In the hotel industry, smartphone usage started with loyalty apps. It was a device to reach out to guests, get closer to them and improve the overall experience for a stay. Guest convenience, branding and potential cost savings are usually key drivers for the chain’s decisions. It was therefore no surprise that hotels started to look for mobile room key deployments in order to enrich their apps.


To deploy room keys onto devices hotels need to align existing systems and technologies. Property management systems must be able to process room reservations for remote check in procedures; back-end systems must be able to process and submit mobile key requests; a new system is needed to execute over the air deployments of room keys; app or existing loyalty app needs to be able to receive a mobile room key and unlock a room; and the hotel lock needs to be able to process a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) command next to a regular key card.

Besides branding possibilities and improved guest experience, potential savings are significant. But until now no calculation model has been available to get possible saving aspects.

Cost saving aspects include less consumption of traditional room key cards; increased direct bookings without online travel agent involvement; staff savings at the reception; additional room bookings thanks to improved guest experience.

LEGIC now provides a free calculator, which calculates benefits over three years free of charge and is anonymized.

Cost savings can be significant, LEGIC says: a hotel chain with 10,000 rooms worldwide, a utilisation of 70% and the assumption that only 15% of their guests would be using mobile keys in the first year could save around US$1.2 million in the first year or US$120 per lock and year. With a 20% usage in the following year and a 25% usage in the third year, cost savings would go up to US$177 per lock in the second year and US$258 in the third year, LEGIC says.

An independent organization that designs and provides hardware, software and services for ID applications from access control, time and attendance through to cashless payment, LEGIC represents over 250 partners in the contactless chip card industry.

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