Door lock systems in the hotel industry
Door locks play a crucial role in the hospitality industry. This is because safety and security has become one of the essential elements when guests look for hotels to book. A good quality and high performance door lock system can ensure the safety of customers and secure their belongings. Safety issues can heavily affect a hotel's reputation. A hotel should be a safe haven for travelers to store their luggage, rest and recuperate in peace.
History of door lock system
Over the years, the growth of the door lock system is one of the most extreme in terms of security inventions. The door lock has gradually evolved from the rope locks, mechanical locks and key locks to the electronic door lock and keyless door lock. The invention of the first electronic lock was inspired by an unfortunate event - a woman being attacked by a stranger in her hotel room.
The story had inspired a lock maker to make a better door lock system thus the world’s first recordable keycard door lock - VingCard was born. Since then, electronic locks have continued to improve and is now widely used in the hospitality industry.
Signs that you need new door locks
- Your hotel door locks are getting worn or damaged
- You are just moving in or you are planning to move to new place
- You suspect that your hotel keys have been duplicated
- Your current door lock system is out of date
- You desire better security for your business, your staff, and your customers
Traditional vs. Electronic Door Lock
The main difference between electronic locks and traditional locks is that electronic locks are battery operated and often have a light up keypad, whereas mechanical locks do not require batteries or power of any kind
Traditional Door Lock
Known as traditional locks or mechanical locks, they are considered a simple locking system that is operated by humans, by simply putting the key in the lock and turning the key clockwise or anticlockwise to open the door. Traditional door locks include lock cylinder lock and key lock.
These locks can have different types of lock cylinder mechanisms, for example: with reversible or spanner keys. It is affordable, has a wide range of prices in the market and installation is simple and easy. However, they can be easily picked, and they are less convenient for elderly and disabled persons.
Thus, the good old key is now rarely used in the hotel industry.
Electronic Door Locks
Electronic lock also known as a smart key. Some variants utilize smart technology that allows users to open the door lock with their smartphone (both in person and remotely). To operate, this kind of locking system electricity and a stable source of energy is required thus a cable must be installed.
Electronic door locks include a variety of types and also a wide range of functions for the authentication. For example: many smart door locks can be opened from anywhere and can be set to lock or unlock at specific times using an app on your smartphone. Nowadays, it also supports Wi-Fi & Bluetooth.
Example of the type of electronic door locks include:-
- The RFID locking system
- Code lock with pin
- Lock with a chip card
- Lock with smartphone control
Electronic door lock system used by hoteliers
In the current era, there are many types of door lock systems that have been invented. However, which kinds of door lock system should we choose? How does the door lock system work? How to use the specific door lock system?
In order to answer these questions, we need to have a brief understanding about the door lock system.
What is the technology used in the door lock system
The following is a list of wireless technologies used in the electronic door lock systems:
- Magnetic Stripe Card (Magstripe)
- Radio Frequency Identification(RFID)
- Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE)
- Near Field Communication(NFC)
Common types of door lock systems available for hoteliers
At present, electronic door locks are commonly used and more popular in the hotel industry. It is a type of contactless and inexpensive lock to replace keys. By using the electronic door lock system, the guest may use the PIN, chip card, fingerprint or mobile application to unlock the door.
1. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Locks
RFID uses electromagnetic waves to lock or unlock the door. The RFID key card will transmit a signal to the card reader that is attached to the door. When the card reader receives the signal, it will then perform the action to lock or unlock.
- function without battery
- able to program the key for each guest specifically
- low level of hack vulnerability
- materials like metal will affect the signal
- unable to unlock when facing power failure
If your main concerns is on the security, RFID electronic locks might be the best options for your hotels.
2. Card Access Door System
The card access door system uses the sensor and chip card. The keycard will contain a microchip that stores various information.
- easily reprogrammed
- support entry of multi card holder
- convenience for multi-user
- card may be misplaced or lost
3. Remote Access Lock
By installing a specific application to the smartphone, the user may use the application to lock or unlock the door. The remote access lock can be derived into WiFi door lock which uses WiFi and Bluetooth electronic lock which uses bluetooth.
- can view the lock condition via phone
- support various application function
- smartphone may be misplaced or stolen
- need to be aware of battery level of the smartphone
- need wireless connection/ bluetooth function
4. Code Lock with Pin
The user can unlock the door by inserting the pin number in a keypad
- multi-user access
- low level of vulnerability
- have possibility to use several pin number
- third party may enter the room if they know the pin
Key Card and The Functions
Hotel Key Card is another components that are important to ensure the door lock system functioning well. Key card is one that control the access of the doors. Here's a complete breakdown of hotel keycards for your better understanding and how it works.
