Digital Check-in - Not a One Size Fits All Solution for Every Hotel

October 19, 2020

In this new normal brought on by the pandemic, technology will play an integral role in enabling hotels to successfully reopen and answer to the new demands from their increasingly health and safety-conscious guests. It’s safe to say that technology will act as the key enabler of new working and operating models in the hospitality industry.

When it comes to hospitality tech, the keywords here are: touchless, frictionless, contactless and engagement. This needs to apply to the key points in the guest journey, giving guests the sense of safety, convenience, and control they are looking for.

The real test for hoteliers in this regard is how successfully they’ll transform their check-in experience from in person to digital. Digitizing the check-in/check-out processes is an opportunity for hotels to eliminate queuing at the front desk and to minimize the need for contact between guests and staff.

The United States has seen a 20 percent increase in preference for contactless operations, with numerous industries adapting to this change. McKinsey

However, hoteliers are voicing concerns about the real cost of these solutions and how they would, once implemented, impact wider hotel operations. Instead of digitizing the whole process, some hotels just want a thoughtful solution to address the complications of Covid19.

Let’s take a look at the most common barriers to adoption of contactless check-in technology.

Barriers to Digital Check-in Adoption

High costs of implementation. Is the actual price of contactless check-in solutions higher than advertised? Hoteliers are dreading the additional costs of introducing a fully contactless check-in, which implies upgrading or changing all the locks to enable room access with mobile key. This would, without a doubt, be a significant investment and a deal breaker for hotels who are already dealing with low occupancy due to the pandemic.

Insecurity about wider guest adoption. How do hotels provide 100% of their guests a touchless check-in experience? Is this option really ideal for every guest? The worry is guests don’t want to be bothered with downloading an app or that their less tech savvy guests won’t be comfortable using a mobile app to open their room doors. A percentage of people will always prefer the traditional key card instead.

Lack of integrations with existing systems. Hoteliers are worried that contactless check-in is  something they’d have to manage and operate in isolation from their existing technology ecosystem. Can it work seamlessly with other systems their hotel is using to operate efficiently, like their payment providers, PMS, and CRM systems? These are all big concerns when considering to adopt a new piece of technology.

So, what is the solution?

Ideally, hotels will find not just a solution provider but a technology partner and consultant they can work with to implement a custom, cost effective solution that best suits theirs and the needs of their guests. There’s no single solution to introducing a contactless check-in and it’s important for hotels to understand their options.

  • Want to deliver a fully touchless experience to guests and you have a budget for it? Implement a mobile check-in with mobile key access.
  • You are budget cautious and your guests aren’t mostly tech savvy business, millennials and gen Z travelers? Enable a remote check-in from their personal device and let guests simply pick up a key upon arrival.
  • You’re ok with introducing new ‘hardware’ to give your guests more check-in flexibility? Then a remote check-in with an automated key dispenser at the kiosk in your lobby is a good choice.

There are companies out there who will look at your property’s needs holistically and suggest solutions that align with your technology goals but also provide your guests with the option they’re most comfortable using.

Solutions like avery enable a remote check-in enabling you to choose how your hotel wants to issue keys (mobile key, front desk pickup, kiosk). Everything is done remotely: guests check-in digitally by following a link they received via SMS, they confirm their identity by capturing the photo ID, authorize their credit card for payments, and confirm stay information all from their personal device.

avery helps your hotel limit the exchange of documents, paper forms, credit cards, and face-to-face contact between guests and staff while allowing you the flexibility to choose how you want the check-in process to look like.

avery in use


Industry reports suggest that contactless technology is the best path to recovery for the hospitality industry. However, hotels should find their best way to respond to Covid19 challenges using technology solutions that fit their goals and enable a safer service to guests.

With so many options available on the market, each hotel should be able to get a custom contactless check-in solution that is convenient for their guests, fits into their budget, and improves their daily operations.