Meyers, a manufacturer of labels, brand marketing and high-end commercial printing products, has announced that it has created a solution that will help the hotel industry offer contactless check-in and room access. Meyers has developed a paper RFID key card — called the AssureCard — that looks and feels like a plastic key card but is made from renewable paper pulp and may be disposed of after a single use. In addition, Meyers has developed a low-cost key card dispenser that allows the customer to get their own card(s) while maintaining appropriate physical distancing with hotel employees.
“Hotels typically reuse key cards for multiple guests, and in today’s environment, this practice has become unacceptable,” says Matt Evers, VP of Quality and Continuous Improvement at Meyers. “The room key card is one of the first items a hotel guest touches, and it can be contaminated with germs and bacteria. Now more than ever, there is a need for safe, sustainable alternatives for hotel check-in and room access. Our AssureCard is made with a responsibly sourced paper fiber that offers all of the plastic key card’s best features — durability, convenience, and low cost — while helping to minimize the interaction between hotel guests and staff.”
The Meyers AssureCard works with existing RFID lock systems. Although it is robust enough to match the functional lifespan of a plastic card, the AssureCard can be discarded after one user (i.e., multiple nights). In many cases, paper key cards may be printed at a cost that matches the cost of producing plastic cards, and the design options for custom branding are extensive (e.g., printing with graphics, foils, and glitter) and may include the option of an anti-microbial coating.
Christopher Bebo, corporate director of operations at Provenance Hotels, says his hotel has been using the cards since January 2020. “The single-user key concept provides a fresh card to each guest and prevents germs from getting passed to your guests or your employees,” he said. “This is extremely valuable in showing our guests that we are doing all we can to keep them safe. Plus, hotels that use AssureCards can do so with the environment in mind by helping to reduce the plastic that goes into landfills.”
While there are other options for hotel key cards, they include major drawbacks, such as the environmental impact of plastics, the expense of replacing proprietary lock systems, and failures of beta technologies. Paper cards are a proven technology and have been used for years as gift, loyalty, and product activation cards.
“In today’s competitive lodging marketplace, delivering a safe and positive guest experience has never been more critical,” says Evers. “Because social distancing is so important in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the AssureCard shows hotel guests that their safety is a top priority.”