If you think it’s time to reconsider how you identify contractors and vendors, you’re not alone. Many organizations assess the pros and cons of different types of ID badges to keep a constant focus on the increase in worksite security. Outside of security, you’ll also need to consider how easy it is for your team to get buy-in from contractors, distribute the new badges, and then revoke them when the job is done. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if the cards didn’t take a big bite out of your budget, right?
In 2017, the two most secure options were photo ID badges and digital ID badges. In this post, we’ll review the benefits and downsides of both options to help you decide which is best for your company.
Factors to Consider with Digital ID Badges
Digital identification can offer greater security for your worksite and allow for real-time tracking. Here are some of the factors to consider when looking into options for digital ID badges.
- Multiple layers of identity validity, including fingerprints, passport, and facial recognition, similar to what’s available on today’s iPhones.
- Theft prevention. Digital ID badges are either personal validation like taking fingerprints or connected to the contractors’ personal devices, which make these much more difficult to be replicated or stolen.
- Revoking access to the worksite is very simple with digital ID badges and can virtually be done with the push of a button.
- In the future, digital ID badges will offer push notifications. This will help your team quickly alert workers in the case of an emergency or less serious announcements, like a group lunch.
Adoption and Distribution
- All your team needs to do is download an app and claim your business, making for a simple adoption process.
- After downloading the app, you have access to a web-based management system of your company. Then, you can invite employees and contractors to download their digital ID by downloading the application.
- One minor issue with these types of digital ID badges is if your employees do not have smartphones. Although this is rare with an estimated 80% of all adults in the United States owning a smartphone in 2018, there are hybrid solutions available where employees without smartphones can use printed photo ID badges instead.
- A major benefit for digital ID badges is that they’re cheaper than print ID badges. You are only responsible to pay an annual fee for access to the service.
- Your company will not have to pay for the production of cards. (Consult here to learn more about production costs.)
- When implementing digital ID badges, you will need to get the proper barcode or fingerprint scanner to validate the identification source, which is an additional cost.
Factors to Consider with Photo ID Badges
Photo ID badges were once the standard and while there are still benefits to the physical badges, there are some drawbacks especially with the advent of digital options.
- Photo ID badges are more secure than options available in the past. Features such as watermarks, holograms, and customized holokote make these badges easily recognizable and harder to duplicate.
- One downfall when it comes to security is the risk of theft or duplication. Fake ID badges are a concern when using photo identification. Learn more about that in this post.
Adoption and Distribution
- If your organization opts for photo ID badges, you’ll need to work with a reliable provider to get off the ground quickly. Then, in the future, you may choose to purchase the whole printing system for in-house use.
- You could also buy an identification card printer so that you can print your own. This option may not always provide the same level of security as working with a professional provider.
- If you decide to print your own, your team can go through a one-hour training session with the card manufacturer so that you know how to make your own.
- You’ll need to purchase a barcode scanner only if you buy a system that prints barcodes onto cards.
- Temporary passes are more difficult to manufacture when using photo ID badges and take a lot of manual monitoring to ensure the cards are returned once access to the worksite is revoked.
- Buying a card system is going to start at around $1,000 and can go up to $2,400 or beyond.
- If you decide to print in-house, you will need to buy the actual cards and the ink.
Overall, digital ID badges appear superior to the photo ID badges, specifically in regards to security and costs. Also, when you think about how each of these products is positioned to evolve moving forward, the digital ID app is going to keep your organization updated on new features that will make your life easier and more secure. In general, photo ID badges remain static. If they do evolve, it requires you to buy an entirely new system.
If you have any questions about contractor identification, do not hesitate to reach out to our team by clicking here or below. Thank you for reading!
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.