Mobile Access

What is a Mobile Access Control System?

Mobile access control systems provide a secure, flexible, and convenient way to regulate access to your building or property. This cutting-edge technology allows building teams and management to protect operations, manage visitors and remain secure without inconveniencing employees or tenants with smart cards or other physical credentials.

Access control systems are physical security platforms that effectively utilize smartphones and other mobile devices as digital access keys. 

In this article, we’ll cover mobile access solutions and highlight their value for building owners and property managers. 


Mobile Access Control: What Are the Advantages?

Cost-efficient and time savings

Cloud-based mobile access control systems easily work with smartphones, saving everyone time and money. Often, the installation of mobile access control systems costs half the price of physical key card systems. Since adding and removing users happens digitally, you will save time not having to manually distribute keys to your tenants or employees. 

Increased security 

Mobile access control systems allow you to simplify entry to your building. By integrating digital access into people’s mobile devices, you avoid the headaches that come with lost and stolen physical keys. 

Physical credentials such as key fobs or key cards are much more susceptible to theft, damage, and/or becoming lost. A lost key card is a vulnerability to your facility.

Mobile access, conversely, provides better security and flexibility for every user. People are also much less likely to lose track of expensive personal possessions, so building teams don’t have to worry about keys falling into the wrong hands or becoming lost. In the event a phone is lost, administrators are still protected with authentication passcodes or facial recognition software. If worse comes to worst, the credential can simply be deactivated remotely.

Unparalleled convenience

Security and convenience are two of the biggest advantages of cloud-based mobile access control systems. Not only are mobile devices easily integrated into the latest access control systems, but many tenants already carry a mobile phone.

Mobile access control systems are also convenient for property owners and building teams. Seamlessly give access to the premises with the push of a button. Any updates or changes to a system can be made with ease, rather than investing thousands in a complete overhaul. 

Simple auditing and record-keeping

Cloud-based mobile access control systems provide organized auditing and record-keeping capabilities. This technology allows you to keep track of people’s activities in real-time. In case of an emergency, you have immediate access to records for specific locations in your building. 

access control illustration holding phone

How Do Mobile Credentials for Access Control Work?

The defining characteristic of mobile access control systems is the use of smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets as entry credentials. Since so many of us carry a smartphone today, these systems offer unparalleled connectivity and convenience. Furthermore, almost all mobile access systems are compatible with Android and iOS.

Simply put, mobile devices interact with access readers to give end-users access through doors, locks, gates, turnstiles, and more. There are several ways you can implement access control integrations with a mobile device. Let’s review the four most popular below:

QR codes

QR codes are one of the efficient mobile access credential choices. You can issue a different QR code for every person who enters your building. In turn, these codes are used to regulate people’s access, as well as track their activities inside the building.


Bluetooth technology allows you to pair your access readers to people’s iPhones and Android devices without being on the same Wifi network. 

Near-field communication (NFC)

Near-field communication (NFC) technology has the ability to transmit data through electromagnetic fields between two devices, allowing them to effectively communicate with one another. Both devices must contain NFC chips and be used within close proximity to each other. Today, we see them commonly used in “tap to pay” or “no-touch” credit card payment systems in restaurants and retailers. NFC can also be integrated into mobile devices to offer access management without the need for Wifi.

Choosing the Right Mobile Access Control System

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right mobile access control system. However, one of the main and most important considerations you will have to make is between an on-premises access control system and a cloud-based access control system

Here are some considerations to make on each: 

On-premises Access ControlCloud-based Access Control
Hardware needed, on-site server requiredHardware needed, on-site server not required
Manual check-ins and updates Automatic updates
Limited customizations Flexible API integrations 
Requires internal on-site IT team Remote technical support team included 
Challenging and expensive to scale Seamless scalability and compatibility  

Now that we’ve covered some of the main differences between on-premises and cloud-based systems, here are four major vehicles for access control:

1. Camera-equipped

Cameras can be classified as both on-premises and cloud-based. Adding cameras to your mobile access control system is a great way to reinforce your security. Most people choose to integrate cameras with access readers so they can view who is entering the premises. When used with a cloud-based system, you can view cameras in your building even when you are away from the property. 

2. Access Control Software 

Access control software can also be classified as on-premises or cloud-based. Access control software allows you to monitor and control access from one centralized location. Your internal IT team may use on-premises software and hardware to control access, or end-users may use a mobile access app on their smartphone.

Either way, access control software is critical for monitoring people’s accessibility within your building. Your choice of software will also dictate your overall user experience (UX) with mobile access control systems. 

3. Server-based 

Server-based access control systems are entirely contained in your operation. With this option, all the data from your system is housed in on-premises servers and physical hard drives. These systems require a good deal of infrastructure, IT expertise, and physical safeguards on your end. 

4. Cloud-based

Genea specializes in cloud-based mobile access control software. With our cutting-edge platform, you can simplify access control and visitor management by putting people’s access credentials directly on their phones. Our cloud-based access system offers remote access and is easy to update and customize with API integrations. 

Our software is compatible with the latest touchless access control technology using non-proprietary HID and Mercury hardware. 

Contact Genea today to discuss security technology and mobile access control systems. 

Subscribe to our blog!

Get the latest news, product updates, and other property tech trends automatically in your inbox.