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Hassle-Free Mobile Access Credentials
By Sargon Younathan, Senior Customer Support Specialist
Rudy Regidor, Farpointe Data’s Customer Service Manager, and I have the privilege of assisting our electronic access control system partners, as well as their dealer and integrator customers. On occasion, we even get the opportunity to speak with end-user customers and/or their consultant advocates. One of the hottest topics of discussion today is mobile access credentials (MACs).
MACs—sometimes also referred to as digital keys, soft credentials, or virtual tags—allow smartphones to be used as access credentials. While MACs are at an early stage in our industry, it is clear they promise to be one of the most impactful technologies in improving the end-user access control experience.
At Farpointe, our mobile access control ID solution is called CONEKT®. It consists of a smartphone wallet app, mobile credentials stored in the smartphone’s wallet app, as well as potted readers that read the mobile credentials. MAC data is transmitted to readers via Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE), a technology often used to connect wireless ear buds and other devices to a smartphone. Conekt supports both Apple iPhone® and Google Android™ smartphones.
Some of the questions we field most often from customers considering a mobile ID solution are about security. By definition, MACs installed on a smartphone are already protected behind a multi-factor firewall. Today, electronic access control identifies a user with three attributes:
- Something the user has (a MAC on their smartphone);
- Something the user knows (a PIN to unlock their smartphone) or;
- Something the user is (a biometric to unlock their smartphone).
Think of the smartphone as a multi-factor security firewall, with MACs protected behind the smartphone’s existing built-in security parameters.
Conekt MACs can be programmed in both industry-standard 26-bit Wiegand and custom formats, and in the exact number sequence required. There are no minimum order quantities. For end-users requiring access across multiple locations—an application that was traditionally solved by an end-user carrying multiple access cards—a single smartphone can now conveniently carry multiple MACs. They can also be private labeled. Perhaps you have a customer looking to emphasize their brand? MACs can be customized in full color with their company name, logo, phone number, web address, special instructions or other information on both the front and back sides of their virtual cards.
Conekt mobile credentials are fully customizable on the front and back
Installation of a Conekt MAC on a smartphone is easy. An end-user will visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and download the Conekt Wallet App to their smartphone. Then, enrollment of the device is accomplished using the smartphone’s telephone number. Keep in mind, no portal account or sensitive personal on-board information is required, just the telephone number (see sidebar, "Respect for Personal Privacy"). Next, a MAC can be added by simply scanning the QR code found on the registration key certificate, which users purchase and receive from their access system partner. It really is just this easy.
In closing, I want to share a discussion I recently had with a partner interested in exploring a special duress application and mobile. The resulting solution was this:
- The installing technician would select a single Conekt MAC value, comprised of an identical facility code and ID number, and issue MACs with that single value (essentially duplicates) to each-and-every employee.
- Next, the technician would enroll that single MAC value in the electronic access system as a special duress access credential.
- If the access system sees this special duress access credential, the system would be programmed to respond by unlocking the door associated with the reader from which it received the MAC data, and simultaneously send a duress message to the security department to immediately dispatch assistance to that exact reader location.
- Thus, in actual use, if an employee needs assistance, he or she simply selects the duress MAC in their Conekt wallet app, instead of their normal MAC used for access, and presents that to the reader. Help would then be on its way.
Mobile really does make special applications, such as this one for duress, just that simple.
If you’re interested in testing a Conekt MAC, please let Rudy or I know, or request a sample now. We’d be happy to show you first-hand how hassle-free Conekt can be.
Senior Customer Support SpecialistDownload Sargon's vCard
Tel: +1-408-731-8700 ext. 4141