Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

'Key' Questions to Consider When Shopping for Future-Proof Locking Solutions
with Mobile Phone-Based Front Desk Bypass in Mind

Hoteliers looking to purchase contactless RFID door locks due to the claim of 'future compatibility
with NFC phones' for offering cell phone-based front desk bypass solutions for straight-to-the-room
guest convenience need to beware of potential pitfalls;
OpenWays offers insight to future proof hotels' technology investments

Visit OpenWays at HITEC in Booth 2315 and register to obtain the
White Paper that will help in making the right buying decision for Mobile Key

Chicago—June 15, 2012
—Deploying mobile-based front desk bypass solutions today helps to build a significant competitive advantage for a hotel, brand or chain. However, deployment only makes sense if the solution can be used by guest now, and not in the next five to 10 years. This month, the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), held June 25-28 at the Baltimore Convention Center, will be abuzz with discussions about access control/door lock technologies, mobile device strategies and Near Field Communication (NFC). Before attending an educational session or walking the show exhibit hall, it's important that hoteliers thoroughly understand the complexities and potential pitfalls associated with deploying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) door locks that are said to be future compatible with NFC mobile devices.
Here's the situation: Although the vast majority of hotel door locks purchased today still operate using magnetic-stripe keycards, contactless technology is becoming increasingly popular. One of the motivations for purchasing contactless door locks is the claim of a “possible future compatibility with NFC phones” with the intention of offering a mobile-based front desk bypass option that sends guests straight to the room rather than standing in line and waiting for a room key. While selecting a contactless electronic-locking system may appear to be an easy choice, especially when there seems to be only a few options on the market today, hoteliers need to ensure that the solution they choose is "future proof," and that the strategy deployed today delivers immediate benefits and value to both owners and guests.
"The saying 'buyer beware' is never more true than it is today when contemplating investing in NFC-compliant technologies," said Pascal Metivier, Founder and CEO of OpenWays, a global solution provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions. "Today's modern travelers are demanding mobile self-service options to avoid waiting in line upon arrival at a hotel. While implementing a front-desk bypass program is an enviable solution -- and one that is growing in demand -- it's imperative that hoteliers know what they are buying and whether or not the solution is truly deployable today and penalty free."
Potential Pitfalls
RFID and NFC are both contactless technologies, yet they are NOT the same and they are NOT interchangeable. The much-anticipated take up of NFC-enabled mobile phones is very slowly becoming a reality, and it would make sense to include an NFC strategy in business decisions relating to security and electronic-locking system selection. However, the governing body for NFC technology, the NFC Forum, has several technology architectures which continually change – so future-proofing an investment could be a big gamble.
  • NFC technology, although introduced in late 2002, is still in an early adoption stage. Mobile carriers in the USA, Europe and other countries are still struggling to make the technology work and to build a viable business model.
  • With 6.2 billion cell phones in service around the world, there are less than 0.5% that are NFC enabled. It will take many years before reaching any form of critical mass.
  • There is no such a thing as one NFC. The fact is, NFC embeds multiple standards that are very different and will have a major impact if wrongly selected.
  • Being truly NFC compliant is complex, and none of the door locks on the market today are truly compliant.
"Hotel companies that purchased RFID locks thinking that they will be compliant with NFC phones down the road may be very disappointed," Metivier said. "The same is true of RFID locks and RFID cards. They are not all created equal, nor are they all compliant and secured. Hoteliers need to be very careful when selecting such RFID door locks and cards. Just because a door lock is RFID enabled does not mean that it is NFC compliant or that it will become NFC complaint in the years to come, despite some marketing claims. Likewise, just because a salesman demonstrates an RFID lock opening via an NFC demo cell phone, it does not mean that the lock is truly NFC compliant."
The bottom line is this: It is not accurate to say that purchasing an RFID door lock today will guarantee compliancy with the new generation NFC-equipped phones when they become widely available in the future.  Some hoteliers are starting to realize that investing in RFID locks will not necessarily offer them the advantages they were initially told to expect from NFC.
Critical Questions
To better equip hoteliers with the business intelligence they need to make a wise buying decision related to electronic door locks, NFC-compliant technology, and the potential of offering a mobile phone-based front desk bypass solution, hoteliers must address the following questions:

