Is card access outdated?

Residential Estate Security Handbook 2016 - Vol 2 Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management, Products

All estates have a form of access control that starts the day the project starts. It evolves over time as new technologies become available or affordable, or as the conditions change in the area. Secure access to an estate does not eliminate the criminal element as they too evolve with time and sophistication.

The purpose becomes to up the barrier to entry in order to make it less attractive for the criminal to target an estate. Taking the barrier to entry higher continually comes at extra cost and frustration to dweller, worker and visitor alike.

What we have learned over the 18 years in this environment is that an ID card is still by far the most common and cost effective way to secure access to buildings, estates, gyms, universities and many other areas. It is not outdated or extinct and there are many reasons for this:

• People are used to carrying cards, they have a wallet full of them. They trust the card to protect their money.

• People have an affinity with an ID card as it allows them to feel in control.

• It is inexpensive and easy to maintain as well as versatile to adapt for purpose.

• The use of a card is relatively un-invasive and un-intimidating.

Is an ID card system expensive?

Historically the only option available to an estate was to purchase all the equipment upfront. This practise drained the funds from the estate account and led to estates buying cheaper equipment from suppliers that do not offer support or after sales service. With the nomadic nature of management, these cheap options caused problems down the line and normally land in the lap of the next manager or body corporate.

In this way, many a rand has been wasted that could have been applied elsewhere. The Smart Five Allegiance Programme allows an estate to buy into a stable company with an international acclaimed brand and footprint for service. The cost of the system is basically limited to the agreed unit cost of the card.

In our experience a basic estate requirement is:

• Printer – single sided or double sided, entry-level or mid-production based on cards per annum.

• Good versatile and easy to use software to manage multiple designs with database functionality.

• Cards – use what you have – stick to your supplier or source it through the programme for optimal benefit.

• HD webcam for photos – or facility to import user selected photo for use on card.

• Training to use the software, maintain the printer and do basic troubleshoot.

• Support and backing of Smart Five certified guru for assistance when needed.

For more information contact Smart Five, +27 (0)11 391 4693,,


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