How to offer your hotel guests more with smart cards

The hospitality industry is extremely competitive. New hotels and guesthouses open every week and each establishment seeks to expand its share of guests.

Hotels that offer luxury, comfort and individuality are often the most successful. Guests demand the best from their hotel and only the most extraordinary service will do.

Thankfully, the small details often make the biggest difference when you are offering an improved experience to your hotel guests. One way to offer a more convenient, comfortable and secure stay is to use smart card technology in your hotel.

How smart card technology works in the modern hotel

A smart card system can be configured to meet the needs of any type of establishment, from a family guesthouse to a large hotel targeting international travellers. Different functions in the smart card system allow your hotel to run efficiently and comfortably. Guests benefit from this range of features to make their stay more enjoyable.

Hotels prefer smart cards to magstripe cards, which were previously mainstream in hospitality, for the greater number of functions that can be employed, as well as the more robust security features. By using smart cards in your hotel, you can offer an enhanced provision to guests that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Different ways to use smart cards in a hotel

Smart card reader technology makes it easy for guests to access their rooms. It provides peace of mind that they are safe in their accommodation and that no one will be able to gain unauthorised entry. Hotels also use smart cards to provide admittance to gyms, restaurants and other facilities. Access can be tailored to provide entry for different guests at different times, for example, with staggered mealtimes in a sizeable hotel. Hotels can also add privileges onto a guest’s card as they purchase a spa day or creche services.

Smart cards also function as cashless payment cards. No one wants to worry about running out of cash when they are enjoying a relaxing break. The cashless vending system in a hotel allows guests to relax and enjoy themselves. They settle their bill at the end of their stay, or they can preload cash onto their card. Cashless payments work well at the minibar, in the hotel restaurant or bar, and as a means of paying for activities like tennis court hire or babysitting. It is much more convenient for guests and, consequently, many tend to spend more money within your premises rather than going off-site.

Provide a loyalty programme for guests to retain their business and reward them with little extras and treats. Smart cards are ideal for loyalty programmes since data is securely stored and can be easily accessed and updated. The data from this loyalty programme helps you develop a more effective marketing strategy to attract and retain customers.

And remember, smart card technology doesn’t have to come in card format. Many hotels use wristbands or key fobs to provide guests with a personalised and unique service enhancement.