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All You Need To Know About RFID: A Complete Guide for Hotel Owners

rfid and hotel

RFID technology has quickly become the new standard in the hotel industry. It is used to identify guests and give them access to their rooms and certain services. In addition to it, hotel owners can manage their assets conveniently, track the performance of hotel employees, keep track of inventory, and collect payments from customers automatically with this amazing technology. Besides the hotel industry, RFID tracking systems are being used in almost every industry by business owners.

In this article, we will explore what is RFID, how it works, and how RFID can benefit hotels by making check-ins faster, improving accounting accuracy, convenient asset management, and boosting security measures.


What is RFID?


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that uses radio waves to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. In simple words, it is a system that is used for the tracking of different objects with the help of tags attached to them. An RFID tag contains an electronic chip and an antenna, which allows it to broadcast certain information stored on the chip. When an RFID scanner passes over the tag, it picks up this information and uses it to identify the tag. There are two types of RFID tags available in the market – active and passive.


Active RFID vs Passive RFID


Active RFID tags are larger in size, store more data and cost more than passive ones. They also need an internal battery to work, which means that they have a limited shelf life depending on the type of battery used. However, because active tags broadcast radio waves, they can be read from a larger distance than passive ones. These tags are often used by warehouses to track inventory for faster workflow management.

Passive RFID tags are smaller in size, store fewer data and cost less than active tags. They do not need any internal battery or power source to work, instead, they get power from the radio waves of RFID scanners. This enables them to last longer. These tags are often used on products for tracking and identification purposes. Furthermore, they can receive information through the same radio waves with which they send it out, so they do not need any additional hardware.


What are the benefits of RFID in the hotel industry?


RFID technology has revolutionized the hotel industry. It has made the check-in and check-out process faster, improved security measures, decreased the amount of time hotel employees spend on administrative tasks, increased inventory accuracy, allowed for better asset management, and provides a high level of convenience to customers.


Faster Check-ins:


A customer only needs their passport or keycard to get into their room at the hotel. This is really convenient for customers, especially if they have a lot of belongings with them or already have their hands full when they arrive. They do not need to worry about how to fill out a registration card or stand in long lines while waiting for check-in staff.

As the new standard in the hospitality industry, RFID tags have created a new way of doing things that is more convenient for guests and staff alike.


Improves Accounting Accuracy:


RFID technology provides an improved way to keep track of inventory as well as the performance of hotel employees since it allows for easier collection of information from assets and guest checkout. Attaching RFID tags to hotel property such as laptops, televisions and even room keys makes information about these objects available with just a simple scan.

With RFID-embedded hotel key cards, guests can simply leave the building after check-out time without having to stop by the front desk first. This process speeds up the checkout process and saves employees a great deal of time in administrative tasks.


Convenient Asset Management:


For every business owner, the security and management of his assets are important. RFID technology can also help asset managers in hotels to manage their assets more efficiently. With the help of RFID scanners, there is no need for manual inventorying which saves employees a lot of time on paperwork and wastage associated with counting errors.

With the new system, managers can easily monitor the location of their assets and are alerted when they are not where they belong. In addition to this, hotel employees can also benefit from better security with RFID-embedded access cards that require a scan for entry into restricted areas.


Boosts Security Measures:


RFID technology offers more ways to implement security measures. In fact, RFID-embedded passports and key cards offer a much higher level of security because RFID-enabled systems have the ability to detect fake or counterfeit documents automatically.

In addition to this, if an employee is trying to get into a restricted area without authorization, their ID will not be read by the scanner which will set off an alarm. There are also RFID tags that can be attached to luggage that emit a signal, making it easy for the hotel staff to accurately track the location of their customer’s belongings.

All of these advancements make RFID technology indispensable for hotels today. These are some of the amazing benefits that RFID brought to the hotel industry. You might be thinking about how it works, so let’s move on to the next section about the working of RFID.


How does RFID technology work?


