Partner Spotlight: Kisi x andcards, connecting people and coworking spaces

By Vera Eftimovska

October 04, 2022

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andcards is an easy-to-use, unified platform that makes managing a coworking space a walk in the park. It makes coworking space members self-sufficient and admins—efficient.

It assembles all the tools to save admin time by automating the most time-consuming workflows for administrators, i.e., invoicing and payments collection, members and membership plans management, room and desk bookings, and more.

Coworking space customers also benefit from andcards’ web and mobile apps. Members can become autonomous and book rooms and desks, pay for their memberships, join events, purchase products, apply for benefits, open Kisi doors, communicate with the community, and more from their smartphones. Administrators and non-members can use these apps too.

The andcards-Kisi integration amplifies both companies’ obsession with user experience. It fully automates access to a coworking space and provides an unparalleled, seamless white-label experience.

The integration minimizes manual operations for coworking space managers, taking care of everything from user registration to the mobile key. It also maximizes members’ comfort as they don’t need to create an additional Kisi account or download one more app. People just open doors with the same coworking space app they already have.

It’s our pleasure to welcome Igor, andcards’ CEO and co-founder, to Kisi’s Partner Spotlight Series. Many clients love the Kisi x andcards integration, and we can’t wait to hear more details about it.

How did this fruitful relationship start?

The start of andcards-Kisi cooperation dates back to the beginning of 2021, though we considered building the Kisi integration long before. Several of our customers in Sweden and the US chose Kisi as their access control system, so our engineers rolled up their sleeves. The coworking spaces wanted to provide a seamless in-app unlocking experience to members.

We at andcards take customer requests seriously. Besides, we loved the idea of a seamless access experience and saw an opportunity to offer people greater comfort and convenience.

We believe that access to a flexible space must be simple. People don't need to create multiple accounts, log in twice, activate devices, etc. They should just open their coworking space app and tap the unlock button. It should just work.

Our customer need also coincided with Kisi's next-generation API release, "Kisi for Organizations," which empowered us to build that next-gen experience. We worked hard with the Kisi team to make that happen.

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What does security mean to andcards?

Security is essential in coworking spaces. It is a foundation of member safety and comfort. As members of coworking spaces ourselves, we want to know our things and team members are safe. At the same time, working with hundreds of coworking spaces worldwide, we know that security is an opportunity for coworking spaces to grow. People and companies are growing aware of physical and digital security and need a reliable solution.

The andcards team takes data privacy and security seriously. We use leading hosting and data processing infrastructure by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google. We protect our customers against hacking with Amazon RDS encrypted database instance, secure HTTPS connection with RSA 2048 bit keys, TLS/SSL endpoint connections on API, and engage third-party security experts to perform detailed penetration tests on the andcards application and infrastructure. We also comply with relevant data processing laws and continuously monitor user and server activity to early detect suspicious activity.

Physical security is another dimension of the matter, which is also very important. It's about access control for various doors, elevators, speed gates, etc. It's also about network connection security—Wi-Fi systems. All these should be carefully selected and integrated.

For instance, with smart locks installed, only authorized people can enter the space, which is excellent. But when you integrate a cloud-based access control system with your coworking space software, access will be automatically granted to members with pre-paid plans, external customers that booked a desk or a room, event attendees, pre-registered visitors, etc., which makes your security system much more intelligent and customer-friendly.

A high digital and physical security synergy can do wonders for a coworking business. It meets people's demands, reduces risks, and gives everyone peace of mind and a feeling of safety. And the feeling of customers translates directly into brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

How does andcards support connecting people and spaces?

andcards extends a physical coworking space into a digital dimension. It’s a unified platform connecting members and nonmembers to meetings and workspaces, office doors, Wi-Fi networks, and even other inhabitants.

I like how Hector Kolonas explained the necessity of automation platforms, such as andcards, at each layer of the coworking business model in his andcards interview: “The Ops Stack framework helps operators think about their tech, external services, and internal activities into four distinct categories: Marketing, Lead Generation, Sales, and Hospitality. I find it useful to think of these categories as layers of an onion with Hospitality at the core. That layer is then wrapped in Sales, which is wrapped in Lead Gen, which in turn is wrapped in Marketing.”

