Upgrades are all part of the hotel management experience. Décor changes, food trends evolve, and services are added in line with guests’ expectations. Hotels are always looking at how to improve their offering to stay competitive in the marketplace and deliver a sterling service. Hotel security has also evolved over the decades. But is your hotel keeping up with the evolution? Do you need to look at your door security? Here we investigate how hotel key cards have developed, and what you need to do to make sure your guests are as safe as possible.
Evolution of Hotel Door Security
Of course, key cards, smart cards and the smart card reader are relatively new additions to hotel security. Many will remember when the only way you could access your hotel room was with a metal key. Keys were easily lost or stolen, replicated or copied. If a key went missing, then the entire lock mechanism had to be replaced. And there was no way to store guest information securely. It was all written down and kept in a book at the front desk.
Obviously, keys were not going to stay around forever. Punch cards took the place of keys in many establishments. They were more secure as the configuration of holes gave millions of possible combinations, but they were not particularly convenient – or stylish.
Next came Mag-stripe cards. These are commonplace in the hospitality industry and can be identified by their magnetic stripe down the card. The user swipes the card through a reader. When used to open doors, this technology is markedly more secure than a key and definitely more convenient, since if lost, the card can easily be replaced. But Magstripe cards are no longer completely secure.
Contactless cards operate using a chip. After mag-stripe cards, contactless cards developed to deliver improved user security and a greater number of potential applications. They are used for many different purposes from banking to hotel access.
Why Upgrade to a Smart Card?
Many hotels continue to use Mag-stripe technology in their cards. They continue because the cards are convenient, or they believe Magstripe offers complete security. This is not the case, however. Mag-stripe cards are no longer the most secure option. These cards can easily be copied and cloned by criminals. Fraudsters do not have to look very far to find online versions of cloning tools that make accessing Magstripe cards simple. The biggest reason why you need to upgrade your Mag-stripe cards is security. Contactless cards support a number of security enhancements that make them better suited to the hospitality industry. And with this added security you can assure your guests that they are enjoying the safest experience in your hotel.
Don’t wait to upgrade, either. It takes just one fraudulent event and you suffer enough poor publicity to stop guests from booking at your hotel. Fortunately, upgrading to smart cards is simple and easy to manage.
Check the technology of your door access and other guest service systems today in order to keep up to date with the latest security enhancements that will bring value to your business.