Eight out of 10 guests will download your hotel app to ensure a contactless experience, and nearly half of your guests expect that contactless experience to include keyless door entry. Hotel mobile key adoption is on the rise. But before you jump into the keyless entry pool, there are certain criteria and requirements to consider before making the transition to a mobile key platform.
Know your “why”
Before implementing mobile key, hoteliers need a clear understanding of their “why.” And that should revolve around improving the overall guest experience and enhancing staff efficiency. Mobile key technology should be quick and easy for guests to access as part of a seamless mobile check-in process through your hotel app. Furthermore, the same smartphone application that unlocked their guest room door may also simplify operations by delivering controlled access to other areas of your property such as elevators, pools, spa facilities and meeting rooms.
Hoteliers need a mobile key provider that takes all compatibility issues into account. Nearly a third of hoteliers find system integration a top tech challenge. As a result, it’s crucial that hoteliers consider a mobile key solution’s ability to seamlessly integrate with their guest-facing app. You also want to ensure your mobile key solution integrates with other existing infrastructure solutions, such as your property management system (PMS), in order to connect assigned guest rooms with issued key information. In addition, as hotel rooms continue to get “smarter” – allowing guests to control temperature and lighting, music and TV streaming with their smartphone – you’ll need a mobile key platform with the flexibility and scalability to integrate with IoT solutions as well.
Door lock options
Implementing mobile key at your hotel doesn’t always require a full lock replacement. Some solution providers offer the capability to retrofit into existing locks. If your locks are more than a decade old, however, you may need to decide whether to invest in new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) locks designed to work with mobile key, or upgrade existing RFID or magstripe locks with a BLE module. You need a trustworthy provider that will guide you in determining exactly what additional hardware you may need and the most cost-efficient way to obtain it. A good provider will also help ensure that the aesthetics of any new fixtures or fittings accurately reflect the spirit of your brand.
Ease of deployment is another important requirement to consider when implementing a keyless entry solution. Your mobile key provider should be knowledgeable about how their solution and internal processes function. And they should also be willing to work with your team members – effectively training and preparing staff so that they can confidently communicate the benefits of your mobile key tech to guests to optimize awareness and boost adoption.
Although digital key technology is definitely a boon for your overall guest experience, the right solution also offers several layers of protection that enhance guest safety and hotel security. Hoteliers should choose a provider using the latest in encryption technology so that the digital key, room number information and the transmission space between the smartphone and the lock itself are all fully protected. The mobile key solution should have smartphone authentication technology for verifying a mobile user’s identity, such as through a personal identification number (PIN) or fingerprint. An advanced solution will also provide instant key updates and key cancellations in the event a guest should no longer have access to a particular room.
Keyless entry leads to an average increase of 7 percent in guest satisfaction scores. But you want to make sure you don’t rush in and implement a solution without proper consideration of all the factors. Your mobile key platform should be compatible with an array of mobile devices and locks, and integrate with your existing hotel systems. And you want a provider that offers the training and security measures you need to improve the guest experience and your hotel operations.
Would you like to implement mobile key at your hotel?
 “Study: 80% of Consumers Willing to Download Hotel App to Enable Contactless Experience.” Hospitality Technology, 18 Aug. 2020, https://hospitalitytech.com/study-80-consumers-willing-download-hotel-app-enable-contactless-experience.
 Simon, Elaine. “New Whitepaper Highlights Hospitality Technology Trends.” Hotel Management, 26 Apr. 2021, https://www.hotelmanagement.net/tech/new-whitepaper-highlights-hospitality-technology-trends.  “2020 Lodging Technology Study: The Acceleration of Innovation-Enabled Hospitality.” Hospitality Technology, https://hospitalitytech.com/lodging-tech-study-2020.
 “Hotel Technology Trends: Mobile Key [Infographic].” OpenKey, 4 June 2018, https://www.openkey.co/2018/06/04/hotel-technology-trends-mobile-key-infographic/.