Top Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Using Mobile-Access

Top Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Using Mobile-Access

Let's start this weeks blog off with a riddle.

  • What do we use multiple times a day during the week but rarely on our days off.
  • We forget it in our jacket pocket.
  • We leave it in our desk drawer at work.
  • It gets lost in the cranny between your car seat and the center console.
  • At some point we find it! But it's too late. Our office administrator has already replaced it. Rendering this item completely useless. Bound for the nearest trash can.

The keycard was invented in 1975. That's too far back to count how many keycards have been lost. I bet it's a lot. And every time it happens, somewhere someone, has to pay a couple dollars to replace it.

If I had a dollar for every... better yet, if you had a dollar for every keycard an employee has lost, you'd have about 20% of your money back after purchasing its $5 replacement.

Aside from the cost, plastic waste is another unnecessary evil we all endure for this dated technology.

It's been estimated that the average 40,000 employee business loses 10,378 keycards per year. That's roughly .25 cards per year per employee. At roughly $5 and 5 grams per card, that's over $50,000 and 100 pounds of plastic per year, respectively.

So why is it that here we are, nearly 50 years later, and so many businesses are still using the same antiquated solution?

The Alternative? Mobile

Many businesses and industries have already made the change. And for good reason.

You know what you don't lose often? Your phone. We use it for pretty much everything else in our life. Why not for access. It's certainly more secure.

In the last couple of years many major hotel brands such as Hilton, Hyatt and Marriot have all made the decision to adopt digital keys. For them, there are a myriad of benefits. Including:

  • Contactless check-in
  • No more plastic waste from lost or damaged mag cards
  • No more reissuing keycards
  • Digital check-in experiences

Other industries are using the same technology for other applications. For more commercial environments that are less consumer facing, the benefits are a little more obvious.

Let's discuss...

1. Employee/Customer Preference

This is pretty obvious. Most people would prefer to use their mobile phone. It's more convenient. Less hassle for users and administrators. Losing your keycard is a pain.

We discuss some of the pain points experienced by users and administrators when using keycards vs mobile here.


2. Administration at Anytime from Anywhere

Keycards require someone be physically on site to provide or remove access. With mobile access, system administrators don't have to chase down employees to take inventory of keycards or issue new ones. Access can be granted or remitted from anywhere. At any time. In most cases, it can be done from any device (Active Witness supports IOS, Android and web-based software).

3. Easy Integrations

Most mobile based solutions are managed on the cloud. Cloud-based access control systems are generally easy to integrate across other supporting products and systems. On premises solutions tend to require a lot more heavy lifting by operational staff, if it's even possible.

4. Unnecessary Cost of Administration and Physical Cards

While many businesses don't think about these costs when purchasing a new access control system, these aren't costs that should be forgotten. Keycards range in cost from $2 up to $20 in some extreme cases. Every lost card eats directly into your bottom line. Another cost that should be considered is the time it takes to administer and issue access credentials. This is time that your employees could have spent adding value to your company.

We talk more about the hidden costs of legacy systems in our recent blog.

5. Multiple Facilities? No Problem

Mobile access and cloud-based solutions can administer access to a user via their smartphone for multiple locations/facilities. Keycards are generally limited to one location and an access credential must be issued for each. If your business has multiple locations and employees moving between them, this might be the best benefit since sliced bread.

6. Plastic Waste

We already talked about this one. Every company is trying to limit their footprint. This is a pretty easy way to do just that.


We saved the most important for last. Keycards are incredibly vulnerable. They can be easily replicated for close to $20. Mobile credentials are quite secure as in a lot of cases a user must unlock their phone in order to access the credential which requires either a passcode or biometrics (fingerprint, Face ID etc).


Does your business use keycards or mobile-access? Let us know in the comments.