Mobile Key by OpenWays: The 'Smarter' and 'Greener' Check-In

  • OpenWays
  • 06.27.11
OpenWays’ Mobile Key, together with Ariane Systems and KABA® Saflok™, showcased a joint Mobile Key front desk bypass solution at HITEC 2011 that hoteliers are calling the "smarter" way to check-in.

The 100 percent automated self-service check-in solution, which brings together Ariane System's Allegro check-in system and Saflok's RT™ next-generation RFID locking system with factory-installed OpenWays Mobile Key built in, that was recently commissioned in Scandinavia. The ambitious integrated solution was deployed first in Oslo, Norway, and was showcased for the first time in the U.S. June 21 to 23 at the Austin (Texas) Convention Center in Booths 1834 and 107. 

"There is no 'smarter' or 'greener' check-in solution than Mobile Key," said Pascal Metivier, OpenWays founder and CEO. "Our three companies have leveraged mobile technology unlike any other to deliver a guest check-in experience that is unsurpassed. The solution is sustainable, cost efficient, truly ubiquitous and deployable TODAY using any of the 5.8 billion cell phones in the world. More importantly, the solution provides for two-way communication between the hotel and its customers, increasing guest loyalty, building brand differentiation and stickiness.

"Today, through OpenWays’ Mobile Key, Ariane and Saflok  RT™ RFID, hotel guests can check in on their own terms, be it online, via a mobile device, or at the front desk," he said. "It's the next generation of self-service that gives guests more options and more convenience. Considering that industry analysts [from eMarketer™ Digital Intelligence] estimate that 29.7 million consumers will use mobile devices to research travel by 2012, offering a mobile platform for check-in and front desk bypass is the next logical extension in self service."

Thomas Westergaard, senior vice president Comfort Hotels at Nordic Choice Hotels, said the Mobile Key check-in process pushed the envelope even further for the brand to create an entirely new breed of hotel.

“When we began to develop our new Comfort Xpress concept, we decided to start from scratch and totally abandon the traditional rules by which most hotels today operate, instead pioneering new technologies that are designed to increase cost-efficiency and guest convenience, while also promoting environmental responsibility," Westergaard said. "The airline industry automated the check-in process 10 years ago, and we feel it is time that the hotel industry follows suit.

"By maximizing the use of new technologies and offering increased self-service options, we are able to cater to the needs of our guests while making operational cost savings that can be passed along to them in the form of lower rates," he said. "Offering this joint technology integration represents a smarter way to check in, and we are proud to be setting a new standard.”

The OpenWays/Ariane/Saflok solution will continue to be deployed at several Nordic Choice properties throughout 2011 and 2012.

Environmental Responsibility

Unlike other smart check-in solutions that require the sending of millions of expensive contactless-based loyalty cards (and therefore millions of pounds of plastic and carbon), OpenWays is truly sustainable. Plastic cards used by other proposed "smart check-in" programs are made of PVC, which is highly polluting and highly toxic when eventually disposed in waste treatment facilities. Mobile Keys, on the other hand, are made of only data and therefore are not harmful to the environment or end up in landfills.

"Cell phones are everywhere, so why require travelers to carry environmentally-harmful plastic cards and force hoteliers to incur high costs of purchasing the cards and mailing them to loyalty members when a much smarter 'data card' is already in each guests' possession," Metivier said. "It's a dollar and carbon costly process that not only hurts the environment but also hurts a hotel's bottom line.

"When it comes to offering a truly deployable front desk bypass solution and creating a true competitive advantage for the hotel brand, the smarter move is to the OpenWays Mobile Key platform," he said. "OpenWays is 100 percent compatible with all cell phones and network technologies; It is extremely user friendly and highly secure; It is simple to operate for all users because it leverages what people already know to do with their phone; It aids in a hotel’s e-marketing efforts by providing a vehicle for continual communications with the guest before, during and after his/her stay; It helps hotels to deploy value-added mobile applications, including loyalty programs, widgets, Web2Mobile, etc., with automatic hardware and carrier detection allowing for full content compatibility; It interfaces with central reservation systems, property management systems and the major electronic locking systems on the market today; And, it supports the integration of pre-payment and post-payment solutions.

At the present time, Metivier said some major hotel chains are preparing for the deployment of the joint OpenWays/Ariane/Saflok solution in North America.

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