RFID Adds Efficiency to Hotel Key Cards: CLS To Offer RFID Plastic Card Printing

CLS Plasticard® to offer a complete line of RFID plastic cards for the hospitality and electronic door lock industries beginning September 1st of this year.

CLS Plasticard® announced today that beginning September 1st of this year they will offer a complete line of RFID plastic cards. The cards will be offered under its CardJett brand of hotel key cards for the hospitality and electronic door lock industries. The company will offer cards that are compatible with most hotel and motel door locking systems on the market today.

The Switch to RFID Plastic Cards

"The market for RFID hotel key cards has really begun to explode. With several major hotel chains beginning to mandate the use of RFID technology in all their hotel door locking systems, RFID technology is beginning to take over the key card market," states Glenn Kinney, company vice president and general manager. "In 2006 we saw the beginning of this switch to RFID technology by the larger and more upscale properties. Today we are seeing the mid-size and business traveler properties switching over to the new technology. With RFID becoming so prevalent, we have even begun seeing an increased use of RFID technology in the gift card printing side of our business."

Why The Move to RFID

The move to RFID plastic cards seems to be driven not by cost saving measures alone, but rather "a desire by hotel and motel owners and franchises to enhance guest experience." Kinney goes on to say "RFID cards have a failure rate of only 1%-3% at the door compared to magstripe cards that fail at a rate of 10-15%. The lower failure rate of the RFID plastic cards translates into fewer guests complaints. The 1% to 3% failure rate of the RFID cards should lower as guests become familiar on how to use the cards".

There can also be a cost savings associated with RFID cards as well, even though they are more expensive than traditional magstripe cards when first purchased. Kinney goes on to explain "The cards should last indefinitely as they do not come into contact with the encoder at the front desk or with the door lock itself. So there is no wear on the cards like you see with traditional magstripe hotel key cards. The door locks will last longer as there is no opening on the lock face for the lock to be damaged by debris or objects being placed into it by guest. The front desk encoders have no moving parts like magstripe encoders so there is nothing to wear out or break down other than electronic components. Hotels should see a cost saving in parts and maintenance associated with the RFID door locking systems as a whole" Kinney concludes.

Guest Experience

Also custom RFID plastic cards work well with automated check-in systems being used by the hospitality industry. Mark Kinney manager of the Bixby Oklahoma office for CLS says "Hotels can now customize a room for specific guests. For instance room lighting and other amenities such as environmental controls can be set to turn on as soon as the door is opened with the RFID Key Card and made to shut off when the guest leaves the room with the card." Whether or not all of this is enough for this technology to take over the hotel key card market is uncertain. However Kinney feels that "Ultimately guests will determine whether RFID cards are here to stay as the industry standard "Hotel Key Card."


CLS Plasticard®, one of America's top producers of Plastic Cards just concluded 14 successful years of operation, well known for their high-end, durable plastic card printing, including gift card printing, fundraising card printing, hotel key cards, membership cards, loyalty card printing, VIP cards, plastic business cards, key tags and more.

About CLS Plasticard

CLS Plasticard
909 Sadler Rd
Stillwater, OK