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How Hotels Can Enhance the Key Card Experience for Guests 

Did you know that a key card can do more than just open a door? The hospitality business is tougher than ever! As hospitality businesses vie for the top spot in the heart of their customers, they’re also starting to learn that the best way to persuade more customers is to focus on a more personalized experience. 

If you haven’t added more customization to your key card, it is time you learn the following services and extras that can be accessed using a hotel key card. It helps guests enjoy a more convenient and memorable stay. At the same time, you could use it to generate more revenue as you scale up your business. 

3 Types of Hotel Key Cards

There are three main types of hotel key cards:

  1. Magnetic Stripe Cards: These are the most traditional type. They function when the magnetic stripe is swiped through a card reader. However, they’re susceptible to wear and tear, and can be easily demagnetized and duplicated.
  2. RFID Cards: These cards use a radio frequency identification chip. Guests just need to hold the card close to the lock for it to open. They have a longer lifespan than magnetic stripe cards and are more difficult to duplicate.
  3. Smart Cards: These have an embedded chip and offer the highest security level. They can store a lot of data and offer encryption capabilities. However, they are often more expensive than the other two options.

Which type of hotel key card is best for you?

Deciding on the best hotel key card for you depends on several factors. If you’re looking for the most affordable option and don’t mind occasional card failures or replacements, magnetic stripe cards might be ideal for you. If you value guest convenience and want a more durable solution, consider RFID cards. If your primary concern is high-level security and you are willing to invest

What Are The Advantages of a Hotel Key Card?

Increase Customer Loyalty 

Key cards can be utilized to activate brands and increase guest loyalty. They can be programmed to connect to NFC-enabled smartphones where guests can automatically sign up for your brand’s loyalty program. Since the keycard contains the guest data, entering the program will automatically pre-fill the personal information of your guests. This could be a great marketing strategy to increase guest retention and loyalty. By giving guests exclusive discounts and promotions, you can attract more check-ins. 

Tighter Security for Your Guests 

RFID keycards contain barcodes and magnetic stripes that can easily be reprogrammed to deny access to strangers who may have stolen the key cards. For example, if guests have lost their keycards and reported the situation, hotel security can easily block access to whoever might have gotten the card. It delivers a higher level of security and provides peace of mind for guests. There are many ways that keycards can be customized to improve security such as adding authentication at the door lock. Notice also how keycards can automatically turn on or off room lights and appliances to prevent mishaps when the guests are out. 

Related articles: Learn more about Locks and Hardware for the Hospitality Industry.

Access to Spas and VIP Services 

Key cards can be customized to give VIP guests exclusive access to VIP services such as the massage room, spa, or luxury pool. Compared with the traditional method of manual logging, it removes the need for receptionists in every hall pass. Moreover, it also saves VIPs from going back and forth to the reception area to request VIP services. The key card holds the answer! All that guests have to do is swipe the key card onto the sensor. Rooms can be consequently programmed to open only on VIP keycards and deny access to other key holders. That way, there is less manual labor and monitoring for your staff and a more enhanced experience for your VIP guests. 

Communicate Vital Information to Guests 

 Chances are your front desk staff often gets a call for the same questions: “What’s the number for room service?”, “What is the password for your WiFi?”, or “What’s the nearest café for breakfast?”. Keycards can be fully customized to streamline services for your guests. For example, keycards can be programmed to allow guests to automatically have access to WiFi once they have checked in. This gets rid of the need to constantly contact the front desk for the same question. 

Partnerships with Cafes and Restaurants 

Again, you can use keycards to partner with nearby café and restaurants to provide guests with free breakfast or other extra perks. Before hotels can only serve breakfast in bed but now hotels can tie up with cafes and restaurants to give guests more perks. As result, your guests can dine in your partner restaurant and present the keycard for perks and freebies. Just ask nearby businesses if they would like to join you in a promotion that is mutually beneficial for both brands. There are many businesses out there that would jump on something creative like this. Think like a tourist, and have your hotel keys offer deals on food and drink. 

Access to Local Attractions and Entertainment 

Just like partnering with local restaurants and cafes, you can partner with local attractions to provide exclusive deals to your guests who checked in a particular room. For instance, you can offer bundle packages with day tours. But instead of guests paying for entrances, all they need to do is swipe the keycard to the sensor to have access to aquariums or fun rides. The same strategy can be applied to casinos and more entertainment places. There are unlimited possibilities with key cards so don’t underestimate their power. 

Personalized Designs 

Promote brand awareness and build identity by having modified keycards. Think about your brand color and designs because they can easily be applied to your keycard. Instead of having an ordinary keycard, luxury hotels can opt for more creative keycard designs. Keycards are the new elevated approach to branding. It’s time you embrace its benefits to grab the attention of your guests. 

A good way to unlock its potential is to work with the right manufacturer or designer. Think big with your key card functionalities. Reach out to us for a key card strategy that will help you book loyal guests. 

Related article: Are Your Valuables Secure in Hotel Safes?

What Are The Disadvantages of Hotel Key Cards?

The main disadvantages of hotel key cards, such as RFID keycards, magnetic keys, and smart cards, can include demagnetization and potential security breaches. Because of the technology these products use, they often interact with other magnetic or RFID products, causing the cards to become demagnetized. This could result in inconvenience for guests and additional work for hotel staff. Another issue is that if the card falls into the wrong hands, unauthorized people could potentially access guest rooms.

How to prevent security breaches of hotel key cards?

Preventing security breaches in hotel key cards involves a mixture of both technology upgrade and conscious decision-making.

  1. Use Advanced Technology: Upgrade to key cards that use encryption such as smart cards or RFID key cards which are harder to duplicate compared to magnetic stripe cards.
  2. Regular System Updates: Ensure that your card reader systems are regularly updated. Outdated technology can be more vulnerable to attacks.
  3. Track Key Card Usage: Most modern access control systems log who accesses which door at what time. This added layer of security can help quickly identify any unusual activity.
  4. Lost Card Policies: Ensure guests are aware of the importance of reporting lost or stolen cards, so they can be promptly deactivated.
  5. Regular Audits: Conduct regular security audits of your card access system to uncover any potential vulnerabilities and address these.
  6. Staff Training: Train hotel staff on the importance of security protocols. Ensure they verify guests’ identities before issuing new keys, and not allow unauthorized access to rooms.
  7. Limited Access: Program cards to only allow access to certain areas based on a guest’s needs.

Remember, no system is foolproof. However, taking these precautions can significantly reduce potential security breaches regarding hotel key cards.

How to Remagnetize a Hotel Key Card?

To remagnetize a hotel key card, you need a card reader that offers the capability to encode the magnetic strip or RFID chip used in the card solution. These encoding machines can reprogram the hotel key, restoring access to the guest room.

What to Do With Old Hotel Key Cards?

As for old hotel key cards, there are a few options. If they are RFID key cards or smart cards, they can often be reprogrammed with a card reader for reuse, saving costs for the hotel and reducing waste. If reprogramming is not an option, recycling programs may accept these types of cards for disposal. Promoting such initiatives highlights a hotel’s commitment to environmental responsibility, which could further attract sustainability-minded guests.

Upgrade Your Hotel’s Security with GV Lock

We offer a variety of hotel security lock systems that are customizable to your specific requirements. Our company has consistently supplied top-rated security locks to numerous hotel chains and other entities in the hospitality sector nationwide. We are committed to aiding businesses in establishing a safe and protected atmosphere for their employees and guests. For further details about a particular lock system, you are welcome to request a free estimate.






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