Even before the start of the pandemic, digital key and mobile check-in solutions were already fast becoming mainstream technologies thanks to the instant convenience that guests can receive. Add to that the advantages of enhancing social distancing and reduced surface contact that the technology offers, and it becomes clear why mobile check-in and digital key services are now experiencing unprecedented adoption rates in hotel markets around the world.
Although as with any new technology that rapidly grows in popularity, misconceptions over issues such as safety and security can just as quickly spread throughout the industry. For mobile check-in and digital keys, recognition of the solution’s value may also be accompanied by thoughts of potentially new security vulnerabilities.
With guests no longer required to visit the front desk, one such speculation may be for example, that instances of identification fraud or unauthorized room entry may increase. However, a look at some of the features that more advanced mobile check-in and digital platforms possess can quickly dispel any security risk misunderstandings that hoteliers may have. After all, there must be a reason why more than one million guestrooms confidently provide guests with digital key abilities without experiencing any known security breach.
Enhanced Security Begins With Your Guests’ Devices
The first line of defense against identity and digital key data theft comes from a guest’s own smart device. To even gain the ability to use a device, most platforms today require either a password, facial recognition or a thumb print scan. This in itself provides an extra layer of security protection that keycards do not hold should they become lost or stolen. Going one step further, digital keys themselves can also include options to require a second password in order for users to gain access rights. Additionally and in contrast to some industry reports, digital key platforms are also being enhanced with the ability to verify a user’s identification before access rights are enabled along with the sharing of room number information.
Ensuring Only Authorized Guests Receive Digital Key Information

Another concern among hoteliers regarding digital key and mobile check-in is the thought that data may be at risk of theft when being transmitted to guest devices. However, this too is also a misplaced belief when it comes to the more advanced solutions that are currently available. For instance, such platforms may use encrypted communication channels to transmit digital key and room number information to a guest’s device. When guests present their devices to the appropriate door lock, secure communication channels are again used with digital key data only passing within the space between a smart device and the lock. These measures make common data theft methods such as sniffing practically impossible.
Managing Hotel Access in Real-time

Whenever a guest checks-out, how do you really know if their physical key really is deactivated? What if a guest does not return their key and a front desk employee overlooks the need to have it canceled? With digital keys, such concerns can be finally put to rest. The latest solutions can automatically ensure that any access rights are instantly revoked once a guest’s stay ends. With digital keys able to be used for additional hotel locations such as parking garages or swimming pool areas, hotels can further rest assured that all access is rescinded at once. As an added security measure, hotel staff can also monitor all access events in real-time and can instantly cancel any digital key that is suspected of being used inappropriately.
Bring Peace of mind to your Guests
When considering whether to adapt a digital key and mobile check-in strategy, hoteliers should find comfort knowing that the most advanced solutions are backed by the industry’s leading security providers. Designed to be much more than just a way to boost guest convenience, today’s latest digital key and check-in platforms can actually serve to maximize a hotel’s security and close potential loop holes.
To ensure the appropriate solution is selected, hoteliers just need to remember to ask providers the right questions. Does your platform have any safeguards to prevent sensitive data from being accessed by individuals with malicious intent? Can your digital key platform be used to verify a guest’s identity?  Is there a way to monitor mobile key usage in real-time? Can staff members instantly revoke authorization should any inappropriate behavior be suspected? By receiving positive responses to the above questions, hoteliers can always ensure that they are placing the safety and wellbeing of their guests and staff members first.