Convergence opens the world of possibilities

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Many years ago, I was told it's possible to use your access card for cashless payment and my first thought back then was "how does it work?

Is it safe to put our money on a badge for access control?" Fast forward to the present, where I work for HID Global and I know that converged smart card technologies provide the answers to these questions.

Today's smart card technologies enable users to perform a wide array of applications on the existing physical access control infrastructure, such as unlocking a parking garage gate, cashless payment at convenient stores, tracking time and attendance and many more.

Not only does the multi-applications capability of smart card technology deliver enhanced value to a new set of customers, it provides increased security for the ever-growing amount of data stored on the card. It also enables physical and logical access control convergence, which improves security by enabling a single smart card to support multiple authentication methods. For instance, physical access credentials can be re-used for logical access including strong desktop authentication. At the same time, logical access credentials can also help drive more robust identity authentication at the door.

Although the smart card adoption is increasing in the Southeast Asia region, the majority of organizations in this market are still using less secure Proximity cards for access control. In light of this, HID Global has been actively involved in market education in the region to promote awareness around the importance of increasing system security in order to help our customers keep pace with the emerging trends and technologies worldwide.

Our solution showcase at last week's Cards and Payments Asia was one of our many initiatives to get users ahead of curve. During the event, we demonstrated our complete line of contactless and digital smart card solutions that support users' needs to create, use and manage secure identities. Show attendees were particularly interested in our latest iCLASS Secure Identity Object™-Enabled (iCLASS SE®) access control platform and multi-technology readers for migrating to increased system security and laying the foundation for using NFC-enabled smartphones for access control. Customers were keen to learn how to combine different Proximity and contactless smart card and reader technologies -- and even NFC-based mobile access -- into a single, comprehensive platform to deploy more advanced, secure and convenient access control solutions.

For me, the show reinforced that customers are seeking a more seamless experience using their credentials -- using a smart card or smartphone --across a number of various of applications and technologies.

I look forward to continuing to help guide our customers to the right solutions for their particular needs at more industry events throughout the year.