Biometric identification is a type of access control system based on the user biological qualities. Within biometric system, there are different methods of recognition: fingerprint, face, eye or blood vessel.  Which are the advantages and disadvantages of the biometric access control systems?

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The access control is a system of identification which recognises users and permits or restricts the entrance into the buildings to selected users. Moreover, it allows identify who has accessed into the facilities, access date and time and even to keep a register of events.  These kind of installations is very useful in a wide range of constructions, from residential complexes to business centres or industrial facilities, shops, offices, libraries, laboratories, etc.

“Biometric access control system permits the identification of users thanks to one of its biological qualities”

Among the types of the access control systems that are generally used, biometric identification allows the identification of users thanks to one of its biological qualities. The first identifier, the one that uses the biometric fingerprint, takes advantage of the differentiation on each person. It is an identification way in force since 1883, considered to be extremely reliable. Actually is the most developed among biometric access control systems. Additionally, it is an easier type of acknowledgement. It is more efficient and cost-effective that other systems based on biometric characteristics.

Pros and Cons of Biometric Access Control Systems


Main advantages of biometric access control systems are:

  • It provides extra security. This type of access control is more secure, since the fingerprint is a unique and unrepeatable characteristic in each person.
  • Low maintenance cost. Once the installation is completed, this type of access control has a much lower maintenance cost compared to other systems.
  • Doesn´t require additional devices for opening the door. With the fingerprint access control, there is no need for using traditional keys, switches and switching devices. Based on the identification of a unique characteristic of a person, it gets by without these elements, so that the situation of keys loss does not occur.

 Regarding the disadvantages, the following cons stand out:

  • Fingerprint system is less convenient in case users’ list changes frequently, as for example, in business centres or offices in which new staff enters periodically or when there are business visits.
  • The cost of installation is higher compared to other access control systems. Although the cost of maintenance is lower, the user will do a higher initial investment.
  • Although it is not so common, in some cases, specific persons cannot be identified: 1 % of the population cannot be identified through a fingerprint.

Sometimes a combined identification system is used, for example, fingerprint and keypad, which offers great advantages. In other words, it is possible to take advantage of biometric access control and identification by codes, proximity or radio frequency (remote control) at the same time. The combination of different identification methods in a same access control system may increase the installation’s price but it provides more flexibility.

INKEY by FERMAX in the Top 10 of Biometric Access Control Products


A&S International is recognises specialised publication of the security sector. Every year the magazine publishes several rankings of products. INKEY by FERMAX fingerprint reader was in the top 10 biometric access control products of 2016. The publication highlights its resistance to different weather conditions and the fact that it provides the same performance both outdoors and indoors. The capacitive sensor that reads the fingerprint is able to operate under low temperatures ranging from -10 to 55 degrees of temperature. In addition, the outdoor panel is made of anodized aluminium with an IP43 K07 guarantee.

INKEY is able to manage up to 4.500 users and that means 4.500 different fingerprints (2.970 in case you identify with two fingerprints per person). The reader can be also used as a presence control for entry and exit of personnel within a limited timetable.

FERMAX has designed this biometric fingerprint access control system, so that it can be integrated in outdoor panels, operate as a stand-alone reader or included in a kit for single-family homes, offices or businesses.