Mobile Access Explained by Experts

03.05.2023 - In our special focus, we ask three questions to four experts, Joachim Mahlstedt, Assa Abloy, Clément Menviel, STid, Borja Ganzarain, Salto Systems, and Sanjit Bardhan, HID, about mobile access control solutions, its benefits an application scenarios.

1. Why do you consider mobile access control superior to other methods and what benefits can a user derive from the system?
2. Is mobile access now widely accepted in the security industry or are there still concerns about the use of the technology?
3. Please describe a success case where one of your mobile access control solutions was used for a high-security or critical infrastructure project.


Joachim Mahlstedt, Commercial Director DAS at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA:

1.    The convenience benefits are clear. Identical benefits have already brought a mobile-first ethos to banking, travel booking, food delivery and many more sectors. From a business perspective, too, the option for facilities managers to use their own smart device to issue, amend or revoke an employee’s mobile key brings added flexibility. It frees security staff from their desk and its admin PC. As work patterns become increasingly fluid – IBM estimates the number of mobile workers at 1.87 billion – the ability to get a job done efficiently from anywhere is becoming essential. This is exactly what a smartphone does.

2.    No solution is perfect, of course. Over 17 % of respondents to one survey admitted to losing their RFID card or fob in the previous 12 months, for example, which presents an obvious danger. Mobile credentials offer compelling security enhancements over cards. Firstly, the value of the credential itself: How quickly would you notice a missing plastic card? Not as quickly as a lost phone, for sure. In addition, security managers react faster when credentials are mobile. Access permissions can be cancelled or amended over the air, for example. Plus almost every device has a built-in failsafe: Biometrics, fingerprint or face ID screen locks stop a casual thief from using mobile keys.

3.    To thrive in the competitive build-to-rent, multi-family residential sector, businesses must reassure residents that their property is safe. At a major new Becorp development in Barcelona, homes are secured by SMARTair wireless devices, which residents unlock with secure mobile keys in their own Openow app. There’s no key, physical card, fob or badge. The app enables easy locking by deadbolt projection: After presenting their phone, a resident simply moves the handle upwards to lock a door securely. At the same time, facilities staff stay in control using their own Openow app: Credentials can be created, sent and cancelled from anywhere, with no metal keys to worry about.


Clément Menviel, Group Communications Director STid:

1.    The management of physical access cards can be a real headache (manually issuing access badges, the security risk of lost badges, etc.) With a mobile access solution, users present their smartphone, a personal device, to the reader to get access to buildings or other secured zones. Virtual credentials greatly reduce the time required for access management. The creation, distribution and revocation can be executed immediately, at any time and at any location in the world. Moreover, the cost of a virtual badge is two to five times less than that of a physical badge: no more consumables, printing and personalization costs, recycling costs or expenses related to loss or damage.

2.    The mobile access control solutions in our industry have matured and are now considered a valuable asset to any access control deployment. Security managers better understand the value of allowing people to use their phone converted into an access control key, resulting in improved operational effectiveness and intuitiveness. Users may be reluctant to share their personal data. With STid Mobile ID you are always in full control of your security – no personal information is stored. When applying any security technologies, it is always important to understand the benefits, like user-friendliness, security, scalability and interoperability. STid Mobile ID meets all these requirements.

3.    In collaboration with Nedap and Alvem we recently secured the Tour and Taxis building in Brussels, owned by Nextensa. We greatly enhanced and improved the user experience by removing the constraints related to conventional identification technology to better accommodate the 1500 employees, 40 tenants and 400 visitors that Tour & Taxis welcomes daily. The results live up to expectations with the reuse of existing cabling, the set-up of a standardised and futureproof physical access control system, and the transfer of registration responsibilities to tenants.


Borja Ganzarain, Brand Communications & Content Marketing at Salto Systems:

1.    Mobile access delivers convenient, instant, and safe access. There is no need for multiple old-school keys. Mobile access is available for all user types in any build application – from residents, visitors, and staff via a mobile app, empowering any users with more control over their doors and spaces. Mobile access provides a high level of security, including advanced encryption and provides users with a secure and seamless keyless and mobile experience. Systems operators and facility managers can give, change, and remove users’ keys remotely, denying or cancelling lost/stolen smartphone digital access instantly. The digital key technology and mobile access (NFC & Bluetooth LE) is fully compatible with the users’ own smartphones (iOS and Android devices), even Apple Wallet. It is one access solution for all areas.