1.  Can I deploy a Mobile Key solution now without waiting for years before enough phones are available with a future technology? Can I reap the benefits now of a mobile a Mobile Key solution to make a difference for my business?
2.  Can I deploy such a solution taking into consideration my existing hotels without replacing my current door locks and my new hotels that will require new electronic door locking systems?
3.  Will the Mobile Key solution I am looking at be able to be independent from a single lock vendor? Do I want to be dependent on any single lock vendor? Does it make sense for my business?
4.  Will the Mobile Key solution I am looking at work with all existing phones? Does it work with all smartphones today? Does it work with any cell phone today? Does it work with all mobile Operating Systems on board of cell phones? Is it carrier dependent?  As my guests may come from anywhere in the world, will it work with any of the world existing 1500 mobile carriers? Is it interoperable between all the mobile carriers?
5.  Is the Mobile Key solution going to work for all my guests that desire to use it without me having to worry about what carrier they use or what mobile phone they carry?
6.  How future proof is the mobile key solution offered? Can the vendor guarantee that the technology used will remain in service for the next 15 years? Is he willing to make hard commitments about the longevity of its solution? Can the vendor mix multiple technologies and standards to ensure that my investment is future proofed?
7.  Are all the ongoing RFID related costs clear to me? Do I know enough about RFID key cards costs and supply conditions? Am I being offered RFID cards sufficiently secured and with a high encryption technology? What if these cards become obsolete within the next 15 years? What if the type of RFID chip set embedded in the card is discontinued by the chip makers within the next 15 years? Is the vendor willing to make hard commitments? Will I be able to source cards wherever I wish on the open market or will I be forced to buy the cards from one supplier only?
8.  Are all the ongoing Mobile Key services costs clear to me and under control? What will be the NFC SIM or embedded secured element fees, the NFC download fees, the NFC transaction fees, the NFC applet development costs? The NFC applet maintenance costs? The TSM fees? The cost to upgrade my RFID lock hardware when a change of standard occurs?
9.  Am I aware of the feedback from other hoteliers that pioneered RFID and NFC solutions? What challenges did they face? What solutions did they test and try? What did they eventually select for actual deployment?  Did I read the following article?  
Mobile Key by OpenWays is the only Mobile Key solution on the market that works TODAY with ALL cell phones worldwide. It allows hotels to reap the benefits NOW of a modern mobile based self-service check-in/check-out and make a business difference including: Improving service and guest experience; reducing operating costs; driving more direct bookings at greater margins than OTA distribution; improving operating cash flow; increasing security and master key management; building up a powerful qualified mobile data base with guest opt in; and being ecological/green.
OpenWays also provides Mobile Key DUAL© with PURE NFC combining the established and ubiquitous CAC™ (Crypto Acoustic Credential) technology with NFC technologies, making it hospitality's only "fully deployable today" and "fully future proof" solution.
Visit OpenWays at HITEC in Booth 2315 and experience Mobile Key. It's 100% deployable today, 100% future proof, 100% compatible with the major electronic locks, and 0% dependent on Mobile Phone Operators/Carriers. Hoteliers interested in pre-scheduling an appointment at HITEC should contact Andrew Sanders at (732) 707-1869 or email him at To learn more about Mobile Key by OpenWays, visit
OpenWays is a global solution provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Seoul and in Europe, OpenWays provides technology solutions allowing for the secure issuance and delivery of access rights and keys process via any cell phone operating on any network. The OpenWays solution is truly unique as it is built on the concept of credential dematerialization. The OpenWays mobile room key solution works on ALL the 6 billion cell phones in service in the world today. For more information, please contact Andrew Sanders at (732) 707-1869 or email More information can be found by visiting


Barb Worcester
PRPRO /OpenWays
Tel: (440) 930-5770


Andrew Sanders
Tel:  (732) 707-1869

Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here  

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Also See: Does Your Mobile Presence Measure Up to Guest Expectations? Five Top Tips to Fill the Mobile Gap by Driving Loyalty, Increasing Direct Revenues and Reducing Costs; Use these Top Tips as a guide and visit OpenWays in Booth #2315 at HITEC / Andrew Sanders / June 2012

