19 Jul 2019 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2014 issue 11

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Leisure Management - Gantner

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GANTNER’s fingerprint ID stations can be easily retrofitted into clubs, eliminate the problem of card swapping, and provide extra peace of mind to members and operators alike

Biometric technology allows access via a fingerprint check, or a fingerprint can be encrypted on a member’s card

As an expert in access control technology, GANTNER’s range of contactless chip cards, wristbands and key tags offers members hassle- free entry to a leisure site, while providing a high standard of security to operators. However many larger clubs are now seeking further controls, and GANTNER has responded by developing its biometric fingerprint ID terminals that can be retrofitted into any leisure facility.

GANTNER’s business operations manager, Alexander Egele, says: “In the past year we’ve seen more and more enquiries about our fingerprint ID systems from leisure operators. There are many advantages to installing this type of system, but it’s important that clubs are aware of the pros and cons before deciding.”

One potential barrier is that many people aren’t comfortable with the idea of their fingerprint being stored on a company’s central database. In addition, many members like the positive image that carrying a health club card conveys.

Card and fingerprint in one
GANTNER’s fingerprint solution solves the common problems by allowing fingerprint data to be safely encrypted onto the member’s existing card or wristband. This data is extracted at a GANTNER enrollment station, which is not linked to any PC or external database. Operators can choose to just implement random fingerprint verification – for example, by checking every 10th member during peak times.

For people who refuse to enroll a fingerprint – and also the small percentage who don’t have a readable print (e.g. workers with heavy manual jobs) – clubs can still offer a card-only mode, perhaps after judging how likely that member is to lend their card to a friend or relative. For example, the 16-34-year-old group may present a higher risk than the over-55s.

Greenvale Park Leisure Centre in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, recently upgraded its GANTNER wristband access system to incorporate fingerprint biometrics, in an attempt to eliminate a card-swapping problem.

Fast and secure
Operations manager Robert Buckley says: “We’d noticed via social media that customers were able to use their friend’s or family’s wristband to gain access. Front of house staff were able to stop most of this but during busy times people were still getting through.”

Now the RFID wristband is swiped to confirm it belongs to a paid-up member, and then the club can check if the member matches the wristband by asking for a fingerprint check. This eliminates non-member access, and stops card swapping between peak and off-peak members as well.

Buckley adds: “The feedback from members has been very positive and so far we’ve only had nine people out of more than 10,000 members who refused to enroll their fingerprint.

“Since this is now a key part of our access control policy we had to address those memberships individually.”

While there may be potential for a small amount of member loss by switching over to a biometric fingerprint system, it is far outweighed by the benefits of eliminating non-paying visitors to a leisure club. GANTNER’s fingerprint terminals also replicate its existing card and wristband entry time of just one second.

GANTNER ELECTRONIC GMBH Tel: +44 (0)7841 794580

Email: alexander.egele@gantner.com www.gantner.com

Originally published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 11

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