The accessibility benefits of biometric access control cards vs traditional physical access control systems 

How S-Key’s biometric solution simplifies secure access for all 

Biometric access control cards allow you to check an individual’s identity before giving them access to your premises or systems. They provide strong two-factor authentication (2FA) straight out of the box: each person must present the right card with the right fingerprint for physical or logical access to the areas you have selected for that individual. 

More than this, S-Key’s fingerprint access control cards improve accessibility for your team. Introducing S-Key cards removes the frustrations of traditional physical access control systems, which can be poorly designed or implemented. 

Accessibility for real people

Access control systems are often designed with the perfect user in mind – but the functional abilities of your actual users may vary widely.  Eyesight ranges from perfect to none. Literacy and memory vary due to common conditions such as dyslexia, autism, dementia and stress. Physical ability may depend on mobility, dexterity, and fluctuating levels of pain. 

Staff or visitors using your premises may suffer from any or all of these difficulties, sometimes only temporarily. If you can make access control work better for them, you improve not only their sense of wellbeing but also their experience of your business.

Your accessibility obligations 

Accessibility is a legal requirement for both private and public sector organisations in the UK. At least one in five people in the UK have a long-term illness, impairment or disability. Accessibility at work is about removing barriers to help people take an active part in working life. Employers should ensure their workplace and how they work are accessible to as many people as possible. This is on top of the legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff and job applicants. 

An even greater number of your staff or visitors will experience occasional or less serious difficulties when using traditional cards requiring authentication by PIN or password.  

You must do what you can to make your services accessible so that everyone can use them equally.  

Accessibility in physical access control 

Access control systems requiring authentication by password or PIN can lack accessibility. S-Key access cards use biometric authentication by fingerprint, so do not need any other form of authentication by the user. 

So, let’s look at the accessibility issues that arise with traditional PIN or password entry systems, and see how S-Key fingerprint authentication provides the solution. 

Difficulty reading access screen  

Whether due to bright sunshine, screen damage or eyesight difficulties, reading on-screen prompts and instructions can prove difficult, especially for visitors or those unfamiliar with your access control system. 

S-Key fingerprint access control cards remove the need to read a screen. Simply placing the correct finger on your user card and holding it near the card reader will grant you access to your authorised areas, whether this is physical spaces or logical access to software and other systems.  

Unable to type entry password or PIN  

This may be due to physical issues (keypad digits illegible through use, or lack of dexterity) or simply difficulty remembering the password or PIN. In either case, S-Key cards solve the problem as no password or PIN is needed – just a fingerprint. 

Fear of infection 

Following the pandemic, society, in general, is more aware of the risk of contagion through touching objects such as keypads that are frequently touched by others. This is even more risky for those with compromised immune systems or caring responsibilities. We must make our workplaces accessible at minimum personal risk to individuals. 

S-Key biometric access control cards are completely contactless. The user touches only their card, holding it near to the reader to gain access. This contact-free access control system is an effective way to limit the exposure of users to infection or contamination.  

S-Key: the accessible access control solution 

Accessibility is important, not just because it is demanded by legislation. The more we can do to remove frustration or obstacles for other people, the better we make their lives. 

S-Key biometric access control cards improve accessibility for organisations by removing ‘pain points’ for the end user. The cards work with existing NFC / 13.56 MHz-based access control systems, are quick to set up and easy to use. 

S-Key cards are also cost-effective – and increasing accessibility is priceless. 

Call us now to set up a trial of S-Key fingerprint authenticated access control cards on +44 (0) 203 176 2350 or email