Sharry News

What Are Mobile Credentials? Key Facts You Need to Know...

Turn a smartphone to become (literally) your key to any protected area. The switch to mobile credentials ultimately improves tenant experience, leverages credential management, and reduces security breaches.

What are mobile credentials

Just like you have a credit card on your mobile phone today or you can warm up your car remotely through an app, you can use mobile phones to authorize personal access to any secured area. The phone is a new employee badge, key card, or fob key.

Unlike a password (which is "something you know") or biometrics ("something you are"), mobile credentials are "something you have". Compared to a plastic card, users perceive mobile as a personal device – they always have it on hand and notice more quickly if they lose it. (We'll analyze security issues below.)

The proliferation of mobile technology and smartphones will very soon lead to one of the biggest technology disruptions in physical security for corporate and commercial real estate.

Brama Miasta – a multifunctional office space in Łódź, Poland, developed by Skanska. All employees can access the building just with their smartphone.

How does it work

How does contactless access using your smartphone work? Absolutely the same as with a key card or a physical badge. Users can smoothly access office buildings, tenant floors, and amenity spaces using their phones. Simply hold the device near the mobile-enabled reader and go (most often even without a need to unlock the phone or tap any icon). Also the initial process of generating a new mobile credential in the Sharry building app takes only a few seconds.

The most common communication processes for mobile phone credentials are BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and NFC (Near-Field Communication). For a long time, NFC mobile credentials were available only for Android users, but since 2022 Apple is gradually releasing this technology to its customers as well enabling them to add their employee badge straight to Apple Wallet. (If you're interested in this revolutionary tenant experience upgrade, book a call with one of our professionals!)

Available with Sharry, employee badge in Apple Wallet allows staff and guests to easily access their corporate physical or digital space with just their iPhone or Apple Watch

Benefits of mobile credentials (for property owners and managers)
  • Great tenant experience: Occupiers don’t have to wear one more item when their mobile becomes their badge. Plus Sharry offers the whole ecosystem of additional services built upon mobile credentials to boost tenant loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Remote credential management: Building manager or tenant administrator can assign, distribute or revoke mobile credentials online on the fly and anywhere they are.
  • No downtime: Issuing physical cards involves archaic work flows and face-to-face time involved with each individual. Assigning and revoking of mobile credentials could be done immediately and multiplied by hundreds as you press the button.
  • Advanced security: Employees lose 17.3% plastic cards every year. Missing badges pose a security risk and cost time and money to replace. Users also take longer to notice the missing badge compared to a missing phone.
  • Added value: Offering a truly first-class solution will inevitably add value to your property while increasing occupant satisfaction and engagement.
  • Saves money: Forget the annual budget for access card replacement. You can also relocate the resources allocated previously for all the temporary cards or unnecessarily printed one-time paper cards as a replacement for forgotten ones.
  • Powerful data insights: Get the real overview of the building traffic to manage daily operations based on exact numbers, not only your assumptions. It represents another step in the cost-effective strategy.
  • Reducing unnecessary contacts: The distribution of mobile credentials is fully remote, eliminating personal contacts to meet all healthy recommendations (especially related to COVID-19).
  • Smart & friendly building: Through the building app with mobile credentials, Sharry delivers a first-class tenant engagement platform offering 70+ features (hot-desking, visitor management, amenities booking etc.)
  • Easy life-cycle: Save time and effort required to replace broken, lost, or forgotten badges. As a property manager you'll get them online and can distribute them with a click.
  • ESG-friendly strategy: Mobile credentials also helps you meet goals of the ESG strategy through eliminating plastic badges and through energy savings related to the mobile credentials distribution or replacement.
  • And what if…? You can always use printed badges or plastic cards as a back-up solution. But with mobile credentials added to Apple Wallet you can access the workplace and other areas for up to five hours even with a dead battery (thanks to the Power Reserve).
The mobile revolution has become a vital part of access control. Entirely new mobile credential ecosystems that rely on smartphones are replacing the need to carry traditional plastic access cards. – Greg Berry, Carrier

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Deliver first-class tenant experience

We've got a riddle for you – What is the mobile app feature that would most improve the tenant/end-user experience? According to the Deloitte Insights report, it’s the access into relevant areas based on mobile credentials.

