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Using your building security card to print securely

One of the coolest features (and I use that term without irony) of print management is the ability to stop documents from printing until you’re standing at the printer. See? It’s cool right!?

You basically identify yourself at the printer, the printer recognises you, your documents print out. Super secure and non-wasteful.

BUT … that’d be a pain if you had to sign in with, say, your Google credentials each time, right? Tap, tap, tap, oops, wrong letter, backspace, tap…

How much cooler (there’s that word again) would it be if you could whip out your building security card to print, wave it in front of the printer, and your documents come scooting out. After all, you tend to have your security card on you all the time to get in and out of the building, access between floors, maybe even to top up on coffee.

OK, so we’re agreed that using your building access card to release your print documents from the printer is cool. (So cool that it’s got its own term - “badging”). There are a few ways to make this happen.

First, however, you need to know something. To make this badging magic happen, you need to be using a print management solution like PaperCut MF or PaperCut Hive. I’m not trying to trick you into buying fancy software (even though it IS fancy), but these methods require either PaperCut MF or PaperCut Hive (or similar).

OK, on with the show…

Using your building security card to print securely

What you’ll need is:

  1. A card reader
  2. A print management solution like PaperCut MF
  3. Your building access cards
  4. A building

OK this is the most basic set-up. You get yourself a card reader from your favourite print partner. If you haven’t got a favourite print partner, you should think about getting one. Because these folks know lots and lots more about photocopiers than you or I ever will.

Plus, they’ll guide you on what card reader will suit your copiers. This is very important. Not all card readers work with all multifunction printers. And not all cards work with all card readers.

They’re usually connected to your printer via USB and integrate seamlessly with PaperCut MF. Simples.

Using your mobile phone to print securely

Ah, you thought this would just be about your building security pass? Wrong! You can also set up your printer to only release documents when you present your mobile phone at the device.

There’s a couple of ways to make this happen.

Using a Bluetooth card reader

Card readers can be purchased with Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) functionality so that iPhones and Android-based smartphones can be used for identification and wallet solutions.

Using the Mobile Print Release app (PaperCut MF / PaperCut NG)

To steal a line from the Papercut MF manual:

“Mobile Print Release provides an alternate, cost-effective solution that leverages the powerful devices that exist in almost everyone’s pocket—the mobile phone.”

So that’s pretty clever, right! Your users wander up to their favourite printer, choose it from the mobile app, and PRESTO the document prints. OR, you can get even fancier and place a QR code on the printer that the user scans with their secure print release app. And once again, PRESTO etc.

You can learn more about PaperCut MF or get a free trial of PaperCut NG if you fancy.

Using your mobile to release print jobs (PaperCut Hive / PaperCut Pocket)

Using your mobile to choose the perfect printer is the primary way to print with our fancy cloud print management solutions for small businesses, PaperCut Pocket, and for larger businesses, PaperCut Hive.

You press print on your computer or tablet or whatever, and your phone will tremble in anticipation as the PaperCut Hive or PaperCut Pocket app pings to let you know you can release a document at a nearby printer. Super easy and modern and really, really convenient.

But wait, there’s actually a few ways you can select a printer with PaperCut Hive and PaperCut Pocket via the mobile app. You can:

- pick from a list

- enter a code

- Scan a QR Code

- Scan one of those fancy NFC stickers.


See, pretty cool hey. That gives you an idea of what’s possible with cards (and mobile phones) when printing in your workplace. Here’s some extra reading: