What is a mobile credential?

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In the world of access control, a mobile credential allows you to authenticate with your smartphone and use it as your key to access the office. This is similar to how ApplePay or AndroidPay allows your phone to act as a payment device.

Mobile credentials have disrupted the legacy access world, making it more convenient and secure for people to get where they need to go. Plus, with more business technology moving to cloud platforms and IoT connectivity, mobile credentials are well-positioned to fit into a modern security strategy. With everything trending towards mobile, it’s no surprise that a recent study by Gartner suggests that 20% of organizations will use smartphones in place of traditional physical access cards over the course of the next year. 

Here are a few of the reasons why so many are making the move away from traditional keycards, fobs, and badges in favor of mobile credentials.

The benefits of mobile credentials 

More secure

It’s not surprising that the decades-old key card and badging technology used by many legacy providers has well-documented security vulnerabilities. From lost fobs to stolen ID badges to cards that are easily copied and cloned, traditional access methods can lead to expensive breaches and major headaches for security teams. Mobile credentials, like the solution Openpath offers, provide enhanced security and can help add an additional layer of protection as part of a comprehensive security platform.

  • Mobile phones are one of the most secure devices on the market and cannot be cloned like a keycard. Most smartphones require a passcode, fingerprint, or facial ID to open, and also have built-in tools to keep communication anonymous and encrypted.

  • For areas that require higher levels of security, you can enable 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) so that a user needs biometrics to unlock their phone via thumbprint or FaceID in order to use their mobile credential.

  • Digital badges on the mobile credential improve physical security by providing organizations with visual identity verification in addition to the access events recorded in an activity log.

  • All phone communication with Openpath’s readers are fully encrypted, end-to-end, without any dependence on the security of the underlying wireless protocols.

  • All communication with the cloud is encrypted end-to-end with strong public key cryptography and mutual authentication.

  • Employees are less likely to lose their phone versus a key card, plus they know immediately when that happens.

  • In the event that a phone is lost, the credential is immediately revoked and automatically reinstated when the user logs in from his/her new phone.

  • Employees are less likely to loan out their phone for someone to borrow than handing over a badge or keycard.

  • Organizations can enable Single Sign-On through their mobile access provider, relying on one IT-approved platform to authenticate users rather than disparate systems.

  • With communication tools built directly into the app, Openpath users can easily contact the right person in their organization to troubleshoot access issues, report problems, and give feedback. Addressing security issues in real-time is not only beneficial for safety, but also reduces costly security vulnerabilities and improves the user experience.

More convenient

More often than not, additional security translates to additional hassles. However, with mobile access credentials, businesses can operate under stringent security standards, without sacrificing convenience. With a flexible solution like Openpath, both system administrators and end users have the benefit of feeling safe and secure, with a completely frictionless access control experience.

  • Employees no longer have to carry their keycard with them; their smartphone becomes their key. It’s one less thing to worry about.

  • With Openpath’s mobile badge, organizations still get the benefit of a visual ID, without an extra asset to manage and maintain.  

  • Issuing and revoking credentials is much easier for admins. Openpath has integrations with G-Suite, Active Directory and Okta, so you no longer have to manage users separately; everything stays up to date and syncs automatically. 

  • Openpath’s unique readers allow users with a mobile credential to open a door hands-free with the motion-activated Wave to Unlock feature. Openpath also supports door unlocks by tapping the entry in the app, via Apple Watch or tablet app, or by simply touching the reader, without having to take out the phone.

  • Openpath’s digital Guest Pass feature allows authorized users to create and issue temporary mobile credentials to visitors or contractors without needing to download the app.

  • Remote unlock lets you open the door for a visitor or employee even if you are not at the office, or even in the same city.  

  • If you have multiple offices, you no longer need to carry different cards; all authorized entries are stored in your Openpath app, and your mobile credential works for all of them.

Cost effective

Businesses are often surprised at the cost of maintaining a key card door access system. One of the benefits of using access control that’s mobile and cloud-based is that it’s often less expensive in the long run. In the case of mobile credentials from Openpath, you’ll see savings in a few key areas of your security budget.

  • Mobile credentials reduce the need for purchasing, issuing and replacing keycards, fobs and badges. While some providers have a cost for each mobile credential issued, Openpath has convenient packages and flat rates available to accommodate different size organizations.

  • All credentials are managed in the cloud, so you no longer need to have a dedicated physical server on-site to manage. This eliminates the cost of licensing, maintaining, and servicing the on-premise servers.

  • Administrators’ time is freed up to focus on other tasks and projects. Less time spent managing key cards and driving to the site to let people in after-hours shows up on your bottom line.

Frictionless mobile access from Openpath

The Openpath mobile and cloud-managed platform creates a unified credential, reimagining the digital badge in a way that improves security posturing throughout organizations. The encrypted communications, unprecedented control and visibility, and convenient remote access features bridge the gap between cyber and physical security. Some of the top features of the Openpath app and mobile credentials include:

  • Touchless Wave to Unlock for the best door opening experience possible 

  • Customizable mobile badge automatically generated with user credentials

  • Option to display additional information such as department, title, and vaccination status on mobile badges using Custom Fields

  • Automatic entry detection for fast, frictionless access

  • Setup tutorial that clearly explains permissions and trains new users

  • Remote unlock for any door in your organization

  • Digital Guest Passes with customizable permissions

  • Real-time communication without leaving the app

  • Remote Lockdown activation

  • IT-approved single sign-on

Openpath’s access control solutions also support those who wish to use keycards or key fobs, but with the convenience and cost savings of smartphone-based credentials. Many Openpath users who initially preferred a physical credential like a keycard or fob have made the switch to a mobile credential: Openpath has a 94% mobile adoption rate among our users. Plus, with our patented Triple Unlock technology, Openpath is the fastest, most reliable mobile credential on the market, enabling a secure unlocking experience with your smartphone. It has never been easier or safer to access your office.

Thinking about making the move to mobile credentials for your office? Contact our experts to find out how Openpath’s mobile cloud-based access control system can work for you.