A reliable, secure, and convenient access control system is a must-have for your property or facility. Today, there are a multitude of options with many different features and benefits, including keypad, biometric, and smartphone access control systems. Likewise, access control pricing can significantly vary from system to system.
No matter what access control solution you consider, remember that most solutions (other than a commercial smart lock or a traditional physical lock & key) must begin with an electric lock. With an electric lock, comes separate costs.
Here is a list of the average costs per door of popular types of access control systems:
Cost of Physical Keys/Locks for Access Control
Keys are frequently lost, or users may leave an organization and not return their physical key. When this happens, changing the door locks or rekeying the lock is critical to ensure a safe environment.
Whether you need to simply rekey the lock and purchase new keys or change out the lock hardware all together is impacted by several factors. The time it takes to rekey an individual lock is a matter of minutes, while removing the lock from the door takes longer. For an experienced locksmith, cutting a new key should take less than 2 minutes. Replacement keys can range from $2 for a simple key to $70 for a coded key. Ultimately, you’re going to spend anywhere from $100 to $400 per door. If it’s an emergency or an after-hours situation, expect to pay even more to get someone to your building.
Cost of Keypad Access Control Systems
Keypad entry systems range from $400 to over $1,500 per door with hardware, wiring, and installation. Most keypad entry systems take a short time to install, but ultimately, it will depend on the wiring of your building. While keypad systems can offer one of the lowest cost options, they also present one of the least secure options. People can easily share codes with others. It’s also essential to consider the physical deterioration of the numbers on the keypad. The wear on the numbers can indicate the numbers used in the code. Also, a keypad is easily hacked (watch the video below). One benefit of the keypad is the short time it takes to change the code. There’s no cost (other than time) to change the code, but everyone accessing the building must commit new code to memory. Unfortunately, someone must be present to recode the keypad.
Cost of Intercom (Buzzer) Access Control Systems
Telephone intercom or buzzer access control systems range between $450-10,000. A building telecom entry system can start as low as $450 for the intercom and installation (a basic buzzer system). The total cost can go as high as $10,000 or more when you have high-quality video, storage, reception features, and more. Installation may take 1-2 hours per intercom, depending on the complexity of the wiring in your building. Since there’s no physical card, resetting access requires about 15 minutes from an administrator. Most telephone intercom buzzer systems are older and demand someone to be onsite.
Cost of Biometric Access Control System
On average, prices for biometric access control systems range from a total of $2,500-10,000 per door when you factor in the biometric scanner, electronic locking system, software integration, and installation. Although biometric systems, which use fingerprint, handprint, or iris scanning to gain access, can be costly, there is no need to purchase and manage keycards. Installation of biometric hardware should take about 20 minutes per door. Still, the whole process will require more time to install software and connect the system to a network. Next, you’ll need to allocate at least 15-20 minutes to set up biometric access and train each employee to use the system.
Cost of Key Card Entry System
A card and reader access solution generally costs $1,500-2,500 per door. That number includes $1,000-1,500 for the reader, software and installation, $3-5 (plus shipping) per keycard, and monthly service fees that can range from $10-100. Installation is reasonably straightforward, taking under an hour per door, but that doesn’t account for the hours of work required to issue key cards manually. Remote management is possible for some systems, but in most cases, someone will need to be onsite to process new key cards and manage user access.
Cost of Key Fob Access Control Systems
When it comes to a key fob and reader access control system, the installation per door is very similar to a key card: $1,500-2,500 per door. Instead of waving a key card in front of the reader, people use a key fob, allowing stored data to exchange via radio waves. Once installed, the costs don’t end there. Every time the software requires an upgrade, expect another charge. On top of that, key fobs are much more costly than key cards, costing at least $5 or more per fob. Every time a key fob is lost, the property manager will need to spend time removing the lost fob and manually adding a new one to the system. One property manager estimated spending 15 minutes per tenant every year, administering the system. With a pay rate of $20/hour, a system administrator managing 200 tenants would cost an additional $1,000 per year.
Cost of Smartphone Access Control System
Costs of Bluetooth access control systems vary significantly in price, depending on brand and the type of access option that’s used: reader that’s connected to an electronic door lock or a commercial smart lock that’s battery-powered.
The cost of VIZpin access control reader (connected to an electronic door lock) is $299 per reader. The VIZpin system includes a free LITE access management service including 5 keys. A paid annual PLUS service is available starting with 500 smartphone credentials, including all upgrades, for an additional yearly fee. The industry average cost for smartphone door readers and hardware averages from $600 to $1,200 per door. You can usually install a smartphone access control system for less than $1,000 per door. Installation is fast and straightforward, requiring only a door strike, power supply, and reader. Also, access can be easily granted or revoked at any time from anywhere. Because it’s managed in the cloud, hardware updates are available immediately at no cost.
Smartphone-based access offers an affordable option that does not involve the purchase and management of keycards, costly hardware, or the need to connect to a local network. Many owners and managers are upgrading to a smartphone-based system to solve a variety of issues other systems leave unresolved. People offer many reasons for changing, some obvious and some you may find surprising – you can read more here.