By Linda Rosdahl, Precise Biometrics and member of Silicon Trust

By implementing fingerprint recognition, a North European Fitness Chain now offers 24-hour access with limited staff.

The challenge

The Fitness Chain place high value on offering accessibility in several aspects: Their gyms are accessible 24 hours a day, while the reception is manned only a few hours daily. This keeps member prices down but poses high demands on physical access control. It is therefore important that member cards are tied to the individual gym cardholder to avoid unauthorized use. This is achieved through the use of fingerprint biometrics.

How it works

When new gym members sign up, their photos are taken and a template of their fingerprint is stored on their member cards. When accessing gym facilities, members have to use two factors for identification: both the magstripe on the card and the fingerprint template stored on the contactless card. This, together with video surveillance, establishes a secure line of access and the fitness center can be certain that signed members exclusively visit their gyms.

At some gyms, restricted areas are offered, such as gym areas dedicated to women. Access to restricted areas is also controlled with the biometric member cards.

The result

The very core of the Fitness Chain’s successful business concept and market differentiation is their 24-hour gym access and low-cost membership.The biometric access solution is a fundamental part of this business model.

The service level has also increased since staff are available to support members and are not tied to the reception area when on duty.

The Future

With a substantial market share in the region, the Fitness Chain’s goal is to double their business within two years. This means that additional tens of thousands of people in Northern Europe are expected to have 24-hour access to their gyms through biometric identification by 2011.

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