Monthly Archives: November 2018

history of hotel keycards

RFID Hotel Wristband Keycards – From Wallet to Wrist

If you’ve stayed in a hotel, chances are you’ve probably spent some time standing outside your room while you awkwardly swipe your keycard over-and-over again to try and open the door.

Or perhaps you left it by the pool or in the fitness suite. We’ve all been there. But thanks to a new concept from ID&C, the Wristband Hotel Key Card will help make these common mishaps a thing of the past.

RFID access on wristbands brings a new level of convenience to resorts and attractions industry. Not only can you pay for goods, food and beverages on-site, with just the tap of a wrist. You can also access your room, the gym and the pool, all without the need to carry a multitude of different cards. 

A brief history of the hotel keycard

Hotel keycards were commonplace as early as the 1970s when Norweigan, Tor Sørnes developed a re-codable plastic card (sometimes referred to as a relic) containing 32 punched holes. The small holes worked similarly to traditional metal pin tumbler locks and could be regularly changed to allow for over 4.2 billion different combinations.

punch hole keycards

In the early 1990s, magnetic stripe cards (or magstripe) were introduced and soon became the global standard for keycard locks. At the time, magstripe cards were revolutionary, and to this day are still widely used in the hospitality industry. However, they are prone to failure and are easily worn out, requiring regular replacement.


Up to this point, hotel door lock mechanisms still required that the keycard be physically inserted. That was until the launch of radio frequency identification cards (RFID) in the 2000s.

RFID key cards contain a small, passive microchip that is activated when in reading distance of the door lock, enabling a convenient ‘tap-to-unlock’ method for hotel guests.

More durable, reliable, and secure than any of its predecessors, the RFID card is now the industry standard for keycard access.

2 key benefits of RFID cards over Magstripe or Barcode


RFID reduces the chance and opportunity for theft and fraud. An encrypted RFID keycard is almost impossible to reproduce, whereas tangible barcodes or magstripes are easily copied or transferred using certain methods.

Durability & Accuracy

RFID cards and wristbands can be made 100% waterproof and will withstand the likes of chlorine and sunscreen. RFID is also a contactless technology which is never worn out by repeat use.

Whatsmore, RFID is an instantaneous method of access control, whereas a barcode requires line of sight. And, magstripe can be temperamental, requiring repeat swipes to activate a door lock.

Magstripes and barcodes wear out quickly, increasing the need for re-issued cards.

Read more about how RFID works and the many benefits RFID technology brings to hotels, resorts & waterparks.

Moving from wallet to wrist

RFID hotel keycards are typically 84 x 54mm and made of PVC. They fit snugly in your wallet and that’s pretty much where they are kept for the duration of your hotel stay (apart from when you leave it in the gym, of course)

But with ID&C’s new RFID wristband keycard concept, the keycard is taken to a whole new level of convenience.

RFID hotel wristband

Convenience is king

Switching a hotel keycard from wallet to wrist adds an array of simple yet incredibly convenient enhancements for resort guests.

No longer are guests required to carry multiple items in their wallet, or even carry a wallet at all.

One RFID wristband can be used for ultimate convenience during their stay. But, why is a wristband so much better than a card? Here’s why…

5 Reasons why RFID wristbands are more convenient than cards

1. RFID technology can power the use of cashless payments at a resort. And what better way to make payments while at the pool bar, than with a quick tap of your wrist? No soggy cash or dripping wet walks back to your sun lounger!

2. Guests will not misplace their card at the gym, by the pool or at a restaurant. Not when it’s conveniently tied to your wrist.

3. It’s multi-functional brilliance. Yes, imagine the sheer delight of your guests when given the ability to do so many different things with an easy flick of the wrist.

And, let’s not forget that some of the core benefits RFID systems deliver to hotels are significantly improved when making it easy for customers.

4. Data collection: The easy it is for guests to tap their way around your hotel, the greater understanding managers will have of their habits. Data around spending, buying habits and busy areas are all likely to increase with the convenience of a wearable RFID card.