No wonder because it brings a multiple benefits for tenants and end-users:

  • Great experience: In the mobile-first companies, users get used to completing all the work-related tasks on their mobile devices. Why should they spend a few seconds searching for a physical badge every time when they get stuck at the doors? Why should they have two access cards? When you can provide them with a seamless experience: going through space, with least friction.
  • Saves time: People have to search through pockets, jackets, backpacks, briefcases… at least four times a day. Mobile phones are always at hand, or at least you find them much faster.
  • Convenient flow: Tap to generate mobile credentials in the app. Tap the phone to access any part of the building. Use one device only to access all building amenities (based on the access roles set up). It's that easy!
  • Instant replacement: Imagine the painful and time consuming process if the employee needs a replacement for a lost or damaged keycard. With mobile credentials it works like magic. They just need to tap the “Generate” button on their device and it's there in a few seconds.
  • Welcoming first impression: Sharry enables to set a default access role and make mobile credentials available automatically for any new employee. No manual verification required.
  • Always ready: Mobile credentials work even if the user's iPhone needs to be charged. Power Reserve ​​ensures availability for at least 5 hours after the phone is discharged.
  • One app to rule them all: The building app with mobile credentials enables users to enjoy 70+ other features as well (order food, book a desk, get special offers, request maintenance etc.)
With Sharry mobile access solution you can easily combine any ACS with any mobile SDK into one app to deliver best-in-class and smooth experience.

Reduce security breaches

On average, companies need to replace 17.3% of physical badges every year (!). According to Kellen Duke from Proxy, the average 40,000-person company loses 10,378 key cards/fobs per year. And each of these lost access cards or fob keys poses a significant security threat of unauthorized access. Not mentioning other minor security violations like bypassing or passback.

Mobile credentials represent a more solid approach for better property management & security strategy. From the administrator or security manager, cloud-based mobile PACS (physical access control system) offers many key advantages:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication: In comparison to physical badges, most of the users' smartphones are protected with a password and/or biometric solutions such as FaceID or TouchID. This prevents unauthorized access to someone else's phone.
  • More attentive users: Employees are more careful with their phones than with plastic cards. They are much less likely to lend a mobile to a stranger. If they lose their phone or have it stolen, they'll notice much more quickly – it's much faster to revoke mobile credentials.
  • Anywhere & anytime: Mobile credentials are managed through a cloud-based web administration portal. The whole process of distributing and/or revoking can be easily done remotely. As easy as one click. The provision of employee access for any company location could be integrated into your identity management (Okta, Active Directory,…)
  • Encrypted communication: Every smartphone holds a trusted ID number that is encrypted, it is securely linked to that device only, and it cannot be cloned easily in seconds as a key card and installed on another mobile device.
  • Health issue: Mobile credentialing decreases the necessity of face-to-face communication and reduces unnecessary meetings needed for handing over the plastic card. Mobile also represents a 100% touchless solution to unlock any doors, turnstiles, or elevators in the office building. You can take it as one of the important remains of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Sharry you can easily verify & record the vaccination status of your employees and manage their access to the workplace smoothly and remotely.

Perfectly address hybrid work demands

Mobile empowers credential management across multiple tenants and locations, and it alleviates much of the administrative burden associated with the management of physical credentials. According to the HID Global eBook regarding the evolving state of the physical access control systems, it also supports the short-term credentialing needed in a hybrid workforce model.

Just imagine yourself spending the last three months working from home and now you should return to the office. Where's your company access card? Oh, it was saved securely in your smartphone all the time.

As a property or tenant manager, you can very easily and flexibly manage the access permissions of all your tenants or subtenants on the fly through the sophisticated system of the hierarchy of management. They can do it online remotely in the Sharry intuitive web administration interface. As a benefit, they have access to the big data insights about the building's real traffic that could be super helpful in designing the building's daily operations.

The same touchless credentialing technology represents an easy-to-adopt approach for any kind of hotdesking policy. It can help you “earn” some extra points for your ESG strategy by eliminating plastic cards and reducing the time and effort spent on face-to-face distribution processes.

If you're scaling your offices or just searching for a PropTech solution that could help you generate a great tenant experience and manage access to company headquarters and other locations at the same time, a mobile-first strategy represents a great fit for your needs and expectations.

Mobile credentials are very easy to use for users, and simple for property managers to authorize and install for security integrators.

Sharry & mobile credentials

Sharry is a smart access platform with 20+ running integrations into a broad variety of access control systems on the CRE market. We can even combine multiple mobile credential providers (e.g., the building-issued credential and the tenant-issued credential) in one app and can integrate it into the visitor management system or parking software.

The whole ecosystem of great tenant experience features and amenities could be easily unlocked with a user's mobile phone. Are you interested? Schedule a demo with one of Sharry's professionals.

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