Nowadays, most hotels use a key card for guests to access their booked rooms. It’s a technology used for some time now, and probably most people have already experienced using it. If you’re wondering how do key cards for hotels work, this article is your best bet. We will cover some of the basic information about a hotel key card.
You might be thinking that hotel key cards provide superior security. But that might not be the case. They are as vulnerable as your regular door keys. However, this technology can still be improved and modernized to prevent hacking and break-ins.
Hotel Key Cards
Many hotel rooms utilize a digital door lock that can be accessed using cards with magnetic strips. These cards are also known as mag stripes or swipe cards. Another more expensive hotel key card is the RFID card. So how do key cards for hotels work?
Magstripe Key Card VS. RFID Key Card
Magstripe cards are the most common option for many hotels since they are generally cost-effective. However, they also wear out easily and are less secure too. On the other hand, some more high-end hotels opt to use RFID key cards, which are more durable and safe. RFID, unlike the swipe cards, requires a hole punch mechanism to work. Upon contact, or when nearby, the reader’s mechanism activates to allow access.
Key cards utilize different technologies based on type and quality. However, they provide the same function for door access. How do key cards for hotels work is not only limited to room access. But some hotels step up their game by using the same card to access other hotel features and amenities. Most hotel amenities are for checked-in guests only; thus, the key cards provide the exclusivity. They can also use the cards to get a bill out in restaurants, which automatically sends the customer’s tab.
Unlocking the Door Using Key Cards
For Magstripe cards, the technology is pretty straightforward. This card has a magnetic strip that saves minimal information. When checking in, the hotel reception can download a user access number to the card to access their rooms. Upon check out, the card automatically loses that information, disallowing access. When the guests swipe the magnetic strip to the door reader, it verifies the information and provides access.
On the other hand, RFID cards are more high-tech. This is considered a contactless card that sends radio frequencies to activate the hotel door, allowing access. Another type of RFID is the proximity card. For this card to work, you first need to touch the RFID reader.
Hotel key cards, just like other technology devices, are vulnerable to hacking and misuse. However, you need not worry about your personal information from leaking since the data protection regulations protect them. Keep in mind that different locations have a different set of rules. Some key cards can also store other pertinent information, such as credit card numbers.
To know how do key cards for hotels work, you also need to understand its technology. The smart chip in each card provides the best protection against misuse. The magstripe card uses encryption to store data. That means they are not easily accessed and readable. Only decoders can filter the stored information from the key cards. This system is created so that even if guests lose their key cards, their personal information won’t be accessed easily.
Technology keeps on developing as time goes by; this is also the case for hotel key cards. Other alternative hotels can opt to use the NFC technology. This allows guests to use their mobile phones to access their rooms and other hotel amenities. It works by sending a code to the guest’s smartphone, and when the phone is near an NFC reader, it automatically grants access. Also, the guests can input the code to unlock the door. Although new, this technology is a much safer option to use. Here’s how to learn more about hotel key cards.
Different technologies are integrated into our everyday life through gadgets and devices. Even establishments make use of technology for convenience. Hotels, unlike the old days, utilize digital locks to improve their hotel services. Knowing how do key cards for hotels work can maximize your hotel key card use.