Apple launches hotel key support in Apple Wallet, initially with Hyatt Worldwide – TechCrunch


At Apple’s Global Developer Conference in June, the company announced plans to integrate support for home, office, and hotel keys into Apple Wallet, as well as driver’s licenses from the state. Today, Apple announces that Hyatt will become the first hotel partner to support the new technology. The hotel chain will roll out room key support in Apple Wallet for their guests, initially starting with six U.S. properties and more to come in the future.

The six properties include Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, Hyatt House Chicago / West Loop-Fulton Market, Hyatt House Dallas / Richardson, Hyatt Place Fremont / Silicon Valley, and Hyatt Regency Long Beach.

The new system will work with the World of Hyatt mobile app. After making a reservation in the app, a screen will appear offering you the option of adding your room key to Wallet. This experience is similar to when you book tickets or passes and then have the option of pressing a button to add those items to Apple Wallet for later access. And like other passes, you can add the keys to your hotel room immediately after making your reservation. Of course, the door will not unlock until you check in.

Once the key is added to your Apple Wallet, you will be able to see the reservation dates, property name, and your next check-in date on the main screen. You can also tap the three-dot menu at the top right to view more information about your stay, including your reservation number and other property details. Plus, you can launch the Hyatt app directly from Apple Wallet to manage your reservation.

Hotel keys are not only available on your iPhone, they are also automatically added to the Wallet app on a paired Apple Watch.

Along with the convenience of not having to follow a plastic hotel key card, this system can also allow guests to bypass the lobby lines to check in. Instead, the app can notify guests when the room is ready and they can check in on their phone. Once this process is complete, the room key will be activated and display your room number so you can simply go straight to your room. It could also help customers reduce their exposure to Covid, as they won’t have to queue alongside other customers for check-in.

Apple says guests with multiple rooms will be able to add them to the same room key and wallet for their stay, so they don’t have to remember which virtual key to use. And like the Express Mode used by ticket holders, hotel keys can also work in Express Mode where you won’t even need to unlock your device to open the door. The key also works to unlock access to hotel amenities, such as the gym or swimming pool.

Hyatt room key in Apple Wallet on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 in Chicago. (Jean-Marc Giboux / AP Images for Hyatt)

If the customer decides to extend their stay or to book during a late check-out in the mobile app, the hotel key will also be updated. One thing you can’t do, however, is share the hotel key with a friend – they only work with the Hyatt account holder who is logged in to the mobile app. After payment, the hotel keys are archived in Apple Wallet but not deleted.

The new system will require hotels to update their room lock infrastructure to support NFC technology. This allows guests to open hotel doors with a single tap, as they do today when using Apple Pay at supported point-of-sale terminals. Hyatt is working with Assa Abloy on its solution, but Apple is prepared to work with vendors chosen by the hotel. The company declined to say which other hotel chains might work to deploy the technology, but notes that Hyatt intends to expand access across global properties.

Support for hotel keys is rolling out today to iPhones running iOS 15 and Apple Watch devices running watchOS 8.


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