All key cards and fobs are created with three important pieces of data: the format, a serial number, and a facility code. When a user swipes their credential at a reader, the data is relayed to the system controller, which then decodes it to determine if the user should have access.
The card format describes whether the card can be recognized by a system, while the serial number identifies the specific owner of the card. 26-bit standard format is the industry standard, and serial numbers for 26-bit cards can only range from one to 65,535. So what happens if two companies use 26-bit standard cards with identical ID numbers? In theory, they could access each other’s properties. This is where the facility code comes into play.
The facility code is an added layer of security built within an access control system. Facility codes for 26-bit cards can range from one to 255, and they are assigned to prevent users with identical card numbers from accessing areas that should be restricted to them.
Every access control system operated by Genea that utilizes 26-bit cards is programmed with a specific facility code. For security reasons, we recommend always provisioning keys to users with their accurate card format data. But what if you're unsure of a given card's format, or your property utilizes a mixed-bag of credentials and keeping up with card formats just isn't possible? You could always add the card with it's raw card data, or you can suppress your 26-bit facility code. When your facility code is suppressed, your system will work with keycards and fobs that have any facility code.
IMPORTANT: For security reasons Genea does not recommend use or long-term use of 26-bit facility code suppression.
How to Suppress Your System's Facility Code
If you'd like to suppress your system's facility code to support 26-bit keycards or fobs with differing facility codes, follow the steps below.
1) Click on the 'Settings' tab in your Genea admin dashboard.
2) Upon the 'Settings' page, find the 'Card Format Settings' section. You will see an option that reads 'Suppress Facility Code for 26-bit Cards.' Click on the button next to this option.
When the button is blue, it means that your property's facility code has been suppressed and your system will now support all 26-bit credentials, regardless of the facility code.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your facility codes are suppressed, when a user with a keycard that has a different or incorrect facility code first swipes their credential at a reader, their card will initially be rejected. Your system controller will take note of the card's facility code and load it into the system. The second time the user swipes their card, it should work if they have the appropriate access rights.
Facility code suppression will only work with 26-bit standard format keycards and fobs. It will not support other physical credential technologies. If your company uses credentials with a format other than 26-bit, please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how your system can be tailored to utilize your existing card technology.
If you have any questions about facility code suppression, please reach out to Genea Support at email@example.com.