4 reasons to upgrade to multifunctional smart cards

Multifunctional smart cards – that is, cards that can be used for a wide range of applications – are becoming increasingly popular. “There are 4 main reasons to upgrade to multifunctional smart cards, one of which is to ensure that your security policies are followed,” says Daniel Hjort at identity and security company Nexus Group.

Multifunctional smart cards are plastic cards fitted with features to make it possible for employees or students to use a single card for a wide range of applications, such as logging in to computers and cloud services, opening doors and cabinets, paying in the cafeteria, follow-me printing, borrowing books, and proving their identity visually.

“It may seem self-evident that multifunctional smart cards are the way to go, but many organizations still use different cards or key fobs for different applications. And many organizations still do not use cards at all for a lot of things, such as printing and payments,” says Hjort, a business developer with extensive experience within the identity and security industry.

The 4 main reasons to upgrade to multifunctional smart cards are:

1. To make life easier for your employees or students.

“It is of course more convenient to just carry around a single card, instead of several cards or key fobs, or instead of remembering several different codes and passwords for things like printers, doors, cabinets and computers,” says Hjort.

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2. To ensure that your security policies are followed.

It can be challenging to enforce security policies, for example, that employees always carry their cards on them, or that the computers always be locked when left alone at the office desk.

“If your employees have one single multifunctional smart card that they need for everything, you help them to actually follow your policies – without them even taking the time to read and understand them. They will automatically remove the card from their computer when leaving it, since they have to open the door with the card,” says Hjort.

3. To reduce the number of lost cards and key fobs.

“Switching to multifunctional smart cards makes a huge difference in the number of lost credentials. And it is understandable: if you have a key fob that you only use once every couple of weeks to get into the office cellar, the risk of you misplacing it is obviously much greater than if you have one single card that you use for everything, all the time,” says Hjort.

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4. To save money.

If you give your users one single multifunctional smart card instead of, for example, two different cards and two key fobs, that will cost you less. And multifunctional smart cards save you money in other ways too.

“For example, you will reduce the number of printed pages if you require the users to present their card at the printer instead of the printer just printing out the papers remotely – people often forget to go and get their papers, and print new ones later on instead,” says Hjort.

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