.

access control
Alexander Holmström

By Alexander Holmström, Global Sales Director, ACRE International

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