The challenge of multi-application access control

SMART Access & Identity 2023 Access Control & Identity Management

Banque Populaire Provençale et Corse (BPPC) is a regional bank which operates in the Bouches-du-Rhône and Vaucluse départements of south-eastern France and on Corsica, part of the Banque Populaire et Caisse d’Epargne group. It currently has 1000 staff, over 90 branches, 190 000 customers, including 77 000 companies.

“We needed an access control system, to secure the Head Office, manage the flow of hundreds of staff and to integrate all our applications into a single system,” says BPPC security manager, Isabelle Bianco.

BPPC wanted to implement an access control system, not only to ensure a level of security consistent with its brand image, but also to have a single multi-application card and centralise security management. To develop the project, the Security Department worked in close collaboration with integrator Unicacces, which provided consulting and a solution that perfectly meets BPPC specifications.

In addition to a multi-application card, BPPC was looking for RFID card readers to secure access to the building and its parking lot. The main selection criteria were as follows:

• Sturdy and vandal resistant (IK09 minimum): resistant to physical attack for external access control, in particular on Avenue du Prado, which is a busy street.

• Aesthetics and design: the readers must seamlessly blend into their environment.

The collaborative STid & Unicacces solution, with Architect readers, UHF systems and dual-frequency cards, has been adopted to meet all these demanding criteria.

Single multi-application card

BPPC wanted to implement an access control system, using a secure solution to operate all business services that require identification with a single device that would not only provide physical access, but also be used for purchases from vending machines and storage of personal data etc.

The BPPC Security Department has implemented a secure access control system based on dual-frequency 13.56 MHz MIFARE and UHF STid cards to centralise all applications onto a single device. MIFARE technologies make it possible to integrate numerous applications, while providing a flexible and dynamic memory management solution. The card, combined with several dozen readers, is used daily for physical access, payment in the cafeteria, purchases from vending machines, and access to shared resources (such as printers), secure cabinets and more.

“We manage significant flows of people, such as staff, visitors and maintenance workers, so it was crucial to create fully secure zoning,” adds Bianco.

With this in mind, BPPC installed about 40 upgradeable Architect readers to secure and manage flows for all sensitive areas: external doors, elevators, internal ground floor doors, Kaba access gates, server and IT rooms etc. These high-security readers are combined with URC systems, high-performance long-distance UHF readers, to secure and control access to the parking lot. These ensure reliable identification of vehicle drivers on successive entries, while providing more convenient reading distances.

The Pythéas head office is a bright, aesthetic, modern building. As the only visible part of the system, it was crucial for STid to offer readers that blend seamlessly into the Pythéas environment, matching BPPC colours. The architects of the head office and security department were immediately won over by its design and customisation options (colour of LEDs, printed logo, casing colour, stylish trim etc.).

Security and user experience

BPPC offers its staff the highest levels of security without compromising their user experience when accessing the various secure areas. Implementation of an RFID access control system enables BPPC to launch a multi-application system while remaining in control of access and flow management.

“The RFID solution offer many options for the management of everyday functions and applications. “While simplifying and optimising the management of our 500 users, it provides the opportunity to enhance our security based on our current requirements, and to be ready for our future needs,” adds Bianco.

BPPC is also pleased with the Architect card readers, which fulfil its objectives of being sturdy with a stylish design. “As vehicles of our brand image, they blend seamlessly into the Pythéas head office, cleverly combining modernity and understated style,” says Bianco.

For more information contact Evolving Management Solutions, +27 11 274 6665,,

This case study was published by STid at (short link:*ems1).


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