Why Do Hotel Key Cards Need to Be Programmed?

Most hotels have a preference for rfid keyless door lock access control. They are easy to use, manage, and greatly reduce the management cost. But when comes to the use of the rfid entry door lock, we always over-focus on how the door lock secures the hotel room, and as a result, overlook the program process of the door lock key card.

Why Do Hotel Key Cards Need to Be Programmed?

The program process is the premise of allowing the guests to open hotel electronic door locks with the door lock key card. Before programming, the hotel door lock key cards have no information and are unable to open any hotel door lock. After accepting the program, the door lock key card could open a specific door in defined time periods.

What Type of Hotel Key Cards Can Be Programmed?

Currently, three types of hotel key card door locks allow being programmed.

Magnetic key cards are the most original, common, and inexpensive ones in the key card. They also are referred to as MSR. They are made of PVS plastic and have a magnetic stripe on the backside. The magnetic strip is used for holding all the information about your account.

RFID hotel key cards: Although the rfid hotel key cards look as same as the magnetic key cards. There is a sightly difference between them: an embedded antenna that allows for radio communication between chip and readers (for either access control or payment purposes).

Hybrid key cards: They are compatible with older magnetic key card door locks and newer ones because they can both be programmed with both magstripe and RFID technology.

What Will You Need to Program The Hotel Key Card?

Key Card: Before programming, you need to prepare the blank key card.

Hotel Key Card Programmer: It is the main device that could program the key cards. It usually is provided by the hotel door lock system manufacturers. Because of the different construction, the different key cards require different programmers. The magnetic key card programmer has two slots. The one slot is the place you insert the card. The other one is used for plugging with the computer.

Computer: During the programming process, the computer is the connection between the hotel lock system software and the hotel door lock key card.

Hotel door lock system software: The software is used to input the necessary information into the key card and set the authorization, so the key card could open the door lock. And, from the consideration of compatibility, you need to purchase the software from the manufacturer or distributor from who you have purchased the RFID door lock.

What Is The Purpose of the Key Card In The Hotel?

With the development of programming technology, the hotel door lock key card also gets improved in the functions. Except for opening the electronic key card door locks, the key card can be used to enter the elevator temporarily. Also, They also serve as energy-saving switches in rooms or access to gyms, swimming pools, spas, or other public areas.

Why Do Hotel Key Cards Need to Be Programmed?

Electronic Key Card Door Locks

What Technology is Used In Key Cards?

Speaking of technology, the door lock key card uses several different kinds of technology. A magnetic door lock key card uses the older technology that uses the magnetic stripe to store data about the room. It works as well as the credit cars: you need to run them through a slot, and it read the data stored on the magnetic stripe on the back.

More modern hotels have a preference for the RFID card door lock system. “RFID” means Radio Frequency Identification. They use radio waves to communicate between door lock key cards and something else. Often, the scanner or antenna is built-in something else, such as a door handle.

Some high-end even use NFC (near field communication), which uses the same technology as RFID, but it requires a very close scan range. And the guest has to wave their phone in front of something to get it to work.

What Are the Benefits of Hotel Key Cards?

There are many benefits to using key card entry door locks. They not only improve the security level of the hotel but also reduce the management cost. Furthermore, they increase customer satisfaction.

Here Are The Major Benefits of RFID Hotel Key Cards:

Security: The hotel staff can easily invalidate lost or stolen key cards in the key card software system. The hotel owners could set various authorizations for guests and various levels of the staff, such as restricting employee access to specific areas.

Cost Saving: The electronic door lock key card is made of plastic rather than metal, so it is durable and inexpensive. You don’t need to pay too much money in replacing cards. Therefore, it is affordable and practical in the long run.

Easily Programmable: Compared with the old-fashioned manual keys, the hotel door lock key cards are easily getting programmed. Furthermore, if something goes wrong during the programming process, you could reprogram your RFID reader again rather than having another set printed out by hand.

Convenience: The opening of the hotel key card door locks is easier than the traditional old-fashioned set of keys. With just a simple scan, the guest could open the door locks with the door lock key card.

Security: In the past, when the guest loses their metal keys, the best way of preventing the potential theft is to replace the hotel door lock as soon as possible. However, the electronic door lock does a good job in this issue. Hoteliers can easily invalidate the lost card and program the new blank card, so they can give another validated card to guests.


All in all, the programming process is a vital and helpful process for hoteliers. The key card programmer provides hoteliers with a new method to solve the potential risks caused by the lost keys. Furthermore, the hotel key card door locks are the modern safety system for safeguarding the property and safety of the guests. Most modern hotels also purchase hotel door locks from hotel door lock system manufacturers.

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