Using NFC to Avoid Hotel Queues: Trial Tests Mobile Door Keys

In one of the first pilots of its kind, guests and employees of the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, will be able to check-in, receive their door keys and enter their rooms, all with their NFC phones.

The four-month pilot involves Choice Hotels Scandinavia, the largest hotel chain in the Nordics, along with Assa Abloy, the largest supplier of locks in the world, mobile operator TeliaSonera and trusted service manager Venyon. Assa Abloy will also supply the mobile hotel key application, with the secure part of the application stored on SIM cards in Samsung S5230 NFC phones.

According to an announcement today by Assa Abloy, hotel guests participating in the trial need not wait in queues, either to check-in or check-out. About 30 guests and employees will participate in the trial.

They will book the room the way they normally do, then will receive a welcome text message on the day they are scheduled to arrive. They can then check-in on their phones by clicking on a link to a mobile Web site, then download their door keys over the air, along with the room number. They can go directly to the room and tap the phone on a contactless lock to enter. When they check-out, they can tap their phones on an NFC tag in the lobby or open their mobile application and check-out manually. They could also tell the clerk they are checking out. In each case, this deactivates the key. If a guest loses his phone, the hotel could remotely disable the digital door key through the trusted service manager, which also handles the key downloads.

"The guest experience with mobile keys is basically not having to queue at reception, just slipping past, going up to the room, starting to enjoy the hotel experience," said Marcus Majewski, general manager for Clarion Hotel Stockholm, on a YouTube video Assa Abloy released today about the trial.

The hotel already uses contactless cards and readers in its room door locks, supplied by Assa Abloy’s VingCard unit, and those contactless readers will read the door keys stored on NFC phones. Assa Abloy also owns contactless access-control company HID Global, which assisted in constructing the secure mobile door key system.

"In the future, Assa Abloy mobile keys will be available for not only hotel doors but also for doors to your home or office, and we plan to do trials as well as commercial installations in all segments that Assa Abloy is active in," Daniel Berg, vice president and general manager for Assa Abloy’s Mobile Keys unit, told NFC Times.

While NFC payment and ticketing get the most attention and the most trials, some observers expect access-control applications to become popular on NFC phones.

HEADLINE NEWS

Rome Transit Operator: Covid Accelerates Demand for Contactless Payments but Customer Habits Hard to Change

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The CIO of Italy’s largest public transit operator, ATAC SpA, said the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated demand for open-loop contactless and mobile payments, but added that old habits are hard to break for customers and use of cash and paper tickets are still popular.

Dubai Transit Authority Plans to Launch Its Closed-Loop Card in More NFC Wallets

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, or RTA, which in December first launched mobile fare payments with a digital version of its closed-loop card in Huawei smartphones, says it plans to expand the service to other OEMs, including Apple and Samsung.

Case Study: Transit Agency in Portugal Combined NFC with BLE for Mobile Ticketing; Faced Challenges

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The agency that runs ticketing for 19 public bus, tram and train operators serving Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, says it has had success–and faced several challenges–with the rollout of its Anda mobile-ticketing app.

OMNY Hits New Usage Milestone as Open-Loop Payments Rollout Continues

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, says it continues to see steady growth of its open-loop fare payments service, OMNY, announcing 50 million taps by customers using NFC wallets and bank cards to ride the massive New York City Subway and the city’s buses.

In-Depth: Contactless Open-Loop Pilot in Spain First Project from Vendor Partnership

Mar 11 2021

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Bilbobus, which operates bus service for the city of Bilbao, in northern Spain’s Basque region, says it launched its recent trial of con

Moscow Metro Plans Rollout of ‘Face Pay’ Technology for Fare Collection

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Moscow Metro plans to roll out facial-recognition technology at every station by the end of 2021 to enable customers to pay fares, officials say. The project, while delayed, would be the largest of its kind globally.

Stockholm Transit Agency Launches Open-Loop Fare Payments for Multimodal Rides

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Stockholm Public Transport, or SL, the city-owned company that oversees major public transport in the city, is the latest agency in Europe to launch open-loop fare collection, offering multimodal rides with a tap of a contactless EMV bank card or NFC device.

Case Study: Amsterdam Transit Operator Seeks to Go Nearly 100% Digital for Ticketing to Cut Costs and Enhance Service

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – GVB, Amsterdam’s largest public transit operator, says it seeks to replace an aging closed-loop fare card system and go to open-loop and other digital tokens with the planned rollout of its new account-based ticketing system.

Google Announces Plans to Enable Public Transit Ticketing in Maps App along with Rollout of Parking Fare Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Google has announced plans to launch public transit ticketing for more than 80 cities globally in coming weeks from its trip-planning Maps app and also to enable users to buy virtual closed-loop fare cards–starting with the Clipper card in the San Francisco Bay Area–directly from the app. That’s in addition to enabling payments for parking in more than 400 U.S. cities.

UPDATED: U.S. Federal Government Awards Grants to Help Transit Agencies Roll Out Contactless Payments and Mobile Ticketing

Feb 18 2021

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S. public transit agencies have been keen to remove cash and paper tickets from their buses and trains and to keep more distance between customers and agency staffers because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now they are getting a new boost from the U.S. federal government in the form of grant funds to enable them to enhance contactless and mobile payments systems, among other measures.

German Transit Agency Plans to Complete Open-Loop Rollout on Buses and Trains This Quarter, Expand to Other Mobility Later

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – German transit agency SWB Bus and Bahn plans to fully roll out its contactless EMV fare payments service BONNsmart to its bus and train lines by the end of the first quarter, after launching a pilot last fall, confirmed a spokesman, who added that plans call for eventually expanding the contactless service to payments for parking and such micromobility modes as e-scooters.

Large Private U.S. Bus Company Latest to Adopt Mobile Ticketing in Covid Era

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Academy Bus, a large private commuter and charter bus company serving the U.S. East Coast, has launched its first mobile-ticketing service with the SilverPass app, enabling commuters to purchase digital tickets with credit cards or employer benefit cards.