The multiple benefits of mobile access


Mobile access adoption is growing fast, because of its convenience, security and cost-saving, the benefits of managing access control with smartphone keys, according to Assa Abloy, are becoming impossible to ignore.

Global work patterns are more fluid than ever. IBM estimated the world’s remote working population in 2022 at 1.87 billion people. Within security, Assa Abloy´s latest Wireless Access Control Report confirms the trend: almost two-thirds of organisations will have adopted mobile access control to some extent within two years, according to a wide-ranging survey of security professionals.

The user convenience of replacing plastic key-cards with their smartphone is obvious. In a mobile world, it makes sense for users to keep secure keys on a device they’re already carrying. Identical benefits have already brought a mobile-first ethos to banking, travel booking, food delivery and many more sectors. As workers and consumers, convenience is king.

With a mobile credential, employees and visitors can unlock doors and other openings with a digital key stored on their own mobile device. The same key opens the car park, accesses the printer network or even operates a vending machine, so many employees can now leave their traditional wallets or purses at home.

From a business perspective, too, the option for facilities managers to use their own smart device to issue, amend or revoke an employee’s mobile key brings added flexibility. It frees security staff from the desk and lessens the admin. As our work patterns become fluid, the ability to get the job done efficiently from anywhere is becoming essential. Access management via smartphone offers this.

Security managers can react fast when credential management goes mobile. Access permissions can be cancelled or amended over the air without any need for updaters, for example. With a mobile solution, facility managers save time they previously wasted in credential handovers. Everything happens instantly inside an app.

The security of digital keys is a big step up on traditional card and fob credentials. More than 17% of respondents to one recent survey admitted losing an RFID card or fob in the previous 12 months. Key loss obviously threatens site security. Despite company policies against the practice, smartcards are often shared between employees. Phones are less readily passed around. In any case, smartphones have fingerprint, face ID or passcode protection built-in. This biometric protection also stops a casual thief from using on-device mobile keys.

Mobile credentials are designed to be simpler and quicker to administer than key-cards, which brings further cost savings. Deploying smartphone keys removes any need to purchase plastic cards — or pay for their printing. A missing plastic credential needs replacing; cancelling and reissuing a mobile credential is basically costless. In this way, mobile access control enables a business to reduce its use of non-recyclable plastics.

Many keyholders already use their mobile device to purchase their shopping, board a plane or book a taxi. With Incedo mobile keys, users don’t even need to open an app to unlock the authorised door. With Incedo, the smartphone becomes a secure and versatile key, too. User experience at the door is identical: Just tap or move the phone close to a reader to unlock.

Mobile keys are part of Assa Abloy’s innovative Incedo access control ecosystem, a scalable, integrated solution created for businesses who need security which evolves with them. With Incedo, businesses choose from a range of wireless access control devices, wired readers, energy-harvesting key-operated cylinders and more — all unlocked with a choice of RFID credentials, smart keys or a mobile phone. Organisations manage everything from a single point with a choice of local or cloud via Incedo software.

Incedo mobile keys operate on a broad range of mobile devices, including phones and smartwatches. Incedo mobile keys are powered by Seos, the latest generation of credential technology with the highest encryption and authentication standards. NFC and Bluetooth LE are both supported, ensuring total versatility.

If businesses choose the right mobile solution, the challenges of upgrading to mobile keys and access management are far fewer than many imagine.