Fingerprint access control system at entrance.


A lot goes into managing a multifamily building, but nothing’s as important as ensuring secure access for residents, staff, and guests at your property. Looking to modernize your old access control system with a keyless entry method? Fingerprint access control is a type of biometric access control system that uses tenants’ own fingerprints as a credential.

Read on to learn what fingerprint access control is and how it works. Then, explore the pros and cons of implementing a fingerprint-based access control system at your building. Finally, discover how to choose the best access control system for your property.

In this post, we cover:


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What is fingerprint access control?

A fingerprint access control system uses your fingerprint as a credential to open doors. To do this, the reader takes a scan of your fingerprint and compares it against the prints that are registered in the system. If there’s a match, the door will unlock and let you in.

As a result, biometric access control systems like fingerprint readers reduce the need for physical keys at your building. But how do they work?

Let’s assess the key components of a fingerprint access control system:

  • Fingerprint reader. The reader scans your fingerprint and compares it against the fingerprints that are already stored in the system.
  • Door controls. Controls and powers the biometric access control devices at your door.
  • Electronic or magnetic lock. The electronic or magnetic lock releases when an authorized resident or staff member scans their print and the system grants access.
  • Biometric access control software. The system’s software stores fingerprint data, allows administrators to add and remove residents, and keeps a log of everyone that enters your building.


Using fingerprint access control to open a door.


Is fingerprint access secure?

Fingerprint access is secure because fingerprints are nearly impossible to duplicate, and they can’t be lost or stolen like physical keys. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about residents sharing their keys, cards, or codes with unauthorized guests.

Because biometric access control is more secure than most systems, there are a variety of high-security buildings that use fingerprint access control as their preferred entry method.

Secure facilities that use biometric access control include:

  • Research labs. Labs that require elevated security to protect sensitive materials often use fingerprint locks at doors throughout the building. This technology enhances secure access for researchers, scientists, and lab technicians.
  • Data centers. Fingerprint access control offers secure authentication, so it’s regularly used at data centers that require elevated security measures for safeguarding records and documents.
  • Industrial facilities. Facilities like industrial warehouses, manufacturing buildings, and storage facilities often use biometric access control to protect assets at their properties.


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Pros & cons of fingerprint access control systems

Biometric access technology offers a modern and convenient way to grant access at your building, but it comes with limitations.

Let’s assess the benefits and drawbacks of fingerprint reader access control:


Benefits of fingerprint access control

  • Impossible to lose. Everyone has a fingerprint, so it’s a convenient credential to use to grant access to both residents and staff. Additionally, residents and staff members won’t have to fumble with physical keys. So, it’s a quick and easy way to open doors securely.
  • Most affordable biometric system. Fingerprint access door locks are usually more affordable than other types of biometric systems like iris scanners or voice recognition.
  • Don’t have to replace keys. The cost of replacing lost or stolen access cards and physical keys can add up over time, especially in large buildings. As a result, you won’t have to worry about resident lockouts due to lost keys.


Using a fingerprint access control reader at a door.


Disadvantages of fingerprint access control

  • Not touchless. Because fingerprint door locks, also called touch ID door locks, use your fingerprint as the credential, you have to touch the reader to gain access. In large, high-traffic multifamily buildings, this may not be ideal for residents — especially during flu season.
  • May not work. If a resident or staff member has calluses or scars on their fingertips, the scanner may not be able to read their fingerprint.
  • Must scan everyone’s fingerprint. You’ll have to take the time to schedule every resident and staff member to input their fingerprint into the system. This isn’t ideal for large, multifamily buildings because it could require registering hundreds of fingerprints.
  • Not great for visitors. Vendors, installers, service providers, and guests won’t be able to use their fingerprints as a credential for temporary access. So, they’ll need a key card, code, fob, or key to enter the building anyway.
  • Not ideal for gates. Biometric access control works best for doors, so you’ll need a separate access control system for the gates at your property.


Choosing the best access control system for your property

Assessing your building’s needs is crucial for choosing the best access control system for your building. If you’re looking to modernize access at your property with a keyless entry method, consider a mobile-based access control system like ButterflyMX.

A mobile access control solution allows residents to use their smartphones to open doors. Additionally, if a resident happens to lose their phone, they can use a unique PIN code to open the door instead. So, you won’t have to worry about dealing with lockouts or issuing new keys to residents.

What’s more, if you own or manage a gated community, ButterflyMX’s video intercom system can streamline access to the gates at your property. This allows guests to launch two-way video calls with residents to easily request access. Plus, residents can verify a visitor’s identity before letting them into your building.



  • Fingerprint access is a convenient keyless entry method that uses your fingerprint as the credential to open doors.
  • Biometric readers are great for streamlining access for doors, but they’re not ideal for large multifamily buildings or gated communities, and they can’t grant temporary access to visitors.
  • A mobile-based access control system like a video intercom grants secure access for residents, staff, guests, and service providers.


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Tiara Sutton

I’m an Atlanta-based writer who enjoys exploring the ways that tech benefits residents & tenants of multifamily & commercial properties.

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