Photo ID cards are becoming a common security measure within the workplace. This begs the question; can they actually improve security? It is the responsibility of company bosses and HR professionals to ensure work environments are as safe as possible for workers, meaning security measures have to be taken.
What Are Photo ID Cards?
Photo ID cards are small PVC cards that usually include an employee’s name, job title and a photograph of the individual. They can be placed in a badge holder and attached to a lanyard to be worn at all times. A company can also customise these cards to add branding as well as barcodes and passcodes. These features can turn the ID card into an electronic key to unlock certain areas of the building, depending on the level of access given to the employee. Photo ID cards are quite a common security measure in large office buildings and businesses to not only identify staff but also allow specific access to be granted to individuals.
Using Photo ID Cards as A Security Measure
Photo ID cards are easy to implement across any sized business, are relatively economical, and one of the most efficient security methods. The cards are light, thin and easy for staff to wear in a lanyard at all times.
As a security/access control method, photo ID cards are generally the best option. There aren’t any other methods that currently combine identification and access control into one, which should be the two most essential elements of security in any business.
Since key fobs don’t have the option of adding photo ID, they offer an access control solution but are missing the identification aspect. Security fobs are often attached to people’s office keys, meaning that if the employee leaves their keys on their desk, they will have limited access around the building. Cards that are digitally loaded onto phones can have issues such as the phones breaking, or the ID’s not loading. They also have the same problem as key fobs where if the employee loses their phone or leaves it at home or at their desk, they won’t have full access to the building.
The Cost of Photo ID Cards
Now you know how companies can use photo ID cards as a security measure, you might decide to use them for your own business. This is where research becomes essential to ensure you are getting the best cost for cards and are using the right products. Every company will have different criteria they want for their ID cards, and there are plenty of companies that will be able to provide them to match the requirements.
The exact cost of a batch of photo ID cards varies depending on the specification you have chosen, such as the designs and the technology they require but as a rough idea, 100 standard sized ID cards from Digital ID, with one design and made with NXP 4K Mifare technology will cost between £370 and £450. The access control system that goes with these cards retails for between £40 and over £100, depending on the system you choose.
The setup cost of this form of security system can be expensive, however it is long lasting and reliable. This means that once the initial setup cost is paid for, you will only need to cover the cost of printing additional cards or replacing already existing ones.
In comparison to other security measures, the cost of key fobs compared to photo ID cards varies, depending on what you require. Key fobs offer no form of ID, and therefore the cost of producing them is often less as there is no need for customisation, however, the lower cost is reflective of a less reliable security measure.
How to Set Up Your Photo ID Card Security System
The process of setting up your photo ID card security system is actually relatively straightforward.
First, you will need to decide whether you want standard ID cards or access control cards. If access control is what you want, you will need to buy the required technology, including access control card readers for a number of locations around the company space. If you wish to restrict access to certain areas, these readers will need installing.
After deciding the type of cards you will need, you will need to design them with any company branding or customisation you may need. You can either order them to be printed by professionals or buy any required device and materials to print them in-house. These options will have varying prices depending on how many cards you need, how often you need them printing and the customisation options. For example, if you only need one lot of cards printing, it is recommended to get them done professionally to ensure an affordable and quality product. If you will need to print new cards regularly, printing them in-house would most likely be the most economical option for you.
A Recap on the Benefits of a Photo ID Card System
So, we’ve looked at how the systems work and the costs, so let’s recap the benefits of this form of security within a workplace:
- Option to buy cards with and without access control for different members of staff
- A clear and simple form of identification
- Long lasting and reliable form of security
- Easy to roll out and implement throughout a business
- Lightweight and subtle to wear at all times
- Easier to have on you at all times in comparison to other forms of ID/access control
Implementing and Promoting Your New Security System
If you decide to use photo ID cards within your business, you will have the task of implementing and promoting the change to your workforce.
If this is an entirely new system you’re introducing to your employees, knowledge is going to be vital in getting everyone on board. Hosting a full staff meeting on the day you provide everyone with their new ID cards that explains the entire system, why you have chosen to do this and what is expected of the staff as part of this new security measure ensures everyone understands.
Sending out an email within your company that follows up on this information also ensures everyone is aware and has the guidelines for the system in their inbox to refer to at all times.
If this new security measure is something you wish to promote outside of your organisation too, social media posts on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and customer/supplier email campaigns are quick and cost-effective ways of spreading the message.