The digital wallet revolution is upon us. Spurred by behaviors created during the pandemic, new research shows that more than 60 percent of the global population will be using digital wallets by 2026. This represents a sharp rise in growth of over 53 percent from 2022. Consumers are ditching their physical wallets and turning to digital wallets, such as Apple Wallet or Google Wallet, to store all necessary payment information on their mobile devices, including bank accounts, debit, and credit cards.
Beyond simplifying financial transactions, however, digital wallets are now part of a hot new trend that allows people to store and organize other items as well, including membership cards, plane tickets, driver’s licenses, loyalty cards, gift cards, event tickets, coupons and even…hotel mobile room keys.
The Role of Hotel Apps in Integrating Mobile Key and Wallets
Savvy hoteliers are reimagining the guest experience by using their hotel apps to facilitate the integration of mobile hotel room keys with mobile wallets. An advanced hotel app performs the crucial steps that are necessary before a mobile key can be issued. It works like this:
Using the hotel app, guests can review reservation details and select any upgrades or make changes. They can then perform all the steps necessary to verify their identity, arrange a payment method, and check-in from anywhere prior to arrival using their personal device.
After successfully checking in, guests are issued their mobile key via the hotel app. At this point, guests can choose the option of adding their reservation information and mobile key to their preferred digital wallet. With the room key and reservation information now stored in one central location, it’s easy to quickly access the key along with any details such as confirmation number, room number, hotel address and more.
Upon arrival, your guests can simply stroll past the front desk crowds and head straight to their room, where near field communication (NFC) technology and the proximity of their smartphone or smartwatch unlocks the door, giving them immediate access, a feature that your guests greatly desire.
Benefits of App, Key and Wallet Integration
Convenience: Smartphones, tablets and smartwatches have become an important part of daily life. When your hotel app facilitates the integration of mobile keys and mobile wallets on their personal devices, your guests appreciate the convenience of spending less time waiting in lines, less time hunting around for the right pieces of plastic, and more time enjoying the reasons they came to your hotel in the first place.
Security: Mobile keys that are stored in digital wallets on your guests’ smart devices get full advantage of the privacy and security built into those devices, including encryption and tokenization.
Flexibility: With a hotel app featuring mobile key functionality, your guests have the ability to access their digital room key via the hotel app itself, as well as through the digital wallet. Offering mobile keys on multiple digital platforms offers guests more choices for a seamless experience.
Contactless: The overwhelming majority – 90 percent – of travelers prefer limited interaction with hotel staff. If your guests want to extend their stay or access late checkout, a hotel app enables your staff’s ability to remotely update the guest’s room key in their wallet. When it’s time to checkout, guests can complete the process in the hotel app, and the key within the wallet can be automatically deactivated and archived. No face-to-face encounters required!
The capability of storing mobile hotel room keys within digital wallets is only one part of the guest experience, but an increasingly important one. The right hotel app simplifies this complex process and plays a “key” role in unlocking a winning guest experience.
Would you like to learn how integrating mobile key and mobile wallets with your hotel app can help you?
 “Digital Wallet Users to Exceed 5.2 Billion Globally by 2026.” Juniper Research, 2 Aug. 2022, https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/digital-wallet-users-exceed-5bn-globally-2026.
 Mobile Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center, 7 Apr. 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/.
 Travelers Want More Flexibility and Fewer Amenities, Shows New Research from Kasa Living, Inc.. Kasa Living, 1 Sept. 2022, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/travelers-want-more-flexibility-and-fewer-amenities-shows-new-research-from-kasa-living-inc-301615998.html.