Making Hotel Guests Feel at Home

Hotel guests like the ease of use of contactless access cards, but they also want to feel comfortable and secure. How can the hotel industry protect against cloned access cards that can put guests or their belongings at risk?


According to independent estimates, the majority of contactless hospitality cards used by the hospitality industry worldwide are counterfeit. Each year, millions of clone chips with inferior reliability and lackluster security features are dumped into the market. Hardly surprisingly, these clone cards cause an image of poor RFID lock security and high dropout rates.


As the leading RFID manufacturer of secure PRELAMs and inlays for contactless access cards, SMARTRAC is concerned about the risks posed to the hospitality industry and its customers by the widespread use and abuse of contactless clone cards.


For that reason, we recently joined Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a global, not-for-profit trade association that fosters, through collaboration and partnership among hoteliers and technology providers, the development of next-generation solutions that will enable them to do business globally in the 21st century.


Technologies for Superior Security and Reliability


In contactless cards, security and reliability go hand in hand. To be on the safe side in both these areas, it is advisable to rely on leading-edge technologies.


First, it is important to understand how your chip manufacturer handles chip packaging (the module). SMARTRAC’s modules are produced in ISO-certified facilities, and ISO-certified hardware is always certain to have been rigorously tested.


When it comes to antennas, SMARTRAC opts for wire embedding instead of etching or printing, as this method offers superior sturdiness and more reliable interconnection. The module and antenna are interconnected using thermocompression (TC) bonding: two metals are brought into atomic contact, while force and heat are applied simultaneously. This technology combines excellent performance characteristics with cost benefits. Specifically, SMARTRAC’s proprietary and patented wire embedding technology comprises a unique combination of antenna embedding and TC bonding, providing an unrivalled level of security and reliability.


SMARTRAC’s multi-frequency PRELAM® (pre-laminated) technology is ideally suited for hybrid applications such as access control, accommodating the demand for RFID tags with various read-range requirements in the standard card format.


With PRELAM, single card layers are fused together under pressure and high temperature in special lamination press machinery. The electronic parts are fused with the carrier material and assembled. This pre-laminated structure is ideal for making pre-printed cards with numerous security features using standard card production processes.


Secure Cloud Services Enhance Data Integrity and Security


When it comes to the combination of access, loyalty and payments on the same card, the main challenge for the hospitality industry is data integrity and security. Clones cannot guarantee that each card serial number is unique.


Thomas Hitzer, Head of Business Segment Finance, Transport and Access at SMARTRAC, explains: “Our customers can physically exclude any data integrity risk by using SMARTRAC cards. When combined with Cloud Services such as those provided by SMART COSMOS, our high-security, Cloud-based data solution, data integrity can be assured for all stages of downstream fulfillment and payment processing.”