PoolPass offers many methods to check in members at the pool. When selecting the right one for your community it is important to balance your requirements of cost, ease-of-use, and security. In this post we provide the basics of each method and their pros and cons.
1. Name Lookup. By far the simplest option to setup, once your members are loaded you can search by name when they come to check in, or browse through the member list to find them. This method is slow however, and may cause lines to form at busy times. It also offers little protection against unauthorized use or "sharing" of memberships. For more security, you could require they show a government picture ID, but many children may not have one.
2. Membership-Member ID Entry. If members know their Membership and Member ID numbers, you can type those in (separated by a dash) for faster check-in. But your members will need to memorize their number or write it down--otherwise you'll be looking them up by name.
3. Pool Membership Card with Membership-Member ID. Like #2, just type in the IDs to check-in. You can create membership cards in PoolPass and print them on card stock paper. Cards can have your community logo/picture, pool rules, member name, and other information on it. This is a little more secure but could still easily be photocopied or shared among members.
4. Barcode Passes. Print them out yourself or have them printed on plastic member cards. Check in is much faster - just scan the barcode with an attached barcode scanner. Plastic cards are also harder to duplicate, but still could be shared. Cost may be higher than previous options.
5. Any of the above options, with Member Photo stored in the PoolPass database. Use a webcam to capture images or ask members to submit a photo file. At check-in you can verify a member who is checking in matches the photo on file. You can even print membership cards with the member photo on them. This is much more secure, but takes longer to set up initially than other methods.
6. RFID Cards or Tags. This may be faster than barcode check-in. The member just waves their card near the proximity RFID reader. It's also harder to duplicate - you need special hardware to copy proximity cards. You can eliminate pass sharing by adding a photo to the database as described in #5.
7. Encrypted RFID access. PoolPass currently uses the unique ID of the RFID card/tag as the access code. This is readable with any reader making it possible to duplicate cards. Some writeable RFID cards provide encrypted storage of IDs and other information, making duplicating the cards impossible without the encryption password. PoolPass does not currently support this feature but please contact us if you have a need for this high-security mode. Note that the cost for these encrypted cards can be up to several dollars per card.