Apple’s announcement last month that it would implement the storage of hotel keys in its Wallet application is a significant step toward simplifying the mobile check-in process for guests.
Significant, but not exhaustive – it’s important to note that issuing digital keys is only one step of the complex process that allows guests to bypass the front desk. Apple’s announcement certainly does not spell the end of the hotel app as we know it.
Coming this fall as part of the iOS 15 update, Apple Wallet will soon use the same underlying NFC technology as Apple Pay to allow guests to access their hotel rooms. It will simplify the process of issuing a digital room key for hoteliers and reduce implementation time and hardware costs for owners looking to allow digital room access.
It’s a big step toward streamlining a process that has, until this point, prevented many guests from using their phone as a digital room key. But, Wallet only solves one segment of the end-to-end operation required to get a guest checked in and room access issued. The bigger issue is connecting identity with access, which requires many more steps beyond issuing a key.
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