NATIONAL REPORT—When RFID (radio frequency identification) door lock systems were introduced to hospitality more than 10 years ago they were applauded by operators and guests for their superior reliability. At that time, magstripe door locks and keycards were widely used as a replacement for metal keys. But magstripe keycard systems were a frequent source of guest dissatisfaction. Guests had to carefully insert and withdraw their magstripe keys into the lock reader or their door would not open.
Magstripe keycards could also be disabled by coming into contact with mobile phones, which have a small magnet in their speaker. Because of this, front desk staff had to constantly re-code erased keycards when guests were locked out of their room. When RFID technology was introduced it was rapidly adopted because RFID keycards were easy for guests to use, not subject to erasure, and provided a smooth upgrade path to emerging mobile access technology.
Today, RFID door locks are the industry standard. They are in wide use in all property types from destination resorts to conference centers, corporate hotels, luxury and mid-market properties. In many cases major brands mandate mobile-ready RFID locks as the franchise standard, with mobile access capability tied to the brand’s marketing programs. Because of their ease of use and reliability, properties that installed RFID door locks report increased guest satisfaction scores and fewer guest complaint penalties from franchisors. An added benefit to RFID locks are the sealed units that don’t require periodic cleaning as do magstripe locks. RFID’s strengthened security also reduces property liability.
This paper provides a summary of the hoteliers’ experience and improved performance with RFID door lock systems.