Mobile Check-In For Hotels: Complete Guide for 2024

Bryan Michalis
Bryan Michalis
April 30, 2024
July 25, 2020
Mobile Check-In For Hotels: Complete Guide for 2024

If we were to guess, some of the operations you revamped in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may still be in place. After all, when staying at a hotel, guests still want to feel safe and receive a comfortable, streamlined guest experience.

And while these new processes aligned with important safety protocols, many guests found that they actually preferred these new ways of interacting with hotels thanks to helpful technologies.

Even before COVID-19 struck, hotels were tapping into ways they could communicate with their guests before, during and after their stays, and they were turning to tech solutions to help them do this.

Modern hotel guests are increasingly comfortable with technology — some even expect it in their accommodations — which means that more hotels are looking for ways to incorporate it into the guest experience. One of the most successful ways they can do this is by integrating mobile check-in.

A recent Oracle study found that 73% of travelers want to use their phones to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, and ordering food. Forty percent of respondents deemed contactless options non-negotiable.

Luckily for hotels, there are plenty of benefits to offering guests a convenient mobile check-in through a web-based application.

But First: What Is Hotel Mobile Check-in?

Hotel mobile check-in is a self-driven technology process that allows guests to check into your property using their mobile devices, without the need to stop at the front desk. Hotel guests are able to use hotel mobile check-in to select their room and complete a contactless check-in process before they arrive at the hotel.

Countless large hospitality brands have implemented contactless digital check-in technology as part of their concierge services, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, IHG, Marriott and The Mandolay Hotel.

5 Powerful Benefits of Using Mobile Check-in for Hotels

Given its simplified, digital features, there are several advantages to online check-in when it is implemented across the hospitality industry. But how does mobile check-in benefit hotels specifically? Let’s walk through the most significant perks.

1. Mobile Check-In Saves Everyone Time and Effort

Guests don’t have time to wait around or face delays checking in. They want the check-in process to be as smooth as possible so they can get on with their trip.

In fact, in research by Forrester, guests wholeheartedly prefer mobile self-service technology and actually expect hotels to implement smarter and more efficient operations. A study from Cornell Hospitality found that U.S. guests get “anxious” after waiting three minutes at check-in, and guest satisfaction scores drop by 50% after only five minutes of waiting.

Therefore, hotels that are able to integrate mobile check-in technology are swiftly gaining a competitive edge.

hotel guests demand new technology

Think about the traditional check-in process:

When a guest arrives at a hotel, they have to queue up in the lobby to check in. This involves filling out documents and forms, verifying their ID, and putting their credit card on file.

Doing this for large amounts of guests at scale bog down staff who could spend their efforts improving the guest experience in other ways.

Mobile check-in makes it easier on both sides. Now, instead of queuing in the lobby and waiting their turn, guests can complete the check-in process prior to their arrival via a secure link. And if the mobile check-in solution is integrated with mobile key technology, they can skip the front desk entirely!

This streamlined process also empowers hotel staff to focus on the hospitality components of their job rather than the administrative ones.

2. Mobile Check-In Is Safe and Secure

With data breaches on the rise, consumers are wildly protective of their data and wary of digital fraud.

Mobile check-ins are safe and secure, using advanced fraud detection technology to match photo IDs to guests names as part of the verification process.

This also reduces the chance of human error.

Let guests know what information you need and what you need it for, and only ask them for what’s necessary. This will not only give them peace of mind, but it will make the check-in process easier at the same time.

3. Mobile Check-In Drives Revenue

Directing guests to a web-based application to check in opens up a whole host of other opportunities for hotels.

Not only can mobile check-in speed up the check-in process and relieve reception staff of a ton of duties, but it can also double up as a casual marketing tool to help guests learn more about the hotel.

Once guests have checked in through a Canary Technologies web-based link, hotels can offer them upgrades and upsells at just the right time.

Hotels can upsell almost anything from luxury pillows and buffet breakfasts to parking and pet fees — boosting revenue without sacrificing the guest experience.

Mobile check-in also enables hotels to capture customer data that helps grow their email lists. This information can be used in the future to share exclusive offers and bring guests back to the property again and again.

4. Mobile Check-In Provides Hotels With The Complete Guest Picture

hotel checkin from anywhere

By allowing guests to check in prior to arrival, you gather key information that helps your service team deliver a better interaction, such as an ETA or the number of guests arriving.

