If you are running a hotel, maybe you want to know everything about the hotel key card programmer. Here, we will explore the ins and outs of hotel key card programming and provide you with the information you need to understand how it works, its benefits, and how to choose the right system for your hotel.

Why do you need to program your hotel key cards?

In modern hotel lock management systems, key card programming is imperative. The card is the key to unlocking and locking hotel room doors. By programming the hotel card, hotels can ensure that only authorized guests can enter the internal areas of the hotel, such as guest rooms, fitness centers, swimming pools, and other amenities. It can increase both security and operational efficiency. 

The critical functions of hotel key card programming:

  • Ensure the special key card can only unlock the special door.
  • If a key card is lost or stolen, it can be easily deactivated.
  • Key cards can be easily issued and recycled, allowing for re-use.

What types of hotel key cards can be programmed?

Magnetic Hotel Key Cards

They are the earliest used hotel cards in modern hotels. They are also the commonest and the cheapest keys in hotels. These cards contain a magnetic stripe on the back that can be programmed with guest information and access privileges. When a guest inserts their magnetic stripe card into a card reader, the information on the magnetic stripe is read and access is granted accordingly.

RFID Hotel Key Cards

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) use radio waves to communicate with a card reader. Their appearance is similar to magnetic cards, but you will find their differences by scrutinizing them. These cards inset the chip, and you’d never find the chip on the surface. Usually, guest information and access privileges are programmed into the chip. Guests can simply hold their contactless card near a card reader to gain access.

How to program a hotel key card?

hotel key card programmer 1

Tools for programming a hotel card:

Computer: Typically use the hotel front desk computer. It is mainly used to install hotel management software and connect to the card issuer.

Hotel Management System Software: Provided by the hotel lock system supplier, it is used to manage hotel rooms, keys, guest info, and more. Many modern hotel management software also allows customize functions, operating interfaces, etc.

Card Issuer: An important component of the hotel access control system, it is mainly used to program keycards. It functions like a transmitter, transferring the information needed for card creation, modification, and deletion to the card, thus completing the card creation process.

Blank Card: A blank card that facilitates information entry.

Steps to programming a hotel access control card(computer operation page)

1. Install the hotel management software on your computer. PC or laptop are both available.

hotel key card programmer 2

2. Connect the card programmer to the computer.

hotel key card programmer 3

3. Register an account and add administrators.

4. Add room and door lock.

hotel key card programmer 4
hotel key card programmer 5
hotel key card programmer 6

5. Various types of hotel keycard programming: 

Unlocking card: this type of card is mainly used for unlocking. With the system setting, you can make a special card for a special door, you can also make a master card that can open all doors in the hotel. 

Room card:

hotel key card programmer 7

Master card, building card, floor card:

hotel key card programmer 8

Maintenance card: this type of card can’t unlock the door, but it can manage all door locks in the hotel. They have various functions, including installing a door lock, adjusting lock time, connecting to the internet, resetting the door lock, and more.

System setting card, door lock removal card, incoming network card/retire network card:

hotel key card programmer 9

Time card:

hotel key card programmer 10

Click here for the YGS hotel management system programming in detail:

YGS Bluetooth management system software:

YGS-99V management system software:

Advantages of using a hotel key card programmer

Improving Customer Satisfaction: In modern hotels, key cards are considered a more convenient and user-friendly way to unlock doors. Compared to traditional keys, key cards are smaller in size, lighter in weight, and easier to operate. Using hotel card unlock helps provide guests with more convenience, thereby increasing their overall satisfaction with their stay.

Improving Hotel Security: hotel cards can be programmed to only allow entry into authorized areas, such as guest rooms or public areas. If the card is lost or stolen, it can be easily canceled through the system. This helps prevent unauthorized access and ensures the safety of guests and their belongings.

Easy Programming: Programming cards can be done with a hotel card door lock system. Through the system, you can also recycle your cards at any time and set up various types of cards, such as building cards, floor cards, room cards, time adjustment cards, and so on.

Cost Savings: The cost of plastic cards is much lower than that of traditional keys. Additionally, key cards allow for reprogramming and reuse. In the long run, key cards are the most cost-effective option.

Improving Operational Efficiency: Keycard programming can also improve hotel operational efficiency by streamlining the check-in and check-out processes. Unlike mechanical keys that must be recycled and registered at the front desk, hotel staff can easily issue and cancel cards through the hotel key card entry system. This greatly saves front desk time and reduces the risk of lost or misplaced keys.

Brand Promotion: Key cards have customizable features. Hotels can print their brand’s characteristics, including the hotel’s appearance, address, or logo on the surface of the card. This helps deepen guests’ impressions of the hotel’s brand.

Is the hotel key card secure? What kind of information is recorded in it?

hotel key card programmer 11

Someone once used an expired keycard to create a “master card” that can decipher the door locks of the entire building. Once this incident was reported, everyone was shocked. This also caused many people to doubt the security of hotel keycards.

Some have even claimed that personal information such as credit card and ID details are stored on the key card, threatening people’s financial security. But is this really the case?

Later, experts clarified that hotel cards do not contain users’ private information. The card only records information related to the hotel stay, such as

  • Hotel name and location
  • Check-in and check-out time (also the keycard’s validity period)
  • Room number
  • Guest name

Typically, the only information that determines whether a room door can be opened is the room number and the validity period of the hotel card. And Hackers exploit this feature to create a “master card”.

Is there no way to handle the threats posed by hackers? The answer is no. Where a question is, there is always an answer.

