HID has had several slogans around a converged credential, such as; “Do more than open the door” and “One card does it all”.
Until recently the notion of carrying a single credential for multiple applications was largely unfulfilled, but as new vertical markets evaluate the benefits of leveraging their install base, we will begin to see more and more converged solutions.
As the leader in the physical access control space, it is only natural that HID continues to expand on opportunities that will allow you to use the card that gets you in the door for other applications within the enterprise. This has led to the convergence of physical and logical access control. The addition of logical access readers under the OMNIKEY brand name, a multi-technology credential branded Crescendo, and the latest release of HID on the Desktop™ with naviGO™ software to manage token based authentication for Microsoft Window® login, puts HID in a position to provide the largest breadth of products for the appropriate interfaces and security for laptop and desktop users to take advantage of their physical access control credential for logical access applications.
Although credential convergence seems localized to the enterprise environment, we are starting to see it emerge in various other vertical markets. For instance, U.S. Bank, one of the largest financial institution in the United States, is currently piloting a credit card that combines a standard magnetic stripe, contactless Visa® payWave, and contactless HID iCLASS. A representative of the company sent me an email stating, “I just used my new card to purchase lunch with the magnetic stripe, buy a soda from a vending machine with PayWave, and used iCLASS to get back in the building, all without a hitch”. There are a number of other pilots that are taking place as well, which are combining physical access with other vertical markets such as transit and asset management.
I believe that while credential convergence will continue to grow, without proper training or continued evaluation and testing of the card, growth will be inhibited due to the lack of personnel with the skill set necessary to support the integration of disparate applications. Continued education, manufacturer co-operations, and the willingness to communicate across previously hostile inter-departmental barriers are the keys to the future success of the converged credential.