Gone are the days of keyless entry being limited to niche hotels; it’s arriving across the board as you read this article. At its current growth rate, seeing guests unlocking rooms with smartphones will soon be as common a hotel feature as fresh linens.
The mercurial rise of keyless entry is due not only to the standardization of mobile technology, but also a need for instant gratification. Hotel rituals like front desk check-in and physical keycards were once the norm, and widely accepted. Now, more and more people are asking themselves, “What if I could skip all of this?” —
and finding out they can.
Enter mobile key, the innovative shot in the arm the hospitality industry has been inching toward for years. But like so many other examples of innovation, there will be initial questions about efficacy and practicality. Switching to mobile key is no exception. A few common misconceptions are:
“My property can’t afford mobile key.” While there’s always cost involved in a tech makeover, mobile key installation is often much more affordable than expected. OpenKey has taken the hard work out of offering mobile key to your guests by creating lock and mobile key packages that reduce the cost of upgrading your hotel by as much as 75%.
“My property is too small.” We’ve worked with 8-room properties and 400-room hotels, and the benefit is always the same: enhancing and enriching the guest experience. Mobile key doesn’t change what your property is, just how efficiently it runs.
“Mobile key is too new.” While this may have been true several years ago, keyless entry is now a common featurewithin worldwide chains like Hilton and Marriott —
and innovation that is widely adapted is soon expected. A standard that was once held by metal keys slowly shifted toward an intimidating new contraption: the plastic keycard. Eliminating the physical method of entry is simply the next link in the chain.
Mobile key may be revolutionizing the hospitality landscape, but adopting it involves a transition —
which is typically part of the process with any new technology. Regarding this transition, we recommend considering the following before moving to keyless entry. If you’re unsure of which locks would best fit your property, we’d be happy to help you find out.
Some BLE locks are online, while others just communicate with an on-property server. Online locks offer greater functionality, but cost can increase for these particular locks.
While many locks are completely wireless, others are hardwired. Hard-wiring door locks will require more installation effort, and therefore a higher cost.
Mobile locks come in all shapes and sizes, and moving from a large magnetic stripe lock to a compact BLE lock sometimes means door repairs or refinishing are in order, depending on your doors. However, we work with multiple leading lock manufacturers to avoid this at all costs.
But what about security?
In this day and age, hoteliers are right to be concerned about cybersecurity. OpenKey software utilizes 128-bit encryption, an industry standard that’s essentially uncrackable. Hotels, in addition to banks, retailers, and many more, rely on 128-bit encryption every day to keep customers’
sensitive data away from attackers.
With that said, hopefully you’ve got a better idea of mobile key by now. The details are important, but the top-down strategy behind mobile key comes down to one word: “smart.”
The hospitality industry is witnessing a mobile renaissance. It will result in almost all hotels becoming “smart”
hotels, or hotels where guests will have total control over their stays with their smartphones. Sounds great from a guest perspective, but hoteliers have reason to be just as excited. Smart hotels will operate at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels, largely due to automation, all while offering an unprecedented guest experience.
A “smart hotel”
majority isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Let’s make sure your property is ahead of the curve.