Biometric Access Control System – Why Do You Need It?

These are becoming one of the fastest-growing security systems in the market. Why? Because these systems provide a combination of access control and convenience like no other:

  • Biometrics is the analysis of biological components by technology 
  • Access control is the management of access points, like a doorway or elevator, to ensure only authorized users get in

Biometric access control systems combine the power of biometrics with access control systems for a modern security technology that delivers numerous benefits across a wide variety of industries.

What Is a Biometric Access Control System?

Biometrics is a method of establishing a person’s identity based on their physical, behavioral, or chemical traits. These uses the biometric data to either grant or deny access to premises. These systems look for behavioral or physical characteristics which are unique to each individual, including iris or retina scans, voice recognition, and gait analysis. Over 75% of Americans have used some form of biometric technology, ranging from fingerprint to facial recognition to hand geometry.

What Is a Biometric Access Control System

How Do Biometric Access Control Systems Work?

A standard system has four main components, which we break into small, easy-to-understand pieces, below.

Working Main Components 

  1. The Sensor Device

A biometric scanner obtains necessary information from the user. For example, the optical sensor in a fingerprint capture device produces an image of the ridge structure of your finger. The scanned image serves as the bedrock for further processing and analysis. The sensor unit forms a key interface between the user and the system, minimizing the possibility of reading failure rate. The quality of the data obtained depends on the quality and characteristics of the sensor. 

  1. Data Quality Assessment

The next step is to assess the quality of biometric data gathered by the sensors. If needed, a signal enhancing algorithm is applied to the biometric data to improve the data quality. After the data is assessed, a specific data set is chosen to represent the qualifying data set. The biometric feature set that is used is stored within the system’s database as a biometric template. 

  1. Comparing and Matching Data

After the feature set is gathered, it is compared to the stored data to find any identical matching points. The number of matches can fluctuate between the readings depending on the quality of data collected. 

  1. The System Database

The database stores all the required information. A single biometric sample is usually sufficient for extracting a user template from the system database, but sometimes multiple samples may be required to form a mosaic representation. 

Types of Biometric Access Control Systems

Ensuring that your building is free from unauthorized visitors is important for the safety of your infrastructure. Here are some of the most popular types that can help you secure your building: 

types of biometric access control systems

Fingerprint Scan

One of the earliest and most common forms is fingerprint scanning. In ancient times, the Chinese used fingerprints to authenticate government records, and the people of Babylon used fingerprints to sign written contracts. 

Today, fingerprint scanning continues to be widely used in many different industries. Examples include: identifying suspected criminals, authenticating payments, and access control systems. 

Iris Scan 

Iris recognition technology uses multiple unique patterns in the human eye to provide accurate identification. Iris scanners use infrared light and high-resolution cameras to create a structured map of the iris and convert this information into a biometric template that becomes a person’s ID. Currently, iris scans are used in a variety of access control systems as well as law enforcement for identifying suspects.

Voice Authentication

The use of voice authentication can reduce and even eliminate the need for passwords to access your facility. Voice authentication works by breaking down the audio of speech into individual sounds and analyzing each sound using algorithms. The algorithms find the most probable word to fit into that language and transcribe those sound clips into texts. 

Voice authentication is used to identify individuals over the phone for medical or banking purposes as well as to authenticate users logging into applications.

3 Benefits of Biometric Access Control Systems

The three main benefits of using a biometric access system are:

  1. Highly Secure

The use the unique characteristics of a human body, which are unlikely to be stolen or used by someone other than the intended user. Traditional access keys or tokens can be easily spoofed, lost, or stolen, but biometrics cannot.

  1. More Convenient

Biometric access systems are convenient because they do not require additional information other than the user themselves. Additionally, most biometric systems can identify users in less than a second, reducing delays caused at manual identification checkpoints.

  1. Reduced Expenses

This help organizations cut costs by eliminating the security staff required to conduct manual identification. In addition, access control systems that use keycards or other tokens incur replacement or damage costs, however; there are no such costs with  biometrics.


There are several important reasons why biometrics are so popular for access control, including increased security, improved convenience, and lower costs. Traditionally, when upgrading technologies, there is a tradeoff among security, convenience, and costs, but with biometrics all three work together to provide the perfect solution.

In short, when it comes to access control systems, biometrics are unbeatable.