To understand the working of RFID, we have to know about the components of the system. There are three components of an RFID system:

  • The tag – The first component is the tag itself which can either be a passive or active tag. The Tag further contains three major components inside them which are an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, an antenna for transmitting a communication, and a silicon chip.
  • The reader– The second component of the system is the reader. It consists of an antenna, along with a decoder and encoder circuit which enables the communication between the tag and the database.
  • Database– The third component is the database which stores data as relevant to user requirements.

Working mechanism:


  • The tags are programmed with unique ids & frequencies. After programing, these are attached to different items that need to be tracked.
  • When a tag enters the zone of the antenna, due to this, a current starts flowing through the tag antenna and it absorbs energy from the reader.
  • The current/voltage in the tag is rectified which charges up a capacitor inside the tag.
  • The voltage then causes an integrated circuit to send a signal back to the reader that contains information about the unique ID of the tag.
  • In order to get the data from a tag, an interrogator sends a signal to all tags in the vicinity. The tags that are within range of both the antenna and the reader respond back with their information.
  • Finally, the data is looked up in a database that matches it with relevant information and retrieves it accordingly.

How does an RFID tag know when it’s time to “wake up” or send a signal?


The answer lies within something called power harvesting. When an RFID tag comes close to an electronic reader, the tag draws power from the reader’s electromagnetic field and uses it to activate a built-in microchip that emits a low-energy radio signal. The reader then sends back a confirmation message that lets the device know it can start transmitting its stored data.


How RFID room access system is better than the traditional Swipe card access system?


In the traditional system of swiping cards, at first, you have to put your card in a slot. It will get accepted by the reader and sometimes it takes more than one attempt to get the reader to accept your card. After putting your card in a slot, you have to check if there is a light on or not. If the light is on, it means the reader has accepted your card. If the light is off, you have to take out your card and re-insert it.

In comparison, with the RFID room access system, you do not have to swipe your card in a slot. It can be done on the tabletop reader which is connected to the door lock and it takes less time for communication between your card and the hotel’s database. In some hotels even if there is a power cut, doors will automatically open due to the power backup feature of the lock.


So how can hotels implement RFID technology?


Luckily, many major manufacturers like Nexqo produce both the tags and readers that allow for easy integration into existing systems. There are currently several options available. you can choose any of these tags to implement in your hotel as per your requirement. The following are some steps that you can follow to implement RFID technology in your hotel.

  • First of all, the rooms should be equipped with RFID electronic lock system. Electronic door locks have a reader so that guests don’t have to swipe their key cards to open or close the door. For this purpose, passive tags are the best option.
  • Secondly, for asset management of the hotel, you can attach RFID tags on each and every item. For precious items, you can attach active RFID tags as they are equipped with batteries. While for ordinary items you can use passive tags.
  • Thirdly, for the purpose of tracking the performance of employees, you can give them RFID batches. This will help in tracking the entry and exit time of employees as well as tracking their path in the hotels all the time.
  • In addition to this, hoteliers can also use RFID technology for their accounting purposes. For this purpose, they have to attach RFID tags on the items of inventory and at each point of sale. You can fill out all your accounting details in a centralized system and it will automatically update your inventory details.

The future of RFID technology in hotels:


As technology advances, so does the hotel industry, so it’s no surprise that more and more hotels are starting to adopt RFID tags for both their employees and customers. At this point, many luxury properties have already made the move to an all-RFID door key system, and other hotels have opted to use RFID tags for guests’ keycards, credit cards, passports, and more.

It’s an increasingly popular consumer preference in the hotel industry to adopt this new technology, so much so that several major chains have already updated their properties to include RFID key card access controls. The convenience of being able to just wave your tag or card in front of the reader instead of fumbling around for it and sliding it through a traditional slot is also appealing to many guests.




So, in short, you can say that RFID technology is a huge step towards modernization in hotels. Of course, there are some security issues to be addressed but with time all these problems will also get solved. So if you are looking for an upgrade in your hotel business, then make sure you do it sooner rather than later!


Click here to learn more about the latest eco-friendly material that Nexqo developed for making RFID key cards.

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