The outer layers (Marketing, Lead Generation) are usually the largest, touching multiple platforms and reaching the most people. The audience naturally decreases as you move deeper down the funnel into the Sales and Hospitality layers. andcards functions at each mentioned layer, connecting all tools you use and automating as many repetitive tasks as possible, maximizing your hospitality at the core.

Here’s an example of how it works.

Some coworking spaces host regular events. Without automation, it’s a monstrous task. But not for andcards customers. Community managers add a new event to the app: provide catchy images, descriptions, prices, and the maximum number of attendees. Members discover the new event easily and apply with a tap right inside the app. The experience is as seamless for nonmembers as well. Upon joining an event, people get a ticket, timely reminders, Wi-Fi access, and can unlock doors with a smartphone, thanks to the Kisi integration.

This is just a tiny example of how andcards unites relevant tools and people into a unified platform, making managing and using flexible spaces easy and enjoyable.

What makes access control crucial to coworking spaces?

There are a few key reasons why access control integrated with a coworking platform is helpful for flex spaces.

  • It makes the space accessible 24/7. Coworking spaces provide members with the utmost comfort of round-the-clock access, which means more money for operators and a better customer experience. A manager does not have to be physically present all the time.
  • It saves administrators’ time. Coworking space managers don't need to waste time preparing and explaining access to people. Everything is seamless and automated with the help of a coworking space platform integration.
  • Access control helps ensure safety and security within the coworking space. By limiting the access possibilities for strangers, operators make their spaces even more comfortable for paying customers.
  • Access control systems help introduce a specific coworking culture and discipline. No entrance for members without an advance booking. No access for members without prepayment and acceptance of community rules.
  • It takes comfort and scalability in a coworking space to a higher level. Cloud access control systems enable touchless door unlocking. Members even don’t need any plastic cards to enter; they can use smartphones, which is advantageous for administrators as they don’t have to buy and distribute physical keys.
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What was your first impression of Kisi?

I can point out two aspects here. Firstly, Kisi is a product that our customers have well received. Customers told us how reliable and easy to use it was in their experience, which we believe to be true for anyone who purchases the system.

Secondly, it's been our pleasure to work with the Kisi team. You guys are always very responsive, and your developer-first approach shows in every interaction we have had thus far.

What is your experience with the Kisi integration so far?

We offer several dimensions of the Kisi integration: conditional and white-label access.

  • Conditional access is based on a membership plan. Administrators assign a plan to a member on andcards, and the access is granted automatically. No need for administrators to open the Kisi dashboard. If the plan expires, the access is revoked. This automation is a huge time saver for administrators as they don’t need to manage two apps at the same time.
  • White-label access allows for in-app door unlocking by users. Powered by Kisi for Organizations API, andcards pioneered the seamless in-app unlocking for coworking spaces. People open the andcards-made web or mobile app, go to the “Access” page, and tap to unlock. It's just incredibly easy. Imagine that you don’t need to explain to people what app to download or what account to create. People just use the same coworking space app they already have, with access registration, grant, and unlocking done seamlessly and securely in the background by the andcards-Kisi integration.

We hope to evolve the integration further, guided by market demand and as Kisi for Organizations API capabilities expand.

What benefits are your clients experiencing thanks to the Kisi-andcards integration?

I think there are four key benefits that our customers get with the integration:

  • It saves several hours per month for admins and reduces the chance of human error thanks to automatic access granting and revocation. Admins just assign membership plans on andcards, and members get access to the coworking space immediately.
  • Convenient tap-to-unlock experience for members. Members just love going to the “Access” page on andcards and tapping to unlock a door. Our data shows that in some coworking spaces, nearly 80% of community members regularly use our in-app unlocking feature. In these modern times, one might forget keys at home, but not a smartphone.
  • Higher customer engagement leads to better monetization. By opening the app to unlock doors, users can't help but notice rooms, desks, shop products, events, community feed posts, and all other services a coworking space offers. The function helps bring people back to the app, encouraging the discovery of new content.
  • Increased digital key adoption by members. Deep andcards-Kisi integration reduces the steps required to take advantage of the tech. As we eliminate unnecessary friction, more people start to actually enjoy the benefits of the digital key reducing dependence on old-school physical tokens or administrator’s assistance.

