QR codes in access control entry systems

This guide explores the use of QR codes in access control systems, including how they work, their pros and cons, and tips for implementation.

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QR code entry systems are a growing access control method businesses are using, no matter their size, purpose, or industry. The cost-efficiency of QR codes makes them a simple and effective security tool for every business. They are very easy to use, as all you need is your mobile phone or access card with the QR code and the QR code reader.

What are QR code access control systems?

Access control systems come in many shapes and forms, including plastic ID cards, biometric scans, security codes, and mantraps. QR code access control systems are simple, quick, and accurate - making them one of the more efficient systems to use.

By scanning a QR code, certain resources are made available within the office space. These codes help regulate visitors and keep track of what resources are being used within the facility.

Additionally, these codes can also be used for QR building access. They are able to link up with gates and doors to determine which QR code holders can enter facilities. This is particularly helpful in restricting visitors to certain areas of a building. QR building access can help in maintaining the order and flow within a workspace.

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How do QR codes work with access control systems?

Access control systems operate with a QR code reader. After receiving a QR code, you can scan it on the reader, and it will grant you access to the building or certain resources.

An image of a QR door access reader

After scanning the QR code, the reader sends the unique data captured in the code to the service provider. If the data in the code links up with the QR code reader’s data, it grants access to the individual who scanned the code.

This allows for a more secure and controlled environment, as building access is only granted when the security precautions are met by the service provider.

QR code door access with Kisi

Using QR code door readers, you can create QR codes that represent Kisi credentials. You can then unlock doors by scanning this code, allowing for many unique use cases, expanding the range of the Kisi system.

Why integrate QR access control with Kisi?

QR access is a great solution for visitors, given that QR codes can be easily sent via email or printed out, and work offline. By connecting your Kisi system with a QR code reader, you can:

  • Easily generate QR codes and send them by email or print them.
  • Swiftly manage visitor access without requiring them to download the Kisi app, and without you having to set up access links.
  • Deactivate the QR code at any time.

Take a look at the QR reader dedicated episode of Kisi unlocked for more details.

QR access with Kisi installation

Be sure to unplug the controller before wiring anything. For this installation, you’ll need:

Hardware setup

  • Ensure the controller is unplugged.
  • Attach the Wiegand board to the controller.
  • Wire the QR scanner to the Wiegand board, connecting the D0, D1, +/12V, and -/GND ports.
  • Ensure that the switch on the Wiegand board where you have connected the scanner is set to ‘Reader’.
An image showing Kisi's Wiegand board connected to the scanner and set to ‘Reader’

When finished, it should look similar to the pictures below.

An image of a finished Kisi and QR reader installation
An close up of a finished wiring of a Kisi and QR reader installation

Software setup

  • Go to web.kisi.io.
  • Click on ‘Places’ and select your place.
  • Click on ‘Hardware’, ‘Controllers’, and select your controller.
  • Scroll down and choose the Wiegand channel that corresponds to the QR code scanner that has been connected to the system.
  • Click on ‘Type’ and select ‘Legacy Reader’.
  • Click on ‘Search door or elevator’ and enter the door to unlock with the QR code scanner.
  • Click on ‘Save’.

Creating a QR code

  • Go to web.kisi.io.
  • Click on ‘Credentials’, ‘Add credential’, ‘Single credential’.
  • Click on ‘Card type’ and select EM410x 32-bit.
  • Click on ‘Card ID’ and enter a number between 0 and 4,294,967,295. Remember this number.
  • Click on ‘Assign to user’ and type the user email address you would like to assign to. Tip: If you want to use the QR code as a generic guest pass, you can create a fake user beforehand and assign this credential to this fake user.
  • Click on ‘Add’.
  • Click on the card previously created.
  • Click on ‘Activate’.
  • Now simply go to a QR code generator.
  • Enter the Card ID you previously selected as raw data, and generate your QR code.
  • The door will now unlock when you present that code to the scanner.

Tip: A smaller QR code is easier for the scanner to read.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a QR code door entry system?

A QR code access control system is cost-effective both to install and maintain. The minimal use of devices makes it not only more cost-efficient, but lessens its carbon footprint as there is no need to print lots of plastic cards for each employee, as is done with the traditional identification card access control systems.

In addition to this, it works quickly and accurately, allowing your business more control over the flow of people. People can be restricted to certain areas of the building, creating more order in your spaces.

Moreover, because it’s done through mobile devices, the system is always on hand and easy to use.

However, there are still some disadvantages. Since the QR code is often not registered to a specific person, people can send or share the code, which limits its security. Additionally, if the business does not regularly monitor their QR codes, it is easy for hackers to replace the code with QR codes that are encrypted with viruses.

QR code entry systems can help you manage large groups of visitors who visit your building and need rapid onboarding. By regularly updating and monitoring QR code access control systems, your organization can ensure a safe and efficient environment for all employees.

Kisi supported access credentials

Avoid all the disadvantages of QR codes, while adding an additional layer of security, with mobile access control. Contact our security experts for more information.

Are you interested in learning more about mobile access control and other security measures? Check out the different access methods Kisi offers.

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