8 Reasons Why a Mobile Key Front Desk Bypass Solution Aids Travelers' Psychological Health; An article in Psych Central titled '8 Reasons Why Waiting in Line Drives us Crazy' identifies key factors that make waits seem longer; Mobile Key by OpenWays eliminates those eight factors and more / Pascal Metivier / June 2012

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Marion, Illinois, to Open Doors with Mobile Key by OpenWays; New construction hotel is scheduled to open in early May with OpenWays' front-desk bypass option that enables travelers to unlock their room doors via mobile device / April 2012

DOCOMO interTouch Announcing 'FREEDOM CHECK IN' Powered by OpenWays Mobile Key to Add Front Desk Bypass Solution to its Offering; DOCOMO InterTouch announces its strategic alliance with OpenWays / April 2012

Landmark Luxury Property 'The Hotel' Brussels is First in Belgium to Adopt Mobile Key by OpenWays; Highest building in Brussels is bristling with technology, including offering OpenWays' smartphone apps to allow guests to bypass any front desk line and get straight to their rooms without delay / March 2012

Made Only of Data, Mobile Key by OpenWays is 'Key' to a Greener Earth; There are no keycards greener than the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic Credential that enables hotel guests to unlock their rooms via mobile phone / February 2012

Ciena Hotels & Suites Sees Mobile Key by OpenWays as Key Differentiator for New Brand / February 2012

The Ascott Limited to Assess OpenWays Mobile Key Front Desk Bypass at Citadines Apart'hotels in Lyon and Cannes, France / February 2012

OpenWays Announcing: Mobile Key DUAL© with Pure NFC™ in Cooperation with Nordic Choice Hotels, NOKIA and NXP / January 2012

Mobile Key by OpenWays Named 'Top Innovation' by Lodging Magazine / January 2012

OpenWays CEO, Pascal Metivier, Addressed Hospitality Technology Leaders at HTNG's European Event About Front-desk Bypass Solutions / November 2011

Self-Service = More Service with Mobile Key by OpenWays; Hospitality industry's leading provider of front-desk bypass solutions is equipping mobile-centric travelers with tools that get them to their destination quicker and hoteliers with a means to deliver more services / November 2011

OpenWays Announces Next Generation Mobile Key Apps for Smartphones; Mobile Key Apps now available for ALL smartphone operating systems; Visit OpenWays in Booth #3172 at IH/M&RS Nov. 13-15 in New York / November 2011

OpenWays Introduces 'Mobile Key' for Independent Hotels;To meet the growing demand among non-branded hotels wanting a Mobile Key Front-Desk Bypass Solution, OpenWays is introducing a cost-effective and secure option for Independents that harnesses mobile technologies to reduce costs, improve financials, and drive guest loyalty / October 2011

OpenWays Introduces Mobile Master Key; OpenWays simplifies hotel master key management by harnessing mobile technologies to make all locks 'on line' without costly infrastructure: Visit OpenWays in Booth #3172 at IH/M&RS Nov. 13-15 in New York / October 2011

Delighting Guests Does Not Drive Loyalty; Reducing Their Effort Does; Mobile Key by OpenWays is driving loyalty and brand stickiness by easing check-in/out processes / October 2011

First Impressions Count: Five Things to Set the Scene for Your Guests’ Stay, Make their Arrival More Enjoyable, and Build Loyalty via Convenience and Choice / Andrew Sanders / September 2011

Mobile Key by OpenWays: The 'SMARTER' and 'Greener' Check-In; At HITEC 2011, OpenWays will present -- with Ariane Systems and KABA® Saflok™ -- the 'SMARTEST' check-in solution deployed TODAY! / June 2011

OpenWays Unveils its Next Generation Door Lock Upgrade Module for Mobile Key Front Desk Bypass Service / June 2011

OpenWays and KABA Unveil All-In-One Saflok RFID Lock with Factory-Integrated OpenWays Mobile Key / June 2011