5. Increased profits from revenues and operational efficiencies are proven to derive from the use of RFID wristbands.

One wristband to rule them all

RFID hotel wristband functionsImagine enabling your guests to do all of this with just one RFID wristband keycard:

  • Hotel room access
  • Pool access (did we mention, our RFID wristbands are 100% waterproof?)
  • Locker access
  • Gym access
  • Cashless payments
  • Social media check-ins
  • Tie-together family accounts
  • Add parent contact & medical details to children’s wristbands
  • Store additional tickets (meal coupons, beach access, rentals)


RFID wristband keycards represent the ultimate in convenience for hotels, resorts & attractions. Multiple functions can be carried out with a simple tap of the wrist, helping to creative enjoyable and memorable experiences for your guests.

RFID self pour bar wristbands

5 Ways RFID Wristbands Generate Revenue for Self-Pour Bars

Self-pour bar systems are the restaurant industry’s latest craze. And, the RFID technology behind them is helping bar managers better understand their customer’s drinking habits.

RFID (Radio-frequency identification) is a wireless technology used to transmit small amounts of data between a tag and a reader. In most cases, (at least in the world of hospitality and events) RFID tags hold little or no information.

Instead, the tag holds an encrypted UID (unique ID number), which when ‘tapped’ against a reader, unlocks secure information held on an ‘RFID system’.

Following us so far? If not, here’s a more in-depth explanation of RFID technology.

It’s never been easier (and as much fun) to buy your favorite IPA. With a quick flick of the wrist, self-service beer taps such as the iPour system, enable revelers to mix and match a choice of beverages and enjoy them at varying amounts.

All gimmicks aside, we’re going to take a look at 5 ways in which RFID wristbands can generate revenue for self-dispensing drink systems.

1. More beer sales

Yup. Put simply, RFID wristbands help customers disassociate themselves with cash, and utilize the novel way of purchasing with a tap of their wrist.

We worked with restaurant chain Oak & Stone on their new RFID bracelets that collect valuable data and allow visitors to purchase beer from their self-serve wall.

Oak & Stone estimate that 25% of its sales go to beer—as opposed to a common average of about 3% of sales—and now has RFID-based data indicating what demographics prefer which brands and beverage types, helping them make important decisions about what they stock and offer to their customers. 

2. A deeper understanding of consumer buying habits

RFID can help collect valuable data on your customers, helping you understand their habits and catering to their needs.

With an RFID wristband system, you can gain real-time analytics of how customers interact with your restaurant, from popular menu items and favorite beverages to the most redeemed coupons and the busiest times. What’s more, you can tie all of this data back to an individual using an RFID-based membership scheme. 

This can help you tailor your offering with precision, to create the best experience for your guests and capitalize on the most popular purchases.

3. Personalization & Customer Experience

The levels of personalization offered with RFID technology enables bar managers to cater to the specific needs of their customers. This, in turn, keeps customers happy and increases the chance of return visits, as well as word of mouth referrals.

And RFID service is fast. No more waiting in line. RFID self-pour serves up a cold beer. Fast.

4. Save on staffing costs

We might still be a few years away from letting people descend on an unstaffed bar (I’ve been to those weddings) but RFID powered self-pour bars will save on staff costs.

Through RFID wristbands, the power is handed to the consumer. No long lines, just the novelty, and convenience of being able to tap, pay and pour your favorite beer in a split second.

5. Deposits

If you’re still not sold on the idea of RFID self-service beer. Then consider a deposit scheme for the RFID wristbands.

RFID Ipour wristband

Have customers deposit $5 for the wristband, which is credited if they return the wristband at the end of their visit. If the customer takes the wristband, you just paid for it. If they return it, you can re-issue it at no additional cost.

And consider waiving the wristband cost once customers reach a set spend threshold. After all, the objective here is more beer sales. And, who doesn’t want to take home a free wristband!?


RFID-enabled self-pour bars are revolutionizing the bar and nightlife industry. While the gimmicks are clear, it’s the revenue-generating facts that are driving the uptake for this state of the art method of dispense.

To all the self-serve RFID beer systems out there. We salute you.