To provide great hospitality, hoteliers need to know what their guests want. And what guests want, now more than ever, is complete efficiency, control, and personalization — an experience that is both hands-on (with personal touches) and hands-off, with the latest technological innovations.
The hotel industry is constantly paying consideration to a number of new advancements or big ideas, but there are a few recent movements which simply can’t be ignored — one of which, is the mobile key. This comes as no surprise, as mobile-functionality continues to be paramount for consumers across all industries. Utilizing this new technology, guests can skip the front desk line and check-in right from their device, seamlessly access their hotel room, check-out and more.
However, it’s important to realize that this shift away from traditional, plastic room keys not only appeals to guests and hoteliers from a convenience standpoint but also ensures increased security.
First and foremost, we have to consider basic human nature. Let’s face it; plastic room keys are frequently tossed into handbags, pockets or briefcases without a second thought and, as a result, they are easily lost. How many times have you found yourself down by the pool while on vacation, or out for a meal, only to frantically dig around your belongings searching for a missing room key? Mobile key technology remedies this issue, as our mobile devices are one of our most important travel (and day-to-day) accessories. Often acting as a primary tool for communication, entertainment, social media, GPS and now, our hotel room key, it’s easy to assume that guests will be far less likely to misplace their smartphone.
Mobile devices are also a more difficult item to steal, considering their presumed proximity to their owner. However, in the case that a guest’s phone was stolen, mobile key technology companies have put additional verification processes in place to keep the guest’s room secure. In fact, it’s been noted that nearly all digital locks in the hotel space have encryption that mirrors financial institutional security. A guest’s digital key will only work with their phone, with their reservation, for the room they have booked and within the hotel’s mobile key app.
Additionally, physical key cards are frequently marked and placed in an envelope with the attributed room number in order to ensure they are distributed to the right guests — an organizational need which makes them easy to track. This can have grave consequences if a guest leaves the key and envelope anywhere on (or off) property during their visit. With the effective utilization of mobile access keys, however, all the guest’s necessary information resides within their smartphone, safely locked behind user-generated passcodes and security questions.
And lest we forget, by embracing the future of the hotel mobile key, we are embracing a future without the dreaded demagnetization of our plastic key cards — a grievance most hotel guests would be thrilled to bid goodbye. In fact, 67% of guests say they would prefer a smart-phone key for their room over a traditional card key.
As we look to the future of the hotel industry and the continuous evolution of guest expectations, it’s impossible to deny the appeal of mobile-focused advancements such as the mobile key. Not only does it open up a world of possibility in terms of guest insights and customized experience, but it effectively enhances the safety and security of each guest — a priority that is absolutely paramount to every hotelier.
About the Author
Mr. Magnus Friberg has served as Chief Executive Officer of Zaplox AB since 2013, and he is also Director of the Company. He previously served at Securitas, responsible for Business Development & Marketing in Europe. He previously also established the company S Reg with SmartSafety concept.