For many years, using keypads with personal identification numbers (PINs) has been considered to be a highly insecure option. This is mainly due to the ease of sharing a PIN, which happens frequently. PINs are also too easily seen by people who shouldn’t have access, simply by looking over the user’s shoulder.
The Problem of PINs
With a trend in services that need one-time access to a facility in order to complete their offering (think Grub Hub, Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and others), this has created a challenge for access control systems.
- A resident in a gated community will share their PIN with services such as ridesharing. Unfortunately, that PIN often doesn’t change for the duration of the time they live there. Many rideshare drivers have reported having written down these PINs to reuse the next time they are called to this community for a pickup.
- There are now white-glove food delivery services that can deliver groceries direct to your refrigerator, but how do they get inside – especially when the food is often ordered via a website and the resident never meets the driver?
- Private vacation rentals are popping up everywhere and the visitor often needs to be given access to the property for a day, a few days, or even a few weeks. Many times, the property owner or manager never meets the visitor.
There is a need to retain the level of security, without compromising on convenience and user experience.
Those are just a few examples of the services that have created a problem where people need to be granted access, but only for the specific time, date, and need.
The Solution – Limited Use PINs
Rather than having a single PIN that is assigned to a tenant and they share that PIN with several visitors (insecure), there are now platforms out there that can issue and revoke PINs for only a specific time or a specified number of uses.
By having unique PINs attached to unique visitors (often via their phone number) you can retain the full traceability of people that come and go on the property, along with a date and time stamp. Managers still have the option for the platform to automatically remove PINs once they have been used.
No need to issue cards or key fobs to these visitors any longer – which is a cost savings against not getting them returned.
Commercial Office Use
Alternatively, in commercial offices, where employees frequently forget their card at home, they can self-issue a PIN for the day, all the while retaining the same access permissions and minimizing the impact to the business. Since this is tracked in the software, management can easily see who is using this and easily address any issues needed with data to substantiate the discussion.
By adding this modern approach to a legacy solution, you can save customers valuable time and money while still providing a secure solution.
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