Smartphones seem to be universal nowadays with 3,9 billion users globally, which is about half of the world’s population. The new technology era has brought a time where a large number of those listed users rely on using smartphones and their features daily, ranging from ordering food, calling a cab to making reservations and arrangements for restaurants, trips etc. Following this statement, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the hotel industry is starting to rapidly implement mobile key technology on their property and into their operations, especially in these times where the safety of customers and their data is in constant danger of being breached.
The mobile key, also known as digital key allows hotel guests to unlock their rooms and suites using an app on their smartphone, which offers safety, convenience and a more sustainable room access. Statistics show that 73% of guests would download an app that gives them access to a mobile key, which serves as proof of the ever growing adoption among the clientele of this tool. So here are the 3 main reasons why you should not only consider, but mandatorily implement the technology in your hotel.
Why Use Mobile Room Keys?
Plastic hotel card keys represented a brilliant revelation in the hotel industry once, but as time went by, all of its disadvantages popped up, showing its weaknesses despite being cheap and somewhat reliable. They are prone to a large number of risks such as theft, loss, cyberhacking and demagnetizing, additionally adding more costs for proper disposal and waste at the hotels. Large hotel chains, following the technology boom, announced an immediate conversion to keyless entry, listing these 5 reasons for their integration:
- Time saving during check-in, stay and checkout
- Saving costs in tracking, programming and replacing of plastic card keys
- Personalizing guest experience, making re-booking easier
- Synchronization to cloud PMS systems, allowing further improvement in customer services
- Availability of digital keys, encrypted in order to ensure a particular guest accessing and eliminating the risk of the key being transferred to another device.
- Irrebuttable Security
After establishing the multiple risks of plastic cards and their failure to deliver efficiency, the mobile key is a necessary upgrade that addresses the two main issues – cyber, but also physical security. Professional technology management is upping their game by carefully examining the technical infrastructure and making suggestions to hotel owners about various concerning areas. Mobile keys are with the guest at all times and there is a close to none chance of stealing the key, which is ensured by cutting edge biometric recognition technology. Hotel owners need to keep in mind that the implementation of a highly secure mobile key access system is essential in addressing the growing need of privacy among clients. With encryption, real-time monitoring and beta testing a smooth running guest experience is ensured. It is highly recommended to entrust the utilization of these systems to a trustworthy hotel tech company, which will in turn provide and manage the entire system with maximum security.
- Reducing Costs
One of the more obvious advantages of a keyless entry system implementation is the cost reducing. Mobile apps and keyless entry systems have a one time payment – the initial development and utilization costs, after which, all the system requires is activation or deactivation. Plastic cards take up more of the budget for printing, programming, theft & loss costs, replacement and hacking costs etc. Also, plastic card readers require routine maintenance, which implies inspecting and repairing every faulty door sensor, adding additional costs to the hotel. It may seem that a mobile key system is more expensive, but in the long run it brings more efficiency and cost saving which is directly connected to overall customer experience. Plus, upgrading the mobile key system is done by app developers or your hotel data security provider, which is significantly less expensive than plastic key card maintenance.
- Exceptional Guest Experience
We’ve listed numerous reasons why you should definitely use mobile keys and almost every single one of them applies to customers. Avoiding waiting, check-in and checkout inconveniences will have a positive effect on your clients, encouraging them to recommend the hotel to others, according to their impeccable experience. Having the ability to arrange your own stay, complete check-outs, pay bills, unlock rooms and personalize your stay will lead to astonishing reviews by guests on social media, travel blogs and booking websites. Interoperability of mobile apps with hotel cloud PMS can also provide staff with the needed information which can help them deliver faster services and have an insight into guest preferences. Guests who own mobile key apps can also use these keys for room temperature control and ordering room service, besides the obvious usage list.
Technology and smartphones will surely keep evolving in the future, so we can expect additional usage options besides mobile room keys, which will further enhance the overall guest experience. As the number of smartphone users increases over time, with estimates of reaching up to 6 billion people by the end of 2021, converting to this tool will provide faster holiday and accommodation bookings, add additional demand points for the revenue and offer even more personalization to the hotel guests, but also enhance the overall staff efficiency and services.