If you’ve already taken the steps to determine your business has a need for access control, the next thing you'll want to consider is how much it will cost. Many business owners still think their company has to be humongous in order to afford an access control system, which was the case fifteen or twenty years ago. Fortunately, advances in technology have driven down the cost of equipment and software, making access control systems affordable for nearly any business with a brick and mortar location.
The exact cost of equipment and installation varies drastically, but a few important factors determine the overall cost in most access control systems. The three items that will have the most impact on overall cost are the number or controlled entrances, number of people with access, and the level of required security.
Total Number of Access Points
The more doors that can be accessed with a keycard or keypad, the more expensive the overall system will be. Advances in technology have made access control affordable enough to set up a system with as few as one or two controlled access points; however, the more total doors being controlled, the lower the per door cost will likely end up being. There’s no limit to the number of controlled doors that can be added to a system, but keep in mind each door could add between $1,500 and $5,000 to the total cost of system, depending on the type of equipment being installed and total number of doors.
Number of People with Access
While individual keycards have a very small cost, usually as little as $3 to $5 per card, the more people with access to the system, the higher the cost will be. The hardware and software required to maintain a 25 employee system is less expensive than what will be needed in a 150 employee system, which will in turn be less expensive than a system designed to accommodate 500+ employees.
How Do Card Systems Compare to Other Access Control Systems?
The final driving factor in the cost of an access control system is the type of equipment being installed. We often recommend keycards over keypad entries or biometric entries in most scenarios, unless there is a special need, legal requirement, or budgeting issue to consider. Keycard systems are usually more expensive than keypad systems, but they offer more security and can more easily accommodated for more users. Biometrics that scan an iris or fingerprint offer a higher level of security than keycards, but are more expensive than most keycard systems and are usually overkill unless the business has a special need for that level of security.
What Level of Security Does Your Business Need?
Many other factors, like keycard controlled gates, controlled storage closets, rooms, and cabinets, or biometric requirements, can significantly impact the overall cost of an access control system. Generally speaking, the more users, the more doors, and the more advanced the equipment, the more expensive a system will be. Every access control system we install is custom designed to fit the unique needs, legal requirements, and budget of our customer. Contact us if you’d like a quote for designing, installing, or maintaining an access control system.