MTI-Andrews Introduces Encrypted Key to Prevent Retail Theft

Hillsboro, Ore.-based MTI-Andrews has introduced a “SmartKey,” a new, programmable, encrypted key and switch system that maximizes access to products while minimizing the risk of theft.

SmartKey affords store employees the ability to disarm a merchandising display’s security alarms for a designated period of time before the system automatically rearms itself. Additionally, the key can be programmed to only work for a specific period of time before having to be reactivated, making it impossible for keys to be copied and passed along to others. The system will be available in the second quarter of this year.

Smart Key provides two levels of permissions: manager mode, which has more flexibility and security clearances built-in, and employee mode, which only gives access to merchandise displays for a designated time period.

Employees are given their own programmed keys, each of which is encoded to his or her employee ID number. At the beginning of each shift, the manager programs each SmartKey that is to be deployed. At the end of the specified period, the SmartKey automatically deactivates, rendering it useless.

If a key is lost or stolen during its active period, it can be remotely deactivated at any time by either the store manager or from the retailer’s corporate office.

SmartKey also prevents internal theft by employees who might attempt accessing merchandise displays at another retail branch while the key is active. The receiver at the corresponding store will recognize the employee’s smart key as being “stolen,” lock the system, deactivate the key, and alert the system operator.

If an employee fails to rearm the security system, SmartKey can be programmed to have the security system automatically re-arm itself after a customizable time period.

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