2.    It is no surprise the demand for mobile access is on the rise. Users want seamless access to their areas, whether workplace, gym, or home, without having to manage multiple keys. Salto first revolutionized smart access control in the hospitality and commercial industries, then education to smart corporate buildings, and now Salto has adapted these core technologies to suit the residential industry. Leveraging credentials embedded on smartphones provides end users with a number of benefits. It is an entirely new digital key ecosystem that offers Salto mobile smart credentials, making digital key technology a mainstream choice for many organizations looking to improve access control. The Salto JustIN mobile access technology gives easy keyless access to every lock you need access to. With this technology, life is a little easier. Unlock and receive your key instantly, even if your smart keycard isn’t with you.

3.    Salto is continuously working on technologies that will bring us closer to a more connected living and keyless experience. Salto access control solutions and mobile access technology are in use worldwide in a never-ending range of challenging and unique applications and facilities. We worked with Cardinia Shire Council based in Australia to set up over 2500 access points. Salto smart and mobile access technology provides services to this population through 220 council-owned sites and buildings – including childcare centres, recreation facilities, community centres, halls, public toilets, and council offices. Moreover, we successfully implemented integrated cloud-based Salto KS smart access solutions for IWG and we help over 8 million people work the hybrid way in thousands of regions and locations worldwide.


Sanjit Bardhan, Vice President & Head of Mobile, HID PACS (Physical Access Control Solutions):

1.    If I were to sum it up in one sentence, it would be that HID Mobile Access provides you with convenience and operational efficiency, without compromising on security. The user benefits through the convenience of multiple credentials in their smart device and the reduced risk of lost or stolen cards. This improves operational efficiency as organizations don’t have to keep issuing plastic credentials, with the associated processes and costs. Further, through full-circle digital management, credentials can be instantly issued, revoked or re-issued through the cloud – making it quicker and easier, with reduced operational logistics such as shipping, storage and management of plastic credentials. Finally, our Mobile Access solution also provides customers with the dual modality of utilizing either NFC or Bluetooth, given them a wider choice of technologies to use with their handsets.

2.    Mobile access is growing at an exponential rate and we have the product to lead this industry transformation globally. Bear in mind, HID introduced Mobile Access way back in 2014 and since then we have continued to innovate with new features, for example, we were the first company in the world to offer credentials in Apple Wallet. We also support over 500+ smartphones and wearables and are constantly expanding this number – all individually tested and validated. With a legacy of over 30 years of innovating in the access control industry, customers are also assured of reaping the full return on their investment in Mobile Access, as we continually expand features and functionality.

3.    Whilst we can’t detail high-security projects for obvious reasons, our Mobile Access customer base spans over 100 countries and this number continues to grow – from banking and finance institutions, government, global retail chains and of course, a wide array of enterprises. Part of our success is our unique ability to address the various mobile access use cases that our customers have, in the simplest of ways. We’re also seeing strong growth in the commercial real estate sector, where employee or tenant experience apps have integrated Mobile Access into their solutions to offer even greater convenience to users. Further, many of these customers, including critical infrastructure institutions, implement our Mobile Access solutions for use cases that go far beyond just opening doors.


SALTO Systems

Polígono Lanbarren, C/ Arkotz, 9
20180 Oiartzun

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA

Dukes Street
Surrey GU21 5BH, United Kingdom

+49 30 8106 2970
+ 49 8106 1970

*STid Electronic Identification - EMEA Headquarter

20 Parc d’activités des Pradeaux
13850 Greasque

+33 4 42 12 60 60
+33 4 42 12 60 61

HID Global Corporation UK/EMEA

3 Cae Gwyrdd
CF15 7AB Green Meadow Springs
Cardiff, United Kingdom

+44 1440 711836
+44 1440 714840