Access Control

How the Global Chip Shortage Affects Your Access Control Cards

how the global semiconductor chip shortage affects proximity cards

The global chip shortage has famously affected the production of cars, smartphones and gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 5. However, its impact on the smart card market has been left largely undocumented.

In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the global chip shortage and how it affects your access control cards. But first…


Where are chips used?

Chips are used to power thousands of different electronics, including:

  • Appliances
  • Smartphones
  • Computers
  • Gaming hardware
  • Payment cards
  • Smart cards

A 2021 study showed that 169 industries have been impacted by the chip shortage, from the automotive industry to the ID and security sector to the payment card industry and more. With chips needed to power so many products, it’s easily understood why the shortage is making such an impact.

Now that we’ve established which industries use these chips, let’s take a deeper look at the global chip shortage, its causes and how long its expected to last.


What is the global chip shortage?

Semiconductors, also known as ‘chips’, have been in low supply since 2020. As a result, manufacturers have been restricted to producing fewer products that require these chips.

This means that buyers are having to wait much longer for their products to arrive. In some cases, shipments have been so delayed that people have opted for alternatives instead.


Why is there a semiconductor shortage?

There are multiple reasons, however the global pandemic is one of the main causes.

In early 2020, just like most companies around the world, several factories closed due to COVID-19 concerns. This left a significant impact on the semiconductor industry, leading to a massively decreased chip supply.

Another reason is that chip suppliers expected demand to die down during the pandemic, and therefore produced fewer chips.


How long will the chip shortage last?

Experts say the chip shortage could last until 2023.

Now that you have an understanding of the shortage and its contributing factors, let’s dive right into how the global chip shortage affects your access cards.


How the chip shortage affects your access control cards

The global chip shortage could have very serious consequences on your access control cards and company security. Here’s how:

the effects of the global chip shortage on access control cards and smart cards

As we know, fewer chips are in supply. And as each access control card needs a chip, less cards are being produced. This means it is taking longer to make the regular number of access control cards.

Due to these delays, companies that have ordered access cards may not receive them in time. In turn, staff at these companies are left with no way to enter their buildings.

This leaves organisations with a weakened security system and vulnerable to security breaches.


With the global shortage predicted to last until next year, there is a genuine concern that companies will be left with no access control cards. And if companies can’t issue these cards, individuals will be unable to access their buildings, which would pose a massive security threat.

This is especially a concern for companies issuing large numbers of cards, such as universities during student enrolment. The shortage would leave students stranded, making education establishments insecure.


Is it time to go mobile?

Fortunately, we have a secure, affordable alternative.

Mobile access control allows users to securely enter their building from the palm of their hand. Users can simply place their smartphone or equivalent mobile device close to a compatible reader and gain instant physical access.

Unlike access control cards, no new chips are necessary, as mobile credentials are stored in an individual’s own mobile device. This ensures there are no risks of delayed shipments, and your company’s physical security remains intact.

There are several further benefits of switching to mobile access, such as improved user convenience, enhanced security and increased sustainability. Mobile access is already streamlining thousands of companies’ physical security systems and is a great alternative to access control cards amidst the global chip shortage.

As for student enrolment, you can learn more about how mobile access solves the education sector’s card shortage dilemma here.


Let’s Recap

The global chip shortage could have devastating impacts on your company’s access control cards.

Organisations may be left without cards, and if security managers don’t act fast, may be left with no access credentials whatsoever.

Fortunately, mobile access control is here to save the day. As one of the most efficient access control solutions on the market, the modern system can keep your company safe.

The Experts in Photo ID & Access Control

We’ve helped over 25,000 companies strengthen their physical security systems over the last 3 decades and would love to help you, too.

Give us a call on 0800 988 2095 or email us at sales@digitalid.co.uk to discover how to protect your company and switch to mobile access today. We look forward to speaking to you.

Alternatively, check out our free mobile access ebook here.