Integration—these days, it’s everywhere. Many products are now multi-purpose. Gone are the days of refrigerators being nothing more than a place to store food. Now, a refrigerator can connect to the Internet, your cell phone can give you the lat-est stock prices and your com-pany ID is also your office ac-cess card. The more technology advances, the more prevalent integration becomes.


Technological advancements have made it possible for people to get more done with one prod-uct. This also rings true for the security industry. Identification systems have become a major part of access control systems, asset protection systems, and time and attendance, to name a few.

Now, employee’s ID badges are used for more than just identifi-cation. They can be used to gain access into the office, access computer systems, and buy lunch at the cafeteria.

The Appeal

With the advancements in Smart Card technology, ID integration can be found in schools, gov-ernment agencies, and offices—large and small.

Why has it become such a popular security measure? Well, according to Gary Funck, vice president of marketing, IDenti-card, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one reason is “People don’t have to worry about carrying multiple cards.”

The other reasons are as varied as the markets they serve. Col-leges can use the technology to combine a student’s cafeteria al-lowance and access to their dorm on their ID card. Offices can combine physical identifica-tion with access control, asset protection, and time and atten-dance. Government agencies can also combine physical iden-tification with access control, as-set protection, and asset track-ing.

The combining of technologies helps eliminate wasted time, lowers costs, and gives an over-all view of what is going on at the facility. For example, by combining an employee’s ac-cess control with their identifica-tion, a company can have a re-cord of who was in the building and when. Asset track-ing/protection goes one step fur-ther. It will give the company a record of who was in the build-ing, when they were there, and what equipment they were using or moving around.


As with all new technology there are some issues of concern with ID integration. The main concern seems to be integrating photo identification into a total security system. Many companies worry about incorporating photo identi-fication into access control or asset tracking. Acquiring the proper software and equipment, and then getting it to work to-gether are all issues that need to be addressed.

Another concern is that once you incorporate the technology that you have the proper cards. “Making sure your ID cards have a printable surface—flat pol-ished PVC surface, is also im-portant,” says Mark Anderson, vice president of sales, Fargo Electronics, Eden Prairie, Minn.

Finally, another concern is whether or not printers will be able to work with the application software. Will the printer be able to perform the required tasks? “Will your printer be able to print barcodes, will it be able to en-code for proximity control are questions that should be asked,” says Anderson.


We are already seeing IDs being used to allow access to build-ings and computer data; the storage of personal information that can let people buy food in the office cafeteria or buy books at the school bookstore. What is next?

“What lies ahead is as products develop they become more market focused,” says Funck. The uses will become more specific and targeted. The IDs will have multiple uses based on the corporation or organization that is using them. They will de-cide what technology they need.

“We will also see more contact-less access cards, dual technol-ogy cards, and more with bio-metrics,” says Anderson.

The future of ID integration is boundless.