Any interesting use case you’d like to share?

Campfire Coworks, our tech-driven customer in the United States, utilizes multiple intelligent solutions to make member life happier. Kisi’s access control system is one of these solutions.

Before andcards, Campfire Coworks used another platform as management software, and it caused many headaches. Sometimes after the regular updates, Campfire members couldn’t unlock the door and get to the space because the integration didn’t work. Constant lags frustrated Campfire managers so much they decided to migrate to andcards.

Now, Campfire Coworks members and managers are pretty happy with the stable andcards platform and deep andcards-Kisi integration. Members use the Campfire Coworks apps to unlock doors.

“In just one month, we onboarded 19 new members. The process was simple and people are loving how the Kisi door access is built right into the andcards application. They don't have to download the Kisi app, which means that less real estate is taken up on their smartphones. Since our migration to andcards the door unlocking has been working flawlessly.” — Michael Gorski, RevOps Pointman and Resource Specialist at Campfire Coworks

Another happy andcards-Kisi integration customer is Lamb—a social club and coworking space in Stockholm, Sweden.

“Having Kisi access inside our app makes everything easier for our members. They only need one app, the onboarding process is easier, and we give them another reason to use our app on a daily basis. It's been an incredible feature to have, and our members really appreciate it.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of Lamb

Embassy House, another Stockholm-based coworking space chain, got tired of using a bunch of standalone solutions and switching between different interfaces all the time. Scaling your coworking space business requires consistency and efficient operations that can only be ensured through a unified platform.

“Using all those tools, we had to administrate and handle too many places. We were dreaming of finding a one-stop shop that would finally put an end to the rush and thrashing about. andcards artistically solved the demands we had with multiple systems, and their in-app door unlock is one of the essential components that contribute to a better member experience at Embassy House.” — Anders Nilsson, Embassy House.

How do you envision coworking security and access control in the future?

There used to be a time when elevators were controlled by a person sitting inside. In the past, if you wanted to call someone, you'd pick up a phone and ask an operator to connect you instead of dialing a number. Self-driving cars and the public transportation revolution are underway.

Today, technology made a giant leap forward, but coworking spaces still need an army of staff to operate: cleaning, technicians, community managers, and accountants. I know that many of our customers dream about a fully autonomous and self-operating coworking space without manual routines, with people served by intelligent infrastructure, smart light and climate, easy door access, a self-checkout shop, and community services.

Perhaps in some not-so-distant future, andcards with Kisi and other great companies can offer a complete autonomous solution for coworking spaces.

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Can you give us a glimpse of any exciting plans or projects andcards is working on?

We are excited to bring about our vision of happier people at work by executing our mission of "coworking in a smartphone." This is a long way, but we're steadily making progress.

We're building a rock-solid digital backbone of a coworking business on the server infrastructure side. We want to use the most cutting-edge technology to empower our customers to be more successful and give them an edge over the competition. For example, we recently implemented a new serverless cloud computing and development model, probably the first time it's been used in a coworking business environment. This technology means our apps are faster, more secure, and more reliable. We also continue to evolve our API for more powerful plug-and-play opportunities.

On the client side, we're making the easiest-to-use coworking space interface. Because tech should make your life easier, not harder. We've already introduced impressive enhancements like low-cost bank debits, smart notifications and planning to continue enhancing the coworking toolkit with rich communication and membership management features.

What sets andcards apart from everyone else is our openness to innovative ideas of our community. Are you looking for a solution to a challenge in your coworking space? Share all your ideas and thoughts with us today, and watch us bring them to life tomorrow. The future belongs to us.

This was very insightful and inspiring. Thanks, Igor. Feel free to check out andcards to learn more and read all about the Kisi x andcards integration. Make sure to contact us if you have any questions. Until next time!

Vera-Eftimovska-Kisi
Vera Eftimovska

Content Strategist at Kisi