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Is It Necessary to Use Encryption Locking System for Your Hotel?

hotel key card and locks

To answer this question, there are 2 most important things need to figure out.

1. How’s the security level of the locking system in the market?

2. What’s the cost of these systems and the keys respectively?


There are 2 main locking systems in the market in nowadays; magneitc stripe locking system and RFID locking system (strictly speaking, mechanic locks don’t belong to the locking system because it does not have a “system”).

And a key card is the standard key form for hotels and resorts. No matter it is a magnetic stripe card or RFID (radio frequency identification) contactless chip card — some hotels use a keyfob or other forms to replace RFID key card sometimes, but the core and working theory is the same with an RFID key card.

From the view of hotel key card, security level from low to high is;

Loco magnetic stripe card, hico magnetic stripe card, RFID card, RFID card with encryption.

Loco magneitc stripe card is the entry-level hotel key card in modern city. It will not be lock-picked as easily as traditional locks, and could be encoded with certain data inside the magnetic stripe, so one card could open one specific room only.

The main benefit of using magnetic stripe card as the key card is, cost of the key is rather low, and room management is much easier than traditional mechanical locks. Also, the key card could be used as the switch for controlling the power inside the whole room, which can also improve guests’ staying experience.

Also, you can print your logo, slogan or particular patterns on the card as a unique design for your brand building, to enhance the guests’ loyalty to your brand. Special crafts are also available to add on your key card to surprise and impress your guests. Contact us to get a quote now.

RFID locking system is the most popular locking system among medium to high-end brand hotels. Cost of the system and key card is, of course, higher than magnetic-stripe system.

Each RFID key card has a unique identifier inside the RFID chip, and this identifier cannot be copied or changed, which ensured the security of the key. RFID key card can be encoded with more information than magnetic stripe, and some of them supports higher-level encryption such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).

With AES, your hotel can realize bank level security. For example, OpenKey software uses 128-bit encryption which is essentially uncrackable, Sesame champions militar grade encryption uses AES-256-GCM and TLS 1.2 protocols.

Basically, cost of the locking system and key cards are higher when the security level is higher, because high security normally requires stronger technical development and support.

It’s important to choose the right locking system for your hotel because upgrading the locking system means you need to change all the locks, softwares and key cards in your hotel. You might need to consider the cost, time and consumption of manpower to make the final decision. But of course when it is necessary to upgrade your locking system, it definately worth doing that because it will save you more trouble and labor costs, and bring you a more effient working procedure.

Regarding to whether you need a bank level system for your hotel, it depends on the environment of your hotel, and the guests of your hotel (who are they), and the cost of the whole system and the cost of the key cards that you have to spend every month. If you think the group of your guests worth you spending this cost, and you can afford it, you can just go with it.

If you don’t have too many guests yet, and if you are using mechanic locks for your hotel right now, and thinking about upgrading your locking system, then you can just start to upgrade from the entry-level, magnetic stripe system, and then upgrade one by one.

Some brands are very popular among hotel industry, such as Salto, Saflok, MIWA, Onity, Vingcard, Betech. Some of them work with encrypted key cards only such as Vingcard and Betech; some of them work with magnetic tripe cards, RFID cards or encrypted RFID cards respectively. You can always find the right solution with any of them. And if you need to customize your hotel key card, Nexqo will be one of your best choice.

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