I’ve been working in the security industry, particularly focusing on access control, for around 9 years now. While some of you might think that’s nothing, for me it's… 9 years longer than I thought I’d be here. No offense, but after working with web developers for four years, building apps, games, and everything in between, security technology was pretty lame.
It was an industry designed in a silo, and seemed to like it that way. Try and point any of this out, or maybe build something even slightly different? Industry “leaders” attempted to tear you down any way they could while drowning out any support. It was frustrating; I was used to a constant desire to innovate, not roadblocks against it.
But, as they say in this incestuous industry, once you join, you’re in for life. Just like the mob. Or Planet Fitness. Keep paying $10 a month, or go in person to cancel? Decisions, decisions.
I’ve tried leaving security twice, but both times, I came back pretty quickly. You could argue I never left, seeing as I went to visitor management companies, and pushed hard to bring access control into the fold. Never worked out, so I’ve kept coming back. Back to security, back to access control, and perhaps most importantly, back to mobile credentials.
Every entry and re-entry into security involved someone doing something that was challenging the landscape. Cloud-hosting/BLE credentials, focusing on end-users vs. just the channel. Incremental steps in the right direction, but met with so much resistance at every turn.
This time is different. The NFC Wallet credentials are bringing, sometimes forcing, real change to the security industry. Here are the reasons why:
1. The push is coming from the outside
Large megatechs are investing a lot of time, effort, money and infrastructure to make sure access control works within their massive Wallet ecosystems. So like it or not, these megatechs are here to stay, regardless of any usual naysaying from legacy leadership.
The second push is coming from customers themselves, who have still been on the outside looking in because they’ve been largely ignored and neglected by the industry. Now they are saying “We want Wallet,” and if their regular vendors aren’t on board to provide it, others are happily willing to jump in.
2. Frictionless: It doesn’t mean what you think it means
COVID brought about a bunch of stupid buzzwords, and “frictionless” might’ve been the worst. Anyone selling mobile credentials (myself included) beat this to death, and it was ridiculous, providing no real meaning or value to anyone using a mobile credential. There was and still is “friction” at the door, because you have to do… something. With Wallet, there is plenty of value for everyone involved, which is what we should be talking about. Things like:
End users can now have a credential that is not only tied to a device that is basically their identity, but also offers a familiar experience from start to finish, and they get through a door without having a second thought. There’s a good word for that experience… effortless? Nah, that’s not quite it… I’ll think of something.
3. New breed of access control brings a new breed of access control software
Wavelynx was a part of several press releases over the last month, and none of the partners we’ve launched Apple Wallet with are what we would historically call access control companies. Identity, visitor management, and building intelligence platforms are now access control platforms. By adding access as a feature, these companies are opening doors (pun definitely intended) to new opportunities outside of their usual market. And oh by the way, these platforms will integrate with any and all access control systems, so they become the standardized solution regardless of whether the customer has one access control system or twenty.
The essential driver behind all of this change is an improved experience for the end-user, which is why it will bring about some of the most positive change the industry has seen in a long time, along with a massive amount of opportunity. Wavelynx is helping to provide the foundational platform for NFC Wallet to reach as many end users as possible, and we look forward to supporting our partners and customers in bringing a truly interoperable solution to the market.
If you’d like to learn more about NFC Wallet, becoming a partner, or adopting the technology for your organization, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.