Hilton now allows guests to share their digital keys with up to four other devices.

Accor has launched its own digital room key smartphone app which will gradually be rolled out to its entire hotel estate worldwide and provide a single and consistent keyless entry solution for all of its guests.

The new ‘Accor Key’ has been developed via a partnership with ‘STAYmyway’, with the program aimed at providing guests with the contactless and virtual room key functionality while retaining the availability of staff and the personal interaction.

Accor’s digital room key software

Guests receive their mobile key on arrival at their hotel via Accor’s digital key app. With this, guests can access their rooms, booked meeting facilities and necessary floors using their phone. The key is then automatically deactivated on check-out and departure from the property. The absence of physical room keys is expected to play a major environmental impact with far fewer traditional plastic cards ending up in landfills.

Accor has conducted pilot testing programs of the new digital key and app in parts of North America, Europe and Asia and will now expand the program globally. The system will be in place across all newly opening Accor properties and up to 500 older properties this year. The company plans to fit 50% of its global portfolio with the new technology over the next five years.

Accor Chief Commercial Officer Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Loyalty, Patrick Mendes, said he was thrilled to be expanding the digital key program gradually across the network.

“Making contactless and seamless guest experiences a reality is a priority for Accor,” he said.

Nearly one in five travellers now describe contactless room access as a ‘must have’, according to Deloitte.

“Accor key” is a great example of how the Group can build solutions and deploy them efficiently in all Accor operating countries.”

Accor Chief Technology Officer, Floor Bleeker, added: “Guests increasingly seek contact-light travel and hotel experiences. Therefore, the easy to operate and highly practical application will provide a streamlined process for our guests.”

According to a recent study by Deloitte, as many as 60% of travellers are more likely to stay at a hotel that offers contactless check-in and smartphone capability as a room key. Nearly 20% say such technology is a ‘must have’, with this number higher among frequent travellers.