Automating Early Online Check-in for Hotels

Embracing Contactless Check-In in Modern Hospitality

Embracing Contactless Check-In in Modern Hospitality
Article by
Bram Haenraets
Article update
February 1, 2024
Table of Contents

As technology continues to evolve, the hospitality industry is not just keeping pace, but is at the forefront of this revolution. One of the most exciting advancements? Contactless check-in. This isn’t just a fancy term; it's a complete overhaul of the guest experience, making it smoother, faster, and more enjoyable.

Key statistics Online check-in

  • Growth in Digital Check-In Market: Since the pandemic, the digital check-in technology market has experienced a 10% growth.
  • Guest Preference for Digital Check-In: Over 80% of hotel guests are willing to use a check-in app.
  • Traveler Preference for Technology Use in Hotels: Two-thirds of travelers show a preference for hotels that use technology to minimize staff interactions.
  • Millennials' Use of Digital Booking: Approximately 66% of millennials book travel via smartphone, and 75% have travel apps installed.
  • Consumer Preference for Self-Service Technology: About 70% of consumers are more inclined to stay in a hotel offering self-service technology.

References key statistics:

  • HelloShift article titled "Why Digital Check-In is Essential for Your Hotel in 2024" provides insights into the growth and preference for digital check-in in the hospitality industry. Read more on HelloShift.
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business article on "Research Recap: How Contactless Technology is Transforming the Hospitality Industry Forever" discusses the broader adoption and impact of contactless technology in the hospitality sector. Read more on Cornell SC Johnson.

How Does Contactless Check-In Work?

Online Check-In

The process of online check-in is akin to setting the stage for your hotel experience. It's a precursor that begins your journey even before you arrive at the hotel. This is how it unfolds:

  1. Pre-Arrival Engagement: Prior to your arrival, you'll receive a notification inviting you to check-in online. This can be days or even weeks before your stay.
  2. Entering Details: Through the hotel’s app, website or other communication channels like WhatsApp, you input essential information like your name, arrival time, and special requests. This step is similar to airline check-ins, where you provide details beforehand.
  3. Room Preferences: You might have options to select room types, floor preferences, or even specific amenities. Some systems allow you to view the hotel layout and choose your room, just like selecting a seat on a flight.
  4. Confirmation: Once you submit your details, you receive a confirmation. This could include a digital room key, a QR code, or just a confirmation number, setting you all ready for a swift experience upon arrival.

Keyless Check-in

Keyless entry is a cornerstone of the contactless experience, and here’s how it simplifies your arrival:

  1. Digital Key Delivery: After your online check-in, the hotel sends a digital key to your smartphone. This could be via the hotel’s app, email, SMS or WhatsApp.
  2. Accessing Your Room: On reaching the hotel, you bypass traditional check-in formalities. Head straight to your room and use your smartphone to gain entry. The technology varies – some use QR codes, others NFC (Near Field Communication) or Bluetooth.
  3. Added Conveniences: Some systems allow you to access other areas like the gym, pool, or parking with the same digital key, integrating all aspects of your stay on your device.

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ID and Credit Card Processing: Enhancing Security

The digital processing of ID and credit card information is a crucial aspect that ensures both convenience and security:

  1. Uploading Documents: Through a secure portal on the hotel’s app, website, or WhatsApp, you upload images of your ID and credit card. This is often done during the online check-in process.
  2. Verification and Encryption: Advanced software checks the validity of your documents. This process is encrypted, ensuring that your sensitive information is protected against unauthorized access.
  3. Seamless Transactions: Charges for your stay, including deposits, are processed through this secure system. This eliminates the need to physically hand over your credit card, thereby reducing the risk of fraud.
  4. Contactless and Cashless: This system not only minimizes physical contact, which is especially important in post-pandemic scenarios, but also moves towards a cashless transaction model, adding to the convenience.

Advantages of Contactless Check-In

Efficiency and Time-Saving

The most immediate benefit is efficiency. No more long lines or tedious check-in processes. This system streamlines the whole procedure, saving precious time for both guests and hotel staff.

Enhanced Guest Experience

Contactless check-in isn’t just about technology; it’s about the experience. It offers guests the autonomy to handle their check-in process in a way that suits them best, enhancing overall satisfaction.

Safety and Hygiene

In a world where health and hygiene have taken center stage, minimizing physical contact is crucial. This technology ensures a safer environment for both guests and staff.

Data Security

With advanced encryption and security protocols, digital check-in systems ensure your personal information is well-protected, offering peace of mind alongside convenience.

The Future of Hotel Check-In

As we advance, we can expect even more innovative features. Biometric check-ins, voice-activated room controls, and AI personalized room settings are just a few possibilities on the horizon. The goal? To make the hotel stay not just a service, but an experience, one that starts the moment you book your stay.

Final Thoughts

Contactless check-in is more than a trend; it’s the future of hospitality. It’s a seamless blend of efficiency, security, and personalization, all wrapped up in a high-tech, user-friendly package. As we embrace these advancements, we're not just checking into hotels; we're stepping into the future of travel. So, the next time you’re planning a hotel stay, think about the contactless possibilities and how they can enhance your travel experience. Welcome to the new era of hospitality – efficient, safe, and undeniably exciting!

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Contactless Check-In?

Contactless Check-In is a digital process allowing guests to check into their hotel rooms using a smartphone or other device, bypassing traditional front-desk interactions.


How Does It Enhance Guest Safety?

This technology minimizes physical contact between staff and guests, reducing the risk of transmitting illnesses and enhancing overall health and hygiene standards.


Will It Save Time for My Staff?

Absolutely. Contactless Check-In streamlines the arrival process, reducing the administrative load on your staff and allowing them to focus on other aspects of guest service.