Near Field Communication, or NFC, is an increasingly popular technology which seems to have come to stay. It allows the exchange of information between two or more devices (such as smartphones, which nowadays are mostly manufactured with the proper hardware for NFC) securely and with no need for wires. It has been shown to have many different uses, including in trade, transportation, or maintenance.
Hotels, especially those with large infrastructures, big teams and a high influx of guests, can greatly improve both their customers’ experience and their operations with NFC technology. Let’s see how:
1. Replacing room keys
With NFC, hotel room keys could be transmitted to the guests’ smartphones, replacing the widely used magnetic strip cards.
Not only would this improve the guests’ experience by allowing check-ins to be automatic (and therefore saving them time by skipping queues in the reception), but it would also improve security since they cannot easily be lost, erased or forged like the magnetic strip cards.
2. Automatic access to Wi-Fi
NFC tags can be configured to give instant access to a Wi-Fi network without the need to insert any password. By placing one or multiple tags in the rooms or the common areas, everyone could access the network by just getting the smartphone close to the tag. Guests would have no need to write a password and, on the other hand, people from the outside would still not be able to access it.
3. Easy payments
Payments using NFC technology are already possible and frequent in many places, such as supermarkets. With the app connected to your credit or debit card, all it takes is to approach your smartphone to the contactless terminal at the checkout and your payment will instantly be made. No card, no PIN, no hassle.
So why not also enhance guests’ experience by implementing this technology in hotels, to pay for food, services, or leisure activities?
4. Maintenance Management
NFC technology is not just useful for guests. The maintenance team could also greatly benefit from it, by having all equipment properly identified with NFC tags. With a Maintenance Management System like Infraspeak for Hotels, technicians can use their smartphones and the tags to instantly access all relevant information about the equipment and the maintenance it needs.
With Infraspeak Direct, all staff members, as well as customers, can easily report failures in equipment, which will automatically be registered in the system and accessible by managers or the technicians responsible for them.
Much like maintenance teams, housekeeping teams can have their tasks made much easier by NFC tags, with instantly accessible to-do lists being shown on the mobile app in each location. With such a system, the managers will also be able to check the status of operations in real time.
6. Ensuring personnel presence
This possibility is valid for all staff members, from maintenance technicians to surveillance patrols. Since they are required to read the relevant NFC tags for their daily tasks, this is a way of ensuring that they are present in any location or next to the equipment in real time, which allows managers to have a better overview of each staff member’s daily performance.
It’s obvious that the NFC technology is highly promising and could be extremely useful for various industries, including the hospitality sector. It is worth to note that while some of the aspects mentioned seem to be more directed at internal operations instead of the hotel guests, all of them will ultimately affect the quality of the service provided and the guests’ experience and satisfaction.