Today, there is a new player in the game: RFID badges. Short for radio frequency identification, this technology uses embedded computer chips to approve or deny patron entry. All it takes is a single tap to gain access to high-security areas.
Once upon a time—and really not that long ago—paper badges and photo IDs were the only ways to verify patrons, VIPs, employees, and other authorized personnel. But this method posed two significant problems: time and fraud. Patrons stood in long lines for admittance, and counterfeiters would try to get inside using fake credentials.
Decoding the Encoded Technology Behind RFID
The technology behind RFID is as fascinating and futuristic as one might imagine. Every badge contains variable information encoded on a tiny chip. Commonly included are the patron’s name, account number, seat location, or clearance level. It also serves as a form of identification. Fans proudly display their chip-embedded credentials all season.
There are two RFID chips available: active and passive. Most event organizers choose passive. These chips don’t require a battery. They are also more economical and the perfect solution for event access control.
Types of passive technology include:
- Near-field communication (NFC): NFC technology, sometimes called tap-and-go, requires a close connection between the card and reader.
- Ultra-high frequency (UHF): UHF has an extended read range and facilitates fully remote access.
RFID technology isn’t all that new—it’s been around for decades. However, early adoption was slow. Initially, organizations were hesitant to invest in the cards and readers. But when finally they did, the security benefits were impossible to ignore.
Here’s are the top 7 reasons why RFID-embedded access is here to stay:
- Real-Time Attendee Tracking at Events
Stadiums seat anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 fans. How can you monitor this many people at once? Before technology came into the picture, that was an impossible task. But thanks to RFID passes, organizers now track access to restricted areas in real-time.
Whenever a patron or employee uses their badge to pass through a gate, it runs the encoded data through a computer system. This ensures venues know who is in these areas at all times. Only authorized users can gain entry, reducing the risk of a security breach.
- Badges Reduce Congestion at Access Points
When your valued patrons arrive at the gate, the last thing they want to do is stand in a long line. Manually checking credentials is time-consuming. Some fans might even miss the kickoff!
Switching to RFID access cards reduces wait times significantly. The system takes less than a second to scan, read, and verify the chip. VIPs bypass the line with plenty of time to stop by the concession stand before the big game.
- Eliminate Human Error at Security Checkpoints
Humans are fallible beings. An employee verifying access credentials might accidentally let in the wrong person. Some guests might cut in line or slip past security. Unfortunately, these mistakes can lead to monetary losses.
The read rate for RFID chips is exceptionally high. Encoded data eliminates human error and secures venues. Adding this technology to restricted zones ensures only authorized individuals get inside.
- Prevent Fake Passes, Badges, Tags, and Wristbands
The black market for counterfeit credentials is vast and costs venues a pretty penny each year. Scammers do their best to make realistic fakes. Some are nearly impossible to spot at first glance.
RFID access cards are a premium anti-counterfeiting tool. Scammers can’t duplicate the encoded chip. If someone does happen to scan a fraudulent badge, the system will deny the request.
- An Effective Theft Deterrent
Theft is always a concern when selling products or services. Even worse, some criminals will target your valued patrons during an event. They might try to steal credit card numbers or personal identification from unsuspecting guests. Deterring theft is one way to elevate the patron experience.
Implementing an RFID tag system is an effective loss prevention tool. Instead of carrying around a wallet full of cash, patrons can add a payment method to their credentials. Because fans display their coveted badge on a lanyard, the risk of pickpocketing vanishes.
- Improved Inventory Management
Managing inventory at a concession stand or merchandise booth was once a very daunting process. Workers had to count products by hand and input the data into a spreadsheet. This method led to countless errors and lost time.
RFID technology streamlines inventory control. Whenever a patron purchases an item with their chip-embedded badge, it instantly removes it from the remaining stock. Organizers can see which products to restock in real-time.
- Transition Security Personnel to More Critical Roles
A successful event relies on a skilled, well-trained security team to put out fires and resolve issues before things get out of hand. But these essential employees can’t do their job effectively if they never leave the entry gate.
Automating access with RFID credentials reduces the need for manual intervention. Instead of planting security personnel in one location, you can move them to other vital positions throughout the venue.
It’s Time to View Access Control from a High-Tech Perspective
As RFID continues to gain more traction, organizations have started to rethink their outdated access control methods. Chip technology is the future of security at high-profile events and venues. There has never been a better time to adopt this innovative authentication system.
Count on WW&L for All Your RFID Access Needs
WW&L has the necessary tools to help your organization transition to RFID. With over 120 years of experience, we know how to transform a plain credential into one that turns heads. Choose from a full range of custom enhancements and personalizations. Add your brand’s name, logo, and colors to raise recognition and improve customer loyalty.
Quality control never slips through the cracks. Every chip undergoes thorough testing to ensure it’s live before leaving our facility. We guarantee our badges will last the entire season without any fading or warping. They will look as good at the last game as they did during the first.
Ready to make the switch to encoded chips? Let us match you with high-tech printed products that improve security, build brand awareness, and elevate the patron experience. Contact us now to start designing RFID badges for your venue.