The use of electronic wireless locks and especially mobile keys is becoming more widespread with a majority of hotel guests wanting contactless check-in/check-out. But guest satisfaction is just one reason to upgrade your lock and key mechanisms.
Wireless electronic locks came into use in the 1980s thanks to magnetic stripe (magstripe) technology that’s still in use today. Hotel keys for electronic locks are similar to a credit card with a magstripe. The keycard is inserted it into the lock mechanism and read to unlock the door.
RFID technology has improved the keycard. Instead of a magstripe, the keycard has a small chip, again, like credit cards have. You tap the keycard to the reader on the electronic lock and the door will open.
Mobile keys are the next generation, using a guest’s smartphone. They replace the keycard altogether. Before guests arrive, they’re sent a text or email with a link to their mobile key or a link to download a mobile app that will provide the mobile key. A simple tap on their phone’s screen or holding the phone close to the door will open it.
Upgrading to mobile keys is easier than you might think. A Bluetooth device can be added to the electronic locks you already have that enables you to implement mobile keys while also maintaining keycard functionality.
Now, let’s take a look at 5 reasons to implement electronic keycards and/or mobile keys in your hotel:
- Adds extra layer(s) of security. Old-fashioned, physical keys can be copied and locks can be picked. Electronic keycards and mobile keys limit access to authorized users, providing extra layers of security that benefit guests as well as your staff working in the rooms.
- Provides a better guest experience. Guests want to feel safe and protected in their rooms. A more secure experience can increase your guest satisfaction. In addition, mobile keys empower guests to bypass the front desk check-in/check-out process and go directly to their room.
- Increases your efficiency. Your staff can enable and disable room access remotely from the front desk, whether it’s to help a guest or provide quick access to housekeeping or maintenance staff. They can also monitor unauthorized entry attempts more quickly, and in the case of an emergency, know who’s in their room and who isn’t.
- Reduces your costs. Electronic locks are more reliable and require less maintenance than traditional locks. Physical keys are also more expensive than keycards, because physical keys need to be replaced when lost, and locks require re-keying.
- Integrates with our PMS. As of November 2022, the Visual Matrix PMS cloud software interfaces with these leading electronic lock systems:
- Assa Abloy/Visionline with 2 format (RFID48 and TL Code)
- dormakaba Ambience
For mobile keys, we partner with Flexipass. Their mobile key technology is compatible with Assa Abloy and Dormakaba Ambience locks. (Learn more)
Whatever the future holds for locks and keys, you can be secure in the knowledge that Visual Matrix will continue to support your goals and make sure you can continue to reap the benefits of new technologies.