How Much Do Access Control Systems Cost?
Unless you are using a commercial smart lock or a traditional physical lock and key, remember that most access control solutions will need an electric lock and power supply. Those costs are not included in these estimates.
Here is an estimate of the average costs per door of popular types of access control systems:
Cost of Physical Keys/Locks for Access Control
The cost of rekeying locks and replacing keys can add up quickly. Keys are frequently lost, or users may leave an organization and don’t return their physical keys. When this happens, it is critical to ensure a safe environment and you will need to change the door locks or rekey the lock.
For an experienced locksmith, cutting a new key should take less than 2 minutes and replacement keys can range from $2 for a simple key to $70 for a coded key. Ultimately, you’re going to spend anywhere from $50to $2400 per door if you rekey. Changing the lock takes longer and costs more, and still requires new keys. On top of that, if it’s an emergency or an after-hours situation, expect to pay even more.
Cost of Keypad Access Control Systems
Keypad entry systems range from $500 to over $1,500 per door and they need hardware to be installed on the outside of the building. Most keypad entry systems install quickly, but ultimately, it will depend on the wiring of your building. While keypad systems can offer one of the lowest cost options, they are also one of the least secure options, mainly because:
- People can easily share codes with others.
- Frequently used numbers on the keypad will wear out, revealing the numbers used in the code.
- Many keypads can be easily hacked (watch the video below).
Changing the code on a keypad is not too difficult, but someone must physically be on site to do this. Another hidden cost with keypads is that when you change the code, everyone accessing the building must commit the new code to memory which often results in lock-outs and support calls.
Cost of Intercom (Buzzer) Access Control Systems
Buzzer, telephone or video intercom access control systems range widely in price. You will pay around $750 per door for a basic buzzer system and up to $10,000 per door for a system that has integrated high-quality video storage and access control for the residents. Installation will take at least 4 hours per intercom depending on the complexity of the wiring in your building. The systems have to be actively managed and it can take 15 minutes for someone onsite to add or delete a new user. On top of that, the more sophisticated systems can have hefty monthly support fees.
Cost of Biometric Access Control System
The highest cost option and highest security option is biometric access control but these systems are often the least convenient. They can range from $2,500-10,000 per door because in addition to your electronic locking hardware, you need a biometric scanner, a network connection and computer hardware and software. Installation of biometric hardware should take about 1-2 hours per door, but the setup of of software and connecting the system to a network can take several hours. Like most of the other technologies, they also need some hardware to be installed on the outside of the building.
Biometric systems use things like fingerprints, handprints, hand geometry, iris scanning and face recognition to control access. They eliminate the cost of purchasing and managing keycards, however that savings is usually offset by the cost of enrolling and administering users. It is often a cumbersome process that requires each user to register at each door and setup and training can take more than 15 minutes per user. If you have 100 tenants, that’s 1,500 minutes!
Lastly with biometrics, they are also subject to false positives (letting someone in who should be) or false negatives (locking someone out who shouldn’t be) which is something not found in other technologies.
Cost of Key Card and Key Fob Entry Systems
Key card and key fob access solution generally costs $1,000-3,000 per door. when you include the readers, panels, wiring network configuration and training. On top of that, there is an additional cost of $3 to $10 per card or $5 to $50 per fob. They take more time to install than a keypad, but less than a biometric system and still need some hardware to be installed on the outside of the building. Adding and removing users requires a physical interaction with the user because you have to get their card or fob to them which means someone will need to be onsite (or you are mailing cards/fobs to user). If there is a network onsite, remote management is possible for many systems but that may come with service fees anywhere from $10 per month to $100 per month per door and many systems require the software to be upgraded annually to ensure you have all the latest and greatest features.
Every time a key card or 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. On average a property manager will spend 15 minutes per tenant every year administering the system. With a pay rate of $20/hour, to cost of managing a system with 500 tenants, employees or residents would cost an additional $2,500 per year.
Cost of Smartphone Access Control System
Smartphone access control systems typically start around $500 per door, but the costs of smartphone access control systems can vary significantly, depending on brand and the type of access. The options are either a smartphone reader that’s connected to an electronic door lock or a commercial smart lock that’s battery-powered.
Smartphone-based access systems offer an affordable option that eliminates the cost and management of keycards, key fobs and costly hardware. If your smartphone reader users NFC, they have to be mounted on the outside. If they use WiFi, ZigBee or Z Wave, you will need a property-wide network to support it. If it uses only Bluetooth, it can be mounted on the inside and doesn’t need a property-wide network which can be a significant cost savings.
Many owners and managers are upgrading to a smartphone-based systems as they offer more security and convenience than keys, keypads, cards and fobs while significantly reducing the direct costs and administrative cots of managing and maintaining the system. People have many reasons for changing, some obvious and some you may find surprising.
The VIZpin Bluetooth access door controller with built-in Bluetooth reader costs $299 per door. Installation is fast and straightforward and does not require a property-wide network or anything to be mounted on the outside of the building.
Every VIZpin Smart Lock and door controller includes our free Lite access management service which comes with 5 smartphone credentials also known as Smartkeys. We also offer an annual paid Plus service which comes with 500 smartkeys. For a low annual fee, you receive unlimited upgrades and electronics warranty for as long as you have the Plus service.