How to Ensure Your Customer Selects the Right Access Control Solution

From keypads and mobile apps, to biometrics, this guide will help your customers choose the access control solution that fits best.

There are many access control systems on the market, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of a variety of access control systems that you can share with your customers to help them select the right one for their particular need.

Keycards and Fobs

Access control systems that use keycards and fobs are great for hospitality-based businesses such as hotels, as they can be easily handed to guests to give them a convenient way to check in.

The downside of keycard and fob-based systems is that they can be lost, stolen, or duplicated, making them less secure than other access control systems.

Not every business needs maximum-security access control. If convenience is a bigger concern than security, keycards and fobs make for a solid access control solution.

Mobile App Access Control

Another form of access control is mobile app authentication. The benefit of app-based access control is that administrators can easily add or remove permissions, giving them maximum control over who has access to their building.

The downside of mobile app access control is that it’s less convenient for non-employees. In the case of a hotel, it would require every guest to download the mobile app in order to gain access to the facility — potentially an inconvenient requirement for some guests.

This makes mobile app access control best-suited for internal use (employees).


Keypads are a basic form of access control that allow users to open doors by inputting the right code.

Keypads use a combination of numbers — often only 4 digits — to grant access to users who know the code. These are best-suited for light security applications, given how easy it is for the code to be shared.

For basic security purposes, keypads are an easy and convenient way for your customer to control access in their building.


Biometrics are becoming increasingly popular among businesses who want top-level security without sacrificing convenience or ease-of-use.

Other access control keys can be shared, whereas biometrics are intrinsic to each individual. Only authorized persons have access to their unique biometric pattern, and thus only authorized persons can access your building.

Several types of biometrics include:


Fingerprint is the oldest and most well-known biometric, and it has been used by law enforcement for decades to identify people.

While fingerprint is an effective and time-tested biometric, it does come with its downsides. Fingerprint readers require you to physically touch the device in order to read your print. In addition to being less sanitary than contactless biometrics, it’s also less secure.

The problem with fingerprint biometrics is that you leave your fingerprints everywhere you go, making it possible for them to be copied.

So while fingerprint is technically no longer the most secure biometric on the market, it’s still a reliable and convenient form of access control.

Iris Scan

Iris scan is an increasingly popular biometric, with some airports offering customers the option to use it to quickly check in. Iris scanners use infrared light to scan your unique retina pattern, instantly identifying you.

The benefit of iris scan is that it’s contactless and highly accurate, making it ideal for identification purposes.

The downside of iris scan is that it requires you to put your eyes directly up to the scanner — a rather inconvenient motion for something you might have to do multiple times per day.

Palm Vein

Palm-vein is a relatively new technology with several key advantages over traditional biometrics. Palm-vein works by using infrared light to map the internal vein structure of your palm, instantly identifying you based on your unique pattern.

The benefit of palm-vein is that it requires a pulse and heat signature in order to work, making it virtually impossible to be duplicated, faked or spoofed. This makes it significantly more secure than external biometrics such as fingerprint, palmprint or facial recognition, as they can be collected without your consent.

The downside of palm vein is that it can potentially be less effective in extreme cold conditions, as this inhibits blood flow.


There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” access control system. Every access control system is different and varies in terms of security, convenience and ease-of-use.

To find the perfect access control system for your customer, we suggest walking them through the pros and cons of each in order to help them choose the one that is most relevant to their particular business.

Beau Karlskin is the content manager for Keyo, a privacy-focused identity company based out of Silicon Valley. With a simple wave of the hand, Keyo allows users to make payments, unlock doors, redeem tickets and more.

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