Access control systems are common in many businesses with areas that require high security, such as banks or hospitals, as well as offices and apartment buildings. They restrict access to authorised persons by locking the door until it can be opened by the right person, either with a code, a key card or biometrics. This article details the available types of access control systems to help you decide which is best for your premises.  


Biometric access control systems are the most complex and the most secure, as they require a fingerprint to be scanned and recognised before access is granted. These systems are often found in areas that need extremely high security, such as bank safes and confidential records rooms. They allow only authorised persons, or visitors accompanied by an authorised person, to enter these areas. While they’re highly effective for secure spaces, they can be inconvenient for standard areas where visitors are common, such as an office building.

Due to each authorised person having a unique fingerprint, the system is able to track who passes through the system and at what time. This makes tracking people easier in the case of an incident such as theft.

Key Card

This type of system involves each authorised person owning a plastic key card which can grant access when swiped across the access control system. These are common in offices, as each staff member can easily carry their own, and visitor cards can be made available if necessary. Accounting for these at the end of the day maintains security. 

Like a biometric system, each card can carry a unique code that allows the individual to be tracked as they enter a room. Should security ever be compromised, you will know who had access to the room at a particular time. This also allows for a lost card to be cancelled without having to reissue new cards to every staff member, especially if there are over 100.

Pass Code

The pass code system requires each person that enters to input a code, which will then either unlock the door or disable the alarm. This is common in areas that have frequent visitors and only need to restrict access after-hours, such as medical clinics and residential buildings. Many homes are equipped with access control systems that take a code to disable. If security is compromised, the code can be changed on a regular basis. The advantage of systems like these is that only a limited number of people are given the code, ensuring unknown visitors can’t enter without the owner’s knowledge. However, there is no personalisation to a system like this and you won’t be able to tell who has used the code. 

There are advantages to all types of access control systems. Choosing which one to invest in depends on your needs and the area that will be restricted, as well as how many people regularly require access and how many visitors are to be expected.