While mobile key usage is on the rise, it isn’t the right solution for every guest. Most of the experts agree that tech-savvy business travelers and millennials are the ideal guests for mobile key.
“The ideal guest is the mobile-minded traveler who uses his/her smartphone to make dining reservations, board a plane, make room reservations, check in and check out, and access their rooms without going to the front desk,” said Joey Yanire, assistant VP, mobile access lodging systems, dormakaba.
Early adopters of new technologies have been the most ideal guests for digital keys so far, but the technology is designed for any kind of guest, said Markus Boberg, VP of business development at Assa Abloy Hospitality. “It is easy to use and access, so there isn’t much guesswork for hotel guests in operating the technology,” he said.
These guests are familiar with a more advanced utility of their smartphone, tend to utilize all the beneficial features of mobile key such as remote check-in and skip-the-desk capability, and rarely have any issues with using a digital key, said Brian Shedd, OpenKey’s VP of sales and marketing.
Not all mobile key systems allow for multiple guests to access the same room but several of the platforms are allowing for up to four guests to access the same room, which was an earlier barrier to adoption with some guests. But some guests will still prefer the keycard for piece of mind.
“The real challenge that remains now is finding the best ways to help the end users, the hotel guests, to not only embrace the technology, but be able to use it seamlessly,” Boberg said.