Bethesda-based hotel giant Marriott International will be the first hotel company to offer Apple Pay as a way of letting people check in without even needing to talk to anyone.
Essentially, guests will be able to just tap their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or, when it arrives, their Apple Watch, on a kiosk screen when they enter the hotel to check in, no credit card needed. The system will start phasing into place this summer at Marriott hotels around the country including the Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C. It’s a move that makes sense when people are much more likely to already have their phone in their hands (or a watch on their wrists) than they are to have their wallet in hand.
“Approximately 75 percent of our guests travel with one or more mobile devices, and it is even higher among 25-35 year olds – a group that will make up a much larger proportion of our guests over the next three years,” said George Corbin, senior vice president of Marriott Digital in a statement. “Millions of customers already use Marriott Mobile to quickly book a hotel, check-in, or check out. Now, Apple Pay can make it virtually effortless.”
The app will work similarly to the mobile phone app, offering advance check-in, notifications and letting people check out. People with a Marriott credit card will be able to put it into Apple Pay to get Marriott Rewards points too.
At the Apple event on Monday, there was a demonstration of a keyless hotel entry with Apple’s partner and Marriott’s competitor Starwood Hotels. Marriott has indicated before that it is waiting on having the bugs worked out of the keyless entry system before it gets involved in that. Marriott will have its own app for the Apple Watch when it debuts.
There’s a lot of interest in keyless entry development as part of the Internet of Things. Brivo Labs, also based in Bethesda, has created a keyless entry system to use with smartphones and other devices and is already testing it out with hotels.