Please visit the article “The Dark Side of Hotel Secure: The Rise of Hotel Key Card Hack.” for more detail!


Factors to consider when choosing a hotel key card programmer

(1) Compatibility with Existing Hardware and Software (e.g. hotel room locks, hotel lock management systems): This is extremely important and will determine whether your new hotel card programmer can work. You need to understand the relevant parameters of the programmer and communicate with the supplier before purchasing.

(2) Security and Stability: For hotels, guest and hotel security is of utmost importance. Effective programming can ensure smooth hotel operations and prevent unauthorized entry. On the other hand, a stable programmer can improve hotel operating efficiency and reduce worries. Therefore, choosing a programmer with strong security features and stability is essential.

(3) Product Quality: The material and manufacturing process of the hotel card programmer determine its quality and service life. Only high-quality products can withstand the test of time and have a longer service life. It can also help improve hotel operating efficiency and save maintenance costs. How can I know the quality? You can obtain answers by comparing relevant product performance, browsing buyer reviews, and checking the supplier’s strength.

(4) Cost Budget: The prices of card programmers on the market vary greatly, so it is important to choose a product that fits your budget. Cost considerations include purchase cost, installation cost, maintenance cost, and operating cost.

(5) Technical Support and Maintenance Services: When choosing a keycard programmer, it is important to consider the level of technical support and maintenance services included. Look for a system that provides comprehensive support and maintenance services, including regular software updates and troubleshooting assistance. You can seek answers from the seller before purchasing.


Future of hotel key card programmers

All kinds of emerging technologies and smart technologies come into human life, which not only improved people’s quality of life but also propelled the development of various industries. So what is the future trend of hotel key card programming? Here are some key developments we should note in the coming years.

hotel key card programmer 12

Integration with Other Hotel Technologies, such as mobile applications, self-service robots, voice assistants. Through technology integration, future hotel technologies can provide guests with smarter check-in processes. Hotel guests can realize online booking, online payment, call hotel service, order takeout, and more. In addition, hotel guests can enter their room without checking in at the front desk, and allow to control the room smart devices with their phones.

Contactless Check-in Technology, such as non-touch sensors, Bluetooth technology. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become more concerned about contactless technologies. Adding contactless technology to hotel key card programming, guests can be able to complete their entire check-in process themselves without interacting with any hotel staff. All in all, contactless technology makes hotel check-in more seamless and hygienic.

Biometric Identification Technology: In recent years, biometric authentication technology has emerged, with the most common being facial recognition and fingerprint recognition. Adding biometric technology to hotel keycard programming is mainly used to verify guest identity and authorize access to the hotel. Biometric technology provides a safer and faster way to authenticate, and make your hotel more secure.

Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility: With sustainability becoming an increasingly important issue in the hotel industry, keycard programmers may consider environmental responsibility in their designs. For example, systems can use recycled or biodegradable materials, such as one card with multiple purposes.

Finally thought: Do I need to return my hotel key card after checking out?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the policy of the hotel you are staying at. However, if you are unsure about the hotel’s policy on guest card returns, you can inquire with the front desk staff before check-out, or consult the hotel introduction manual.

Some hotels may require a certain amount of deposit when you are checked in, and require timely check-out, return of the hotel card, and ensuring that there is no damage to the room before returning the deposit in full. On the other hand, some hotels may not have strict requirements and you may choose to return the hotel card or keep it.

In this era of smart locks, more and more hotels are adopting RFID hotel door lock systems and magnetic card hotel lock systems. With this system, the hotel card can not only record the unlocking history but also allows reused. Returning your hotel card can help the hotel keep track of its inventory, prevent potential issues of card loss or theft, and reduce resource waste.

hotel key card programmer 13

Related Blog

With more than 20 years of smart lock experience, YGS could provide a set of hotel door lock management solutions for your hotel business.

types of hotel security

Jan 6, 2022 | Resources

Hotel is a places with a large flow of people and strong liquidity, so more and more social risks pose a threat to the hotel industry. Hoteliers have a great responsibility to ensure the safety of their customers and themselves…

secure hotel door

Dec 29, 2022 | Resources

Many people will choose to stay in the hotel for short or long business trips. So the safety of the hotel is closely related to us. In this article, you will learn about some measures to secure hotel door and make your stay more secure.  Why do we need to secure the…

small hotel lobby design ideas

Nov 30, 2022 | Resources

The emergence of the covid-19 is like a big test, which tested the ability of various industries to resist risks, deal with crises, and survive in adversity. Among them, one of the most affected industries is the hotel industry. Under the epidemic situation, most…

contactless check in hotel

Contactless Check-in Hotel or Traditional Check-in Hotel, Which one is better?

Dec 19, 2022 | Resources

The concept of “contactless check-in hotel” came with COVID-19. Now, although the global epidemic is calming down, this “contactless” demand has not weakened, but…

hotel mobile check in

A complete guide for hotel mobile check in

Dec 29, 2022 | Resources

In recent years, mobile check-in technology has been rapidly popularized in the travel industry. Especially in the hotel industry, hotel mobile check in technology allows guests to choose traditional check-in or contactless check-in...

Hotel Access Control Systems

Are the Hotel Access Control Systems Necessary for Your Business?

Nov 22, 2022 | Resources

In this smart era, hotel access control systems are popular in hotels from big brands to smart hotels. Are the systems necessary for hotels? In my opinion, it is necessary…

Online Enquiry Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.