How to choose the right access control ID reader for your business

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How to choose the right access control ID reader for your business

The right access control ID reader is a vital part of your identification security measures. Without it, all of your hard work in designing and manufacturingID cards is moot. Choosing the wrong one can leave you short on features your business needs or have a heavy impact on your budget — or, in a worst-case scenario, both.

Thankfully, choosing the right one is a straightforward process, providing that you keep the following in mind.

List your requirements clearly

Will you need every last bell and whistle offered by more high-end ID reader machines? The answer is most likely no, unless your business has particularly strenuous security requirements.

To make a purchase that’s the right balance between feature rich and budget-friendly, you will need to list out your security requirements before beginning your search. As we’ll discuss, input and collaboration when possible is important in determining your ID card reader requirements, and, ultimately, making the best purchase for your business.

Perhaps the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether you’ll purchase a contact or contactless card reader. Contact cards, in short, are in wide use presently, while a contactless reader is more likely to be proofed against future changes in plastic card technology.

Once you’ve determined a rough list of requirements, you’ll want to make sure that you…

Involve and train your staff

An ID card reader is something that will see frequent use from all levels of your business. It therefore makes sense, when practical, to have everybody from senior management to your entry-level new hire involved in the process. Continuous consultation with your staff during this process will help familiarize them with your ID card reader, smoothing the training process that adopting it will require.

You can also use your ID card reader’s design to help train your staff. By choosing a machine that gives a clear indication of a successful read – with something as simple as an audible beep or a red LED turning green – you can reduce erroneous reads and get your staff into the habit of correct usage.

Keep growth in mind

You’re out of the proverbial garage and into a bricks-and-mortar building, but you still might be a small business. Where will you be in a year? Three years? Five?

We mentioned future-proofing in brief above, but there’s also something to be said for growth-proofing. If you see growth in your future, it’s best to plan for it in every single aspect of your business – ID card reader included.

Planning for growth could be as simple as ordering a small surplus of card readers, knowing that no matter how thorough you are, it’s likely that you’ll need additional reader locations as your business settles into using ID cards. It could also be as far-reaching as planning for an ID card reader that will support access across multiple sites – even internationally.

Deciding on your ID card reader is not something you should do hastily. If you approach it in a measured, methodical manner, incorporating feedback from your staff along the way, you will be empowered to make a purchase that strikes the optimal balance between security features, cost-effectiveness, and growth and future-proofing.

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