Mobile Key by OpenWays is the only solution in the world that guarantees compatibility and interoperability with ALL the 6.5 billion cell phones and smartphones on earth. Thanks to OpenWays’ unique CAC™ (Crypto Acoustic Credential) technology, hotel guests worldwide can use their personal mobile devices to skip the traditional hotel check-in procedure, bypass the line and head straight to their room and open the door with their phone. Guests who choose to stand in line and collect a traditional plastic key card may continue to do so.
Busy business travelers, Generation-Y and millennial travelers are but a small cross section that prefer to control their own destinies rather than be forced to comply with a traditional process that can cause them to incur delays and be frustrated for little direct benefit. With self-service becoming the norm in interacting with many consumer businesses (think self-check-out at retail stores, pre-check in for flights, bypassing lines at car rental pick up etc.), more and more hotels and chains are deploying Mobile Key by OpenWays to give their customers more choices when it comes to their arrival process.
“Customers are educated in the use of self-service and perceive increased choice as improved service,” said Pascal Metivier, OpenWays founder and CEO. “In the same way that people today opt to get their airline boarding pass on their mobile phone so they can skip the airport check-in desk, they do not see why their smooth sailing needs to grind to a halt when they arrive at a hotel’s front desk. With smartphone or regular mobile phone technology in their hands, a hotel can now engage with the guest and provide their room key electronically, which makes sense for a great deal of travelers today.
“With guests concerned about their security, Mobile Key by OpenWays provides a highly secure and fully auditable record of each request for a ‘mobile key’,” he said. “On the day of the guest’s arrival, they receive a message on their mobile device advising them of the room they have been allocated. When they reach the hotel, they go straight to their room and present their phone to the lock. After several layers of security checks are passed in a few hundred milliseconds, the lock will open and the guest can enter and relax. It is that simple.”
Chains and independent hotels that have selected Mobile Key by OpenWays have done so for a number of reasons. Apart from being able to offer an advanced and convenient method of room access, hotels are aware that guests prefer options at all points of interaction, and surveys have reported that consumers gravitate to businesses that will work with them on their own terms. Hotels have chosen Mobile Key by OpenWays specifically to be able to publicize this straight-to-room option and to drive additional business their way.
In choosing any mobile strategy, it is important to ensure ubiquity and that it can be offered to the widest possible constituency of consumers. Mobile Key by OpenWays is the only such front desk bypass solution that will work with any mobile phone today and in the future.
“How many mobile technologies can be guaranteed to be working in two, five or any number of years from now? Not many, but for as long as phones will be used by humans to talk to each other and therefore emit a sound, Mobile Key will be working!” Metivier said. “This means hotels can invest in OpenWays CAC™ based solutions today knowing this technology will never become obsolete.”
With Apple choosing not to support NFC (Near Field Communication) with the iPhone 5, and with less than 0.05 per cent of the 6.5 billion cell phones on the planet being NFC enabled, the jury is still out on the viability of this technology. At best, it will take many years to see any critical mass of enabled phones being in use.
With “iPhone guests” not being NFC equipped, it appears clear that an NFC-only strategy cannot be a viable choice for any hotel wishing to enjoy the benefits of a Mobile Key solution. In addition, tests previously conducted by hotel chains with NFC only were not conclusive (Read: "OPENWAYS ANNOUNCING: Mobile Key DUAL© with Pure NFC™ in Cooperation with Nordic Choice Hotels, NOKIA and NXP," and "Nordic Choice Puts Guestroom Access on Mobile Phones").
In order to further future proof its solutions, OpenWays earlier this year announced the availability of a DUAL technology platform that combines the universality of CAC™ with Pure NFC – meaning that NFC-enabled phones anticipated in the future will continue to always be compatible with the OpenWays platforms.
Mobile Key is ‘future proofed’ and will continue to work with all upcoming series of phones.
"Mobile Key by OpenWays is the only solution being truly deployed by hotels and chains around the world because it is the only solution that works and that can be used by all hotel guests regardless the cell phone they carry," Metivier said. "Hotels looking to create a true competitive advantage and offer the in-demand self-service option to front desk bypass are finding Mobile Key by OpenWays to be the smart investment."