Many, if not all, modern hotel management systems use hotel key card systems. In fact, you’ve probably used a hotel room key card more than once in your life to enter a hotel room. However, not everyone knows or understands precisely how hotel key card systems work, which could lead to some concern regarding how they operate and how safe and secure they are.
In this article, we will give you a complete rundown of hotel key cards and the technology behind how they work, as well as some additional details to give you more peace of mind when using them.
What are Hotel Key Cards and How Do Hotel Key Card Systems Work?
Hotel key cards a quite simple.
Each key card has a magnetic sheet or strip that contains the essential information about a hotel guest. When a guest is checking in to the hotel, workers at the front desk of the hotel will print the details of the guest onto the card. Upon the individual arriving at their room, the key card door lock is activated when the magnetic strip is read by the reader on the hotel door reader.
In some instances, a hotel may also use a type of key card called a proximity card (RFID card) which does not require a swiping motion. RFID cards use RFID radio frequencies to enable non-contact access from a programmed short distance. For most RFID cards, the individual would only need to touch the RFID card to the RFID card reader on the door to gain entry.
Common Types of Hotel Key Cards
Each hotel may find that a different type of security control card is better suited for its needs, as well as its guests. While some hotels use magnetic strip access cards, often referred to as swipe cards, other hotels may use other options for entry such as RFID cards, barcode cards, and smart cards. These types of cards can also be used to gain access to other areas in the hotel such as elevators, pools, or fitness rooms.
Magnetic strip cards are the most cost-effective choice for hotels, but they can be worn out easily and may be less secure than some of the other alternatives. RFID cards, on the other hand are more durable; however, this solution can also be more costly.
Smart cards are another alternative as they contain a wealth of additional data about the individual, as well what type of access they have throughout the hotel. This is why keycards tend to be the most secure alternative, but they can also be the more expensive option.
Regardless of the option your hotel decides to use, card systems simplify the hotel's management system and provides a better experience for hotel guests.
Myths About Access Control
The most popular misconception about this system is in regard to information that is stored on them. For example, most people assume that cards contain confidential information, such as personal or financial data.
The truth is, the only information contained in these hotel cards are the room numbers and the dates in which the guest is staying at the hotel. Although key cards have some notable risks, storing comprehensive financial information is not one of them.
Hotel key cards are security control passes with the least amount of stored information, thereby reducing the risk of misuse. Indeed, the biggest problem you might face is needing to get replacements for guests who lose their passes!
What are the Benefits Access Control Cards for Hospitality Industry
One of the best advantages of using this kind of security system for your hotel is how efficient they are. As a hotel manager, you can easily change an individual or employee's access without needing to redistribute new key cards. With a centralized security system, managers can now easily change access without having to go to match all the doors to all the keys.
A hotel key card electronic system also allows you to increase overall hotel security and monitor access points around the hotel from one central location. By implementing an electronic access control system, you can track who passes through any entry and exit point to maintain a better record of who is entering and exiting your hotel.
Increased Guest Privacy
While traditional keys work great, they also have their own set of security challenges. A card provides a more reliable alternative than any other form of control access due to the fact that every key card created for a guest is completely encrypted and impossible to reproduce. With a key card system, you can provide your hotel with a more trusted and sophisticated control system.
Disadvantages of Using a Hotel Key Card
Easy to Lose
Losing a hotel card can quickly turn into a nightmare for any exhausted traveler. The process of obtaining a new key can be embarrassing and often even costly, both in terms of time and money. Moreover, it also poses significant privacy and theft risks.
Can Be Expensive
Hotel cards can be costly products. While some hotels have managed to reduce the costs of cards, they are still an expensive item for many hotels to consider implementing. Additionally, if you have guests that do not always return their key cards, you could find yourself having to replace more key cards in the future.
Rely on Action 1st Loss Prevention for Your Hotel Key Card System Needs
Access control is critical to every type of business, but even more so for hotels. Not only do you need to keep your employees safe but you also need to ensure the safety, security, and privacy of your guests at all times. One of the best ways to ensure this is by implementing a key card control system.
At Action 1st Loss Prevention, we specialize in commercial electronic security control. Whether you’re managing a small and cozy hotel or a larger establishment, we can help provide you with the best hotel key card system for your needs.