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AudioTel Uses RFID to Protect Financial Data

A provider of software and services for financial institutions, the company is using an RFID-based access-control and asset-tracking system to prevent theft or loss of banking records.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 26, 2006AudioTel, an Addison, Texas, provider of software and services for financial institutions, is using an RFID-based access-control and asset-tracking system to prevent theft or loss of records pertaining to institutional and retail banking customers.

AudioTel provides payment-processing software including digital-image-based solutions and Web hosting for remote banking. Rick Stadel, AudioTel's senior vice president and chief operating officer, says the company had been seeking a solution that would allow access control for employees at the facility and chose Axcess's ActiveTag system because it used RFID, enabling better, faster access control than, for example, a system based on bar codes.

AudioTel's Rick Stadel
Installed in January, the ActiveTag system uses battery-powered semi-active RFID vehicle tags, personnel badges, key fobs (to identify bags holding magnetic data tapes) and universal sensing appliance (USA) tags. Mounted on doorframes, USA tags contain a sensor that works in conjunction with a magnet to indicate whether a door is open or not. When the tag senses a door is open, it transmits a signal to the system, which then instructs the reader to seek an authorized personnel tag number. If an employee passes through the door without a valid badge, it can send an alert via e-mail or text message to notify AudioTel security that someone entered without a badge.

All 65 AudioTel employees wear a semi-active dual-frequency (126 kHz and 315MHz) RFID-enabled badge that allows the company to control their access to its main facility. The facility is located on the grounds of Addison Airport, where it has airplane hangar doors that open directly onto the airport (for its company planes). The tags not only allow authorized employees to enter the building at its three main doors and several side doors, they also help the company track where employees are at any given time. Two interrogators installed at each door (one inside and one outside) capture the badge number of an employee and discern whether he or she is leaving or entering any particular door.

When an employee approaches the door, a low-frequency (126 kHz) signal, transmitted by the reader, wakes up the badge, which then transmits details via a 315 MHz UHF signal. "The LF used to wake-up the tags allows us to penetrate materials, work around metal and allow for location tracking," says Axcess marketing manager Kelly Stark. "The UHF provides a long-range transmit signal—typically 30 to 100 feet—to reduce infrastructure cost."

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