Merging Security and Convenience with Mobile

HID breaks down the best practices for integrating mobile into the access control architecture.




1. Near Field Communication (NFC)

NFC was developed to address the dilemma of multiple contactless standards but its introduction into mobile devices has been less than smooth. Emulating a contactless card on a mobile device was up to very recently only possible via a Secure Element (SE), such as a SIM card. An ecosystem in the form of Trusted Service Managers (TSM) had to be setup to support the SE centric model which resulted in complex technical integrations and business models which made it difficult to launch contactless applications based on NFC.

  • Standards based contactless cards can be emulated by an App
  • Works with NFC enabled readers if a standards-based card technology is used
  • A good solution where a Tap experience is preferred
  •  Not supported by iPhone Mobile

Operating systems with support for NFC Host Card Emulation

  • Android 4.4
  • BlackBerry® 9 and 10


2. Bluetooth Smart

Bluetooth Smart was introduced into the Bluetooth Standard in 2010 and, having gained a lot of traction in markets such as healthcare and fitness, is now finding its way into the payment and coupon redemption industry. One of the success drivers for Bluetooth Smart is the support the technology has received from Apple, who has supported Bluetooth Smart since the iPhone 4S. Google added Bluetooth Smart to Android 4.3 and as of October 31, 2013, Bluetooth Smart is the only con tactless technology capable of supporting a service on the two major mobile operating systems, Android and iOS. Its low power consumption, eliminating the need for pairing and the long reading distance makes Bluetooth Smart an interesting option for mobile access control.

  • No requirement for pairing and low power consumption make Bluetooth Smart, combined with a standards-based con-tactless card technology, a good technology for enabling mobile access
  • Readers may be placed on the safe side of the door or hidden
  • Open doors from a distance as you park your car, or if you want to open the door for someone ringing the door bell
  •  Configure readers including firmware with a Bluetooth Smart- enabled device (such as a phone or tablet)

Mobile operating systems with support for Bluetooth Smart

  • iOS 7 and 8
  • Android 4.4
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Windows Phone® 8.1