The hospitality business is tougher than ever. From the hotel owners’
perspective, competition within the existing industry is heating up and, at
the same time, they’re having to compete with nontraditional market
disruptors, such as online travel agents and peer-to-peer home sharing
services like Airbnb. From the guest’s perspective, personalized,
seamless hospitality experiences are top priorities when choosing where to
stay and technology features, especially digitalization, play an important
role in their final choice.
It comes as no surprise then that hoteliers are looking for new ways to boost
brand loyalty and create a competitive advantage. A primary focus is on
digital transformation, with hotels investing hundreds of millions of dollars
in new, tech-enabled services that put digital technologies to work. Mobile
integration, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and
even virtual reality—hotels are using digitalization to increase
efficiency and reduce costs while offering more engaging services to
One example of mobile integration is the
Hilton Honors app, which allows guests at Hilton hotels to do a number of things with their
mobile devices, from choosing a room to performing online check-ins and
check-outs, all while benefitting from tailored mobile content. Ranked among
the top 30 travel apps worldwide and reporting over five million downloads,
the Hilton Honors app is one of the most successful mobile apps in the
RFID Key Cards Can Do More Than Just Open Doors
The key card, equipped with a microchip to enable radio frequency
identification (RFID), becomes part of the digitalization effort by enabling
new opportunities to innovate. When equipped with RFID technology, the key
card is a natural access point for digital information and services.
Not only is the key card one of the first things you receive when you check
in, it’s your gateway to everything the hotel lets you experience, from
rest and relaxation to exclusive dining and entertainment offers. Linking key
cards to the rest of the hotel’s digital offering gives hotel owners a
way to make a traveler’s stay as enjoyable and convenient as possible.
At NXP, we’re working closely with the hospitality industry to create
next-generation solutions that benefit hoteliers and guests alike. Our recent
introduction of MIFARE Hospitality
is just one example. It’s a new, cost-effective IC specifically
designed to let hotel operates create key cards that do more than giving
guests secure access to hotel rooms.
Creating Your Own Hotel Experience
Using the configurable NFC capabilities embedded in the MIFARE Hospitality IC,
next-generation key cards become a powerful tool to help create customized
guest experiences. Just tap the RFID key card to an NFC-enabled smartphone and
you automatically launch an app or website that lets you do more, like control
the temperature of your room or easily and securely log onto the
hotel’s Wi-Fi network (without entering a password!).
Why did we choose NFC (near field communication) as the basis for interaction?
Because today’s travelers can be relied upon to have a smartphone with
them, and because almost every major smartphone supplier offers models
equipped with NFC. The specific estimates vary, but research shows that
NFC-enabled smartphones have passed the 1 billion mark, and that number is
expected to grow as NFC becomes an increasingly widespread technology, in
things like contactless bank cards and employee badges.
Hoteliers who adopt NFC are part of a growing trend, as more and more
brand-name companies issue NFC-enabled services. Apple has recently announced
Apple Card, for example, a payment card that uses NFC to make payments and
connect the user to a supporting app. The Apple Card is also compatible with
Apple Pay, another Apple services based on NFC. Similarly, Nike’s NBA
Connected Jerseys use NFC to bring fans closer to the game. Tap a smartphone
to the NFC tag woven into the jersey and you unlock special content and
offers, such as game highlights, the chance to sit courtside at an upcoming
game or early access to exclusive shoe models.
A New Form of Loyalty
The new MIFARE Hospitality IC can help activate brands and increase guest
loyalty. As a hotel guest, you can tap your RFID key card to your NFC-enabled
smartphone and, for example, automatically sign up for the hotel
brand’s loyalty program using a form that’s pre-filled with your
personal information. Or, you can tap the card to see which restaurants are
nearby and benefit from digital-only discounts. With an RFID-enabled key card,
a hotel brand’s digital offering is always just a tap away.
Why Security Matters
There’s a saying that security is something you don’t think
about until you need it. It can be easy to take the security of a key card for
granted until there’s a real-world problem, like the possibility that
someone else might be able to enter your hotel room. Compared to other
technologies used for key cards, such as barcodes or magnetic stripes, the new
MIFARE Hospitality IC delivers a higher level of security. The RFID chip
supports 3DES authentication at the door lock, so as a guest you can be
confident you have a safe, secure way to enter your room.
Going Digital with RFID
NXP is a trusted technology provider to the hotel industry, and a significant
number of MIFARE ICs are used hospitality applications. Our new MIFARE
Hospitality IC gives hotel owners and brands a cost-effective way to
transition away from legacy access technologies, such as mechanical keys,
embossed cards, magnetic-stripe cards and previous generation of RFID cards.
At the same time, the MIFARE Hospitality IC makes it easy to meet the growing
demand for mobile interactions and new guest experiences.
The Key to the Future
At NXP, we can confirm that digitalization is, indeed, a major trend in
hospitality. Working closely with leading hotel brands, lock manufacturers and
industry experts, our technologists on the NXP MIFARE Team are developing the
tools needed to enter this new era of digitally-enabled services.
You could even say that, with products like the MIFARE Hospitality IC,
we’re doing more than helping people open hotel
rooms—we’re letting them open the door to digitalization.
Learn more about MIFARE Hospitality in this