Traditional check-in requires reception staff to wait on guests who might arrive late or not at all. With mobile check-in, staff can get a more accurate view of the real-time guest count and respond accordingly.

Additionally, most guests appreciate the ability to interact with a hotel before they arrive. Doing so allows them to take more control of their overall guest experience and lays the groundwork for a great relationship with a property.

5. Mobile Check-In Improves Guest Satisfaction

Guests prefer a contactless experience, but they also want a personalized one. Mobile check-in allows guests to have positive interactions with hotel staff even if they don’t see them in person, which is important in keeping guest satisfaction scores as high as possible.

Allowing guests to check in before they arrive onsite kicks things off on the right foot. The guest feels special and connected to the hotel without even having stepped foot through the doors, while the hotel learns important things about the guest that can improve their stay. This fact-finding process might include a hotel asking for information about the activities a guest is interested in and providing them with a recommended itinerary catered to their specific wants and needs.

This information can also give hotels insight into the kinds of guests that stay with them. Collecting such data over a period of time helps hotels understand the interests of target guests and the kinds of information they like to get from a property. Hotels can then use this information to improve their service and create an experience that future guests will love.

mobile checkin improves guest satisfaction

Creating an enjoyable and streamlined experience also increases the likelihood that guests will provide positive reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and other review sites. The more positive reviews a property has, the better the odds that its rooms will remain full.

Steps to Set Up a Hotel Mobile Check-in Process (Using Canary Technologies)

Canary Technologies’ mobile check-in solution lets you seamlessly check-in guests without exchanging credit cards, IDs or registration forms. The technology is entirely web-based, so there are no special apps required, and the software includes Canary’s top-rated   fraud detection checks. In fact, Canary's mobile check-in solution has been shown to reduce chargeback by 75% to 90%.

And deployment is a breeze. You can get up and running in just 10 minutes and start checking in guests right away.

How It Works

First, Canary automatically sends check-in links via email and text message to all guests who are due to arrive.

Using the link, guests submit their credit card information, upload their ID and sign the hotel’s registration card.

Canary verifies the information and enables the hotel to check the guest in.

If your hotel uses mobile keys or smart locks, Canary enables guests to skip the front desk entirely. For hotels without smart locks, guests can simply grab a physical key in the lobby when they arrive.

It’s Simple to Get Started

Mobile check-in is easy with Canary Technologies. It’s quick to set up and lets you check guests in securely right away — no training needed! And a range of comprehensive integrations with property management systems, payment providers, mobile key solutions and more ensures it ties in seamlessly with your existing tech stack.

Canary mobile check is simple and powerful

Learn How Canary Can Help Your Properties Thrive

Hotel Automation is the Next Big Thing in Hospitality. Here’s Why

Hotel Automation is the Next Big Thing in Hospitality. Here’s Why

Hotel automation should be viewed as a tool to enhance, not replace the human touch. Learn how to integrate it into your property.

Read More
Mastering Hotel OTAs: 8 Ways to Overcome Pain Points And Increase Profitability

Mastering Hotel OTAs: 8 Ways to Overcome Pain Points And Increase Profitability

Whether you want to upsell your OTA guests, encourage them to book direct for their next stays or prompt them to leave positive reviews, a robust hotel platform can help. Here's how.

Read More
4 Ways to Wow Hotel Guests With Pre-Arrival Communication

4 Ways to Wow Hotel Guests With Pre-Arrival Communication

Pre-arrival communication lets you connect with guests before they arrive, set clear expectations and offer personalized service. But it’s not just about what you communicate; it’s how you communicate. Learn more here.

Read More
Hospitality Technology Trends: 10 Advancements to Watch in 2024

Hospitality Technology Trends: 10 Advancements to Watch in 2024

As we look ahead to the future of hospitality, one thing is crystal clear: technology will continue to shape the industry in profound ways. See the latest top trends here.

Read More
13 Creative Ways Hotels Can Cut Costs Without Sacrificing Guest Experience

13 Creative Ways Hotels Can Cut Costs Without Sacrificing Guest Experience

Any cost-saving strategy should depend on your specific hotel and thoughtfully considered. Here are some creative ideas that cut costs but don't affect the all important guest experience.

Read More