Multiple Format or Multiple Factor access authentication?

The terms ‘multiple format’ and multiple factor’ access authentication can easily be confused as one in the same. But they are, in fact, different!

Access authentication methods are the process & technologies of an access control system which verify the identity of a user; in effect, the user’s ‘key’ to allow them access.

Authentication methods can be physical or digital and include formats such as RFiD, Bluetooth, Biometric, QR code scanning and many more.

You will often hear the phrases ‘multiple format’ and 'multiple factor’ authentication referred to - and more often than not confused as the same thing!

The simplest way to define the two is by considering various authentication methods with an ‘AND’ or an ‘OR’ –
so if we consider an access reader or door intercom, it is very likely to feature a variety of authentication options. The user may be able to choose from either a keypad OR Bluetooth OR face recognition – any one of these choice of methods allowing access. And this is the definition of multiple format.

Multiple Factor authentication, on the other hand, will usually be applied to a reader or intercom for increased security – where 2-step or 3-step authentication is required to confirm a single identity. For example an access reader may require keypad PIN AND Bluetooth authentication or NFC AND fingerprint reader.

Find out more about Access Control and Security Systems:


Talk to the CIE team about Access Control and Door Entry Systems

If you would like to discuss your next Access Control or Door Intercom system, please call the CIE sales team on T. 0115 9770075 or email [email protected].

Contact CIE for more information on contactless access control


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