Who Are The Major Equipment Manufacturers For Hotel Guest Room Access Systems?

Who are the major equipment manufacturers for hotel guest room access systems? I've only done a little bit of research so far but this seems to be a whole different world from commercial access control. What I've found so far is:

Kaba - ILCO and Saflok

Onity (a UTC company)

VingCard (owned by Assa Abloy)

SALTO

Are there any others?

Also, in a typical hotel, do they use the hospitality/guest room keycard system for all areas, or do they typically use the hospitality keycard system just for guest room and guest amenities while having a separate EAC system for administrative space, offices, Elec/Mech/IT rooms, etc.?


Richard, good topic! I'll let Brian answer the specifics.

For background reference, for others: Hotel Access Control Explained

Good primer on hotel access control!

Brian - Do you know if there has been much movement on NFC since you wrote this back in 2012? I see some of the manufacturers I listed above touting RFID locks that are NFC compatible. Still, every hotel I've been in recently are all using mag stripe. Maybe I just need to stay in nicer hotels?

Re: NFC

No strong forward movement. Mobile credentials overall still remain niche in commercial access, but if anything Bluetooth Low Energy has gained traction in the smarthome/residential door lock space. (see: NFC vs BLE For the Future of Access Control)

As maligned as magstripes are, I have a hunch they will be used in hospitality systems long after we are gone! :)

A few years back, we did an assessment of a luxury hotel that used a VingCard system for both guest rooms and as an access control system for back-of-house areas such as offices, storage rooms, locker rooms.

We discovered that the VingCard system, while great for use in guest rooms, lacked the flexibility needed to function as a full-blown access control system. One of the limitations was the relatively small number of different time zones/access levels that could be created. Also, because of the offline nature of this system, creating an activity report required that the user go to each door with a programming device and individually "interrogate" each lock before creating the report.

We ended up recommending that the hotel install a separate access control system for use in the back-of-house areas.

Thanks Michael. That's helpful info and in line with my thinking on the matter. Hopefully some others can also weigh in to confirm or refute.

We have been involved in two recent projects where customers with existing access control systems were adding hospitality locks for their residential units. In both cases, the hospitality systems (one Miwa, one Kaba) used Mifare credentials. We replaced the existing card readers on the common areas with multiclass readers, allowing the Mifare credentials to be used for both systems, as well as the older cards still in use. I found some readers worked better than others (even within the same brand) with the Mifare cards supplied by the hospitality lock companies, but overall it worked out very well.

I have also worked (but was not involved with the initial design/installation) on an older system that used magstripe credentials. In that case, magstripe readers were used on the access control system to allow single credential use. In that hospitality system, Kaba as best I can recall, the hospitality lock data was on tracks 1 & 3, with track 2 available for encoding a card number to be used in the access control system. Employee cards were encoded with individual card numbers that allowed access to back of house doors. Guest cards were encoded with the same number that allowed access to the perimeter doors, elevators, and fitness center. Consequently, there was no way to track which guest had used what common area readers. The magstripe encoding was also much more of a hassle than the Mifare cards used on the newer systems.

Interesting! Thanks for the feedback, Dan.

Thanks Dan. Very helpful information. If I understand your second example correctly, there were actually two separate systems, one for hospitality and one for EAC, but they used the same mag stripe cards. Correct?

Yes. When guests checked in, the desk staff would run the magstripe cards through two encoding machines - the proprietary encoder for the hospitality system, and an off the shelf USB magstripe writer to put the card number onto track 2 for the EAC system. Other than using the same cards, the systems were entirely separate.

I think your list is fairly complete, especially for North America. Onity and VingCard/Assa have the biggest marketshare of the group. In Asia, ZKTeco Hospitality Locks are relabeled under many smaller brands.

Allegion (formerly Ingersol Rand) never has been terribly strong in the vertical, but they do have two lines in the category that have traction in Europe:

Hi Richard,

You pretty much listed all the major hotel lock players. While their locks and associated software work well for restricting access to hotel suites, their solution comes up short when applied to base building and common area access. They typically lack some of the more advanced features found in today's EAC systems (flexible access levels, scheduling, user defined report generation, high level elevator interfacing, video integration, real time door status etc).

I'm currently involved in a major Hotel project in Toronto where Salto locks will be used in the 500+ hotel suites, but managed by our ICT ProtegeGX system. We are interfacing to an Oracle PMS system that will manage all guest check in and card issuance and the information will be "pushed" to ProtegeGX.

This approach offers the "best of breed" of all required components - Salto locks and wireless infrastructure for hotel suites, ProtegeGX for EAC management and Oracle for the PMS portion (guest check-in and card issuance).

Thanks for the info Pat. It's very helpful. In the Toronto Hotel project, what kind of credential are they issuing to the guests for guestroom access?

They are issuing standard Mifare cards for traditional check-in guests and are getting a custom mobile app developed for guests that prefer using their smartphone as the credential. The basis of this functionality is Salto's NFC/Bluetooth capability of the lock.

http://www.saltosystems.com/en/product-range/explanation/1/salto-mobile-solutions/