There are four types of key card systems available in the market: holecards, bar code cards, magnetic strip key cards and radio frequency identification (RFID) cards. Each type offers easy use, with different layers of security from one another.
Mechanical key cards or holecards (plastic cards with holes) are easy to do the re-keying of guest room door locks compared to the old metal key. In addition, it does not require a power supply to operate. The card would respond to a lock and would open a door when it was inserted into a slot in the door. As technology improved, this system fell out behind because of its limitations, the labor involved in production and its fragility.
- Easy to re-key
- Does not require power supply
- Coding limitations
- Higher cost in production
Barcode cards were the next innovation after the hole cards. The code looks exactly like the barcode on many products sold in stores. When the barcode is held under an electronic scanner, it unlocks the door. After magnetic strips became more readily available, this key card type lost popularity. One of the reasons is because the barcodes could be forged and the electronic reader can be easily fooled makes it a negative point added to its downfall popularity.
- Easily Printed
- Easy to implement
- Code easily damaged
- Can be easily replicated
- Only have one function to lock or unlock the door
- Barcodes are read only and information cannot be updated or added.
3. Magnetic strip key card systems
These cards are widely used in the hotel industry and in workplace building. It has a thin metallic strip on the back and it looks exactly like credit cards. The electronic signature on the cards will open the corresponding door when a guest swiped the cards through the scanner. This card is much more difficult to forge providing an extra layer of security compared to previous holecards and barcodes.
- An inexpensive option
- Less control
- Easy to duplicate
- Low level security
4. RFID key card systems
An advanced technology compared from the previous cards like holecards, barcode cards or magnetic strip cards. RFID cards have a radio sensor chip installed inside the card. When the cards are closer to a correspondingly programmed reader, the door will unlock. Microchips and radio technology used inside this type of card, so it is considered to be the most difficult to forge and provides the highest level of security compared to previous cards we mention before.
- Full-time control over the door
- Suitable for disabled people with physical limitations
- An opportunity to program the key for each guest specifically
- Low level of hack vulnerability
- Higher cost compared to an ordinary lock
- In case of a power failure, an RFID lock cannot be opened
Hotel door lock vendors in Malaysia
INTEGO Technologies Sdn. Bhd. is an established company that researches, develops and manufactures Access Control Systems located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. It is also a leading distributor of Electronic Hotel Lock System and security related products. They aim to provide a full range of products that makes a safer and more secure place to live and work in.
They provide two categories of lock solutions one for hotel business and another for office & residential.
- Alarm will sound if door is improperly closed or battery is low
- Stand-alone intelligent lock without cable connection
- Can last for more than 1 year with 4pcs of AA Alkaline batteries
- Store up to the latest 1000 unlocking records
Hotel Seri Malaysia (the largest hotel chains in Malaysia) and Legoland Hotel are using Intego. If you’re currently looking for lock solutions that will help you to better manage hotel operations, you may consider to use their product. Feel free to download the brochure.
VENTINO Corporation Sdn Bhd is one of the leading suppliers of ironmongery and digital door locks and was established in Malaysia in 2006. Their goal is to provide the one card system solution of hotel door lock systems to all hotels around Malaysia.
The package include:
- electronics hotel door lock
- Wi-Fi hotel door lock
- Mobile Apps hotel lock
- hotel key card switch
- hotel fire door
- hotel access controller
Their digital door lock and fire lock has been recognized by SIRIM and BOMBA Malaysia and has been used by many hotels especially hotels located in major cities like Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.
ADEL is another leading Hotel Door Lock supplier in Malaysia. They obtained worldwide certification such as UL in USA, CE in Europe, BS EN British, and SIRIM in Malaysia.
Why Choose Adel?
- More than 30,000 of Project Reference Worldwide
- Fingerprint door lock, Wi-Fi hotel lock, Mobile Apps hotel lock
- More than 500 local support
- International Support with worldwide distributor
- Supplied more than 3 Million units of digital door lock
- 24 hours hotline
Vangohh Hotel Penang is a 5-Star Hotel that uses their RFID Card Door Lock. Adel provides free demonstrations. Do not hesitate to request it while it is still available!
Now that you know the importance of door lock systems for your hotel and some basic information about them, the question is which type of door lock system is suitable for you?
This however will depend on multiple factors such as the scale of your operation, your budget and integration with your systems. There are many different options of hotel door lock systems in Malaysia to choose from.
We hope our content will help you find the best vendor for you and help you establish a safe and secure environment for your staff and guest.
With a mission to make hotelier work easier, Softinn Solutions Sdn. Bhd. is a hotel-technology provider company offering hotel management software. Ranging from cloud-based hotel PMS, hotel booking engine, and a specially customized hotel website; Softinn is adept in employing innovative ideas in its solutions constantly and understanding the requirements of hotel industry worldwide.