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Kisi enables NFC cards, including public transportation and credit cards

Kisi is excited to announce our newest feature—an integration with third-party NFC cards

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Alternative to RFID cards

Updated on November 30, 2022

Written by Bernhard Mehl

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Kisi is excited to announce our newest feature—an integration with third-party NFC cards. Kisi, the leader in cloud and mobile access control, has integrated all types of NFC cards including, but not limited to, public transit NFC cards and contactless bank or credit cards. We released a new flow on the Android version of the mobile app that allows the administrator of a Kisi location to enroll an NFC access card token for a user onto their phone to unlock a door connected with Kisi.

Kisi maintains a mobile-first philosophy, but as a backup to our secure Tap-to-Unlock functionality, we have extended our range of accepted credentials to encompass legacy NFC cards. Kisi users often already have NFC cards for a variety of purposes— be they transit cards, bank cards, building access cards, or even HID fobs for NFC readers. Many organizations have been upgrading their infrastructure and utilizing NFC technology for a variety of purposes. Notable examples include new contactless payment American Express cards, and transit cards like San Francisco’s Clipper card, or London’s Oyster card. New WeWork cards, that are NFC-based, will also work with this integration, as these institutions are issuing NFC cards to replace old hunks of plastic. Thus, to streamline the Kisi experience for our clients and to avoid more plastic in your wallet, we have enabled users to enroll their existing NFC cards to unlock Kisi-equipped doors.

Additionally, we’ve noticed that many Kisi-equipped companies are geographically dispersed, operating out of multiple locations, and employees have a tendency to travel between them on a frequent basis. If the employee in question doesn’t use the mobile tap-to-unlock feature, it would be a hassle to require them to pick up a new ID card, on top of incurring a needless cost for the company. Thus, it makes sense to allow a traveling employee to enroll their existing NFC cards, be they a transit card, or a bank card, or even an existing Kisi card, to unlock a new location—especially since many businesses are operating out of different work environments, including coworking spaces. Being fast to collaborate in an easy yet controllable way is key. That’s why Kisi is the first physical security company to reshape on-demand facility use. A small first step is enabling 112 public transportation cards globally and 52 wireless credit cards, and counting, to be enrolled as a valid backup access credential.

There may be, understandably, some security concerns that arise. In response to these, Kisi would like to affirm that we will not, and are not able to, read any information from these cards other than their unique NFC token. Contactless bank cards, and other cards that carry sensitive information, are encrypted and Kisi readers are unable to read this information. Thus, activating your NFC card to work with Kisi will make it no less secure than it was to begin with—it will not affect your information. In terms of your building’s security, the implications of using an NFC card to unlock are no different than using a building access card for your own office; however, if a truly secure solution is needed Kisi still recommends its own Kisi Passes. Finding the balance between flexibility and security is something a Kisi specialist would love to help you out with. Please feel free to get in touch with us.

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.

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