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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Understanding the Cost Considerations of Implementing Apple Wallet for Mobile Access

In today’s digital era, the convenience and convergence of using our smartphones and wearables for various purposes, including building access, is becoming the norm.

Apple Wallet Integration for Mobile Access: Apple Wallet integration for mobile access enables iPhone users to use their Apple Wallet for building entry and store digital versions of access cards and employee badges within the wallet. Employees can use their verified badges to access buildings by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch on an NFC reader instead of needing a physical fob or key card.

Apple Wallet offers the promise of a seamless user experience. However, this convenience does not come without its set of costs and logistical challenges, especially when integrating with legacy hardware and existing building access control infrastructure.

Preliminary Cost Considerations: Before adopting Apple Wallet as the primary mobile access solution, it’s crucial to understand the preliminary limitations and costs associated with upgrading your existing access control readers. Here are some key cost considerations:

1. Reader and Firmware Upgrade Costs: Apple Wallet keys are only supported by approved lock or reader manufacturers with NFC readers. Older access control hardware may not be compatible, potentially requiring the replacement of existing readers. This can be a significant expense, especially for larger facilities.

  • Cost Estimate: Upgrading readers can cost around $1,000 or more per door, depending on local labor markets. For a building with 20-30 new NFC enabled readers, this could amount to $20,000 – $30,000 in hardware costs.

2. Custom Integrations: Each building might require its own Apple Wallet integration, even if similar readers are used. This can lead to increased complexity and cost, as each integration needs to be qualified, vetted, tested, and approved by Apple. Custom integrations may range between $10,000 and $20,000 each, not including labor costs for reader firmware updates and associated software.

3. Licensing Costs: There are ongoing costs associated with Apple Wallet integration, including Apple License fees (approximately $3 per user per month) and Seat License fees (approximately $6 per user per year). For a company with 1,000 users and 53% using iPhones, this could add up significantly.

4. Android Compatibility: It’s essential to consider that not all users may have iPhones. Integrating Android mobile access can add further complexity and costs.

5. Global Considerations: User preferences for iOS and Android devices can vary by region. In international enterprises, where Android usage is higher, Apple Wallet may not be the most practical choice for broad-scale adoption.

Alternative Solutions: Instead of costly reader upgrades, some solutions, like Sentry Interactive, offer a streamlined and cost-effective approach to mobile access. These solutions credential the door, not the person, using NFC technology built into Mobile Devices, avoiding the need for extensive hardware replacement.

Conclusion: When considering Apple Wallet integration for mobile access, it’s essential to assess the full scope of costs involved, including hardware upgrades, custom integrations, licensing fees, and the need for Android compatibility. Depending on your specific requirements and user base, alternative solutions like Sentry Interactive may provide a more cost-effective and efficient mobile access solution. Ultimately, the choice should align with your organisation’s goals, budget, and user preferences.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.


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