Can Self Service Mean More Service? YES! With OpenWays' Mobile Key / May 2011

Offering Self-Service Options is Key to Hospitality Loyalty; OpenWays is the 'Mobile' Key to Making it Happen / January 2011

iPhone 5 will be Compatible with OpenWays CAC™; All next generation smartphones, including the iPhone 5, Google Android Phones, Windows 7 Mobile Phones, Nokia C7 and N8 Smartphones or Next Generation Blackberry's will be able to operate the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic Credential™ / November 2010

OpenWays: Check In Today All the Way to Your Room Using 'Your' Cell Phone, ANY Model and ANY Carrier / November 2010

Hotel Technology Veteran Andrew Sanders Joins OpenWays as VP Business Development / November 2010

Mobile-Key Platform Displayed at IHMRS Aiding in National Industry GREEN Efforts; There are no key-cards greener than the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic Data Credential that allows hotel guests to check in to their rooms via mobile phone / October 2010

"CHECK IN YOUR WAY" OpenWays Launches New Campaign to Aid Hotels' Mobile Marketing Initiatives / October 2010

OpenWays Mobile Application is Live at a Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express Hotel; The world's first mobile front desk bypass solution is up and running at two IHG properties / September 2010

Aitor Agueda Joins OpenWays as VP of R&D; Twenty-five year hospitality and security systems veteran instrumental in designing the most installed and successful electronic-locking systems in North America joins OpenWays to lead R&D efforts; Maurizio Zama promoted to Chief Operating Officer / September 2010

OpenWays Cell Phone Based Front Desk Bypass Solution is Adding to the Business Traveler Experience; HITEC attendees using OpenWays app to enter Guestroom 20X said the mobile room key solution, which gives travelers freedom to completely bypass the front desk by using their cell phone for guestroom access, is ideal for all guests who want to avoid lines at the front desk; Company answers new questions posed at the premier technology event / July 2010

Front-Desk Bypass Cell Phone Solution: OpenWays Announces First Pilots at a Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express Hotel; OpenWays and IHG will pilot a new cell-phone-based front desk bypass solution that offers guests the option to use their personal cell phone as a mobile room key / June 2010

OpenWays Mobile Phone Front Desk Bypass Solution Selected for Guestroom 20X at HITEC; Attendees of the 38th Annual Hospitality Information Technology Exposition & Conference will have an opportunity to check into a virtual hotel, bypass the front desk, and open their room door securely using nothing but their cell phone -- any mobile device, any carrier works! / May 2010

OpenWays Opening Doors to Gen Y Travelers Wishing to Bypass Front Desk; Allowing guests to check-in remotely by equipping door locks to open via any cell phone is ideal for attracting this green-conscious, tech-dependent, instant gratification generation / May 2010

OpenWays Selected by Microsoft® to Join Its BizSpark™ Start-Up Program; Developer of the world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any mobile phone to receive full Microsoft marketing support, tools, licensing, and global visibility / April 2010

ITB Berlin Attendees Flock to OpenWays' iPhone App for Front-Desk Bypass, Acoustic Room Keys; Attendees at world's largest trade show for the travel industry flocked to see world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any guest's mobile phone; OpenWays was one of 11,127 companies from 187 countries that exhibited at the record-breaking event / April 2010

OpenWays Presents its iPhone Application to Bypass Front Desks and Open Room Locks; Mobile solution provider that developed the world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any guest's mobile phone announces new services to further enhance operations and guest services. / February 2010

OpenWays Responds to FAQs Regarding its Front Desk Bypass Solutions that Securely Open Hotel Room Doors by Cell Phone; Mobile solution provider that developed the world's first acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via a guest's mobile phone regardless of type answers hospitality industry's most frequently asked questions / February 2010

100% of the World Cell Phones to Open Doors with OpenWays' Apps; Hospitality's FIRST Check-In /-Out Solution with Mobile Room Key Delivery for ALL Cell Phones is at IH/MRS! / November 2009

4 Billion Cell Phones Now Opening Doors to Better Guest Service Thanks to OpenWays / October 2009

OpenWays Introduces the Fastest and Greenest Way to Check In and Open a Hotel Room Door; Mobile room-key application for ALL cell phones NOW AVAILABLE / October 2009

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.