Complete Convenience for Your Guests With Contactless Check In


You’re sitting at home, relaxing on a Sunday night. You’re on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, and you just hit play to start the newest episode of your favorite show on Netflix. But your phone beeps just as the intro finishes, and you lean in to focus on the show.

It’s a text from a guest who wants to check in at your property that you listed on Airbnb. Considering that they were supposed to check in hours ago, you had already figured that they were just not showing up, but yet here they are.

Sighing, you pause the show and put the bowl of popcorn on the table, reluctantly lifting yourself off the couch so you can go find the right keys and the list of instructions for the guest’s stay, and head out the door.

Meanwhile, the guest is at the property waiting outside for you to arrive. 

If the above scenario sounds inconvenient to you (and how could it not?), you need to look into contactless check in. 

With contactless check in, you don’t have to move from your comfy position on the couch to ensure that your guests are able to access their unit. Plus, guests don’t have to wait for you or your staff to check in, either. 

In this article, we explore the world of contactless check in, including what it is, why it’s important, key features to look for when looking into different options, and more. 

What Is Contactless Check In Software?

Contactless check in software is a feature that’s typically part of your property management system (PMS) that allows guests to remotely check in through a link or a guest portal that they can log into on your website. With contactless check in software, guests don’t have to wait for a staff member to assist them, they can simply arrive and check in without having to interact with anyone.

Once the guest does check in, the software can set off a series of triggers that do different things, such as send them a code for a lockbox so they can retrieve a key, send a notification to you or your staff to let them know that the guest has successfully checked in, and much more. 

How Does Contactless Check In Work?

Depending on your PMS and your desired setup, there are several ways that contactless check in in hotels can work:

  1. The guest arrives and checks in via a link that’s sent to their phone (either through SMS or email), or they log into the guest portal on your website (facilitated by your PMS—Newbook offers the option to set up a guest portal) to check in from there. 
  2. If the guest needs a code to access a key to get into their room or unit, some PMS platforms, like Newbook, will generate a unique code for them to be sent via SMS before their stay. This way, once they check in, they can immediately access what they need to enter the place they will be staying in.
  3. The guest uses the code they receive to retrieve a key or FOB from a digital key box to access their room or unit.

Let’s illustrate a scenario that goes through a realistic process of receiving a room and checking in, all without having to interact with a staff member:

  • First, the guest books online, either through your booking software on your website or through an online travel agency (OTA). 
  • On the date that they are supposed to arrive for check in, their flight gets delayed, so they miss the window where they would be able to check in at the front desk. 
  • No worries though, because once they arrive at your hotel, they are able to check in through a self-service kiosk located in the lobby or using their smartphone. 
  • From there, they can access a key or FOB via a digital keybox and proceed to their room. 

The Importance of Contactless Check In Software


These days, hoteliers, campground owners, RV park owners, and anyone with a hospitality business increasingly need to be able to do more with less. Rising costs of everything from food to utilities are putting more pressure on these business owners to cut costs elsewhere but without sacrificing the quality of service. 

In addition, like all business owners, accommodation providers are always looking for ways to run their business more efficiently. A more efficient business helps save money, but it also helps improve quality of service because guests can get the service that they need faster.

Contactless hotel check in software ticks all of these important boxes—cost savings through efficiency, better customer service through convenience, and increased convenience for the accommodation provider and the guest.

Traditional vs Contactless Hotel Check In

The traditional way that guests check in at a hotel is by going to the front desk and interacting with the employee there. The employee gets the guest’s details, usually their name and phone number, so they can look up the reservation and manually check the guest in. At this time, the employee would usually prompt the guest to pay, and then they’d have to search for the right key or FOB to provide to the guest so they can access their room. With a traditional check in process, an employee has to be at the front desk at all times, otherwise, guests won’t be able to check in. 

If many guests arrive at the same time and need to check in, then they have to wait in line while the employee helps each guest. The employee is likely to feel rushed in this situation and will probably avoid offering each guest any upsells or additional services—as they feel pressured to get through each guest as fast as possible. 

But with contactless hotel check in software, guests can check in at any time without having to worry about whether an employee will be around to help them. There are a few ways this can occur, from the guest checking in on their phone or via a self-service kiosk located in the lobby and retrieving a key or FOB from a digital keybox. 

This means that not only do you not have to keep your front desk staffed at all times, but you empower your guests to be able to check in whenever they want on the day that their room or unit is ready. So you’re not only saving on staffing costs, you’re making it easier and more convenient for your guests to check in. 

Newbook’s software has a reliability rating of 99.99%, meaning that it is one of the most reliable comprehensive PMS solutions on the market. Most solutions advertise a 99% reliability rate, and at first glance, the difference between 99% and 99.99% might seem negligible, but let’s break it down further so we can really understand the difference:

Reliability Rate BreakdownWhat it Means
99%99% uptime translates to a potential outage of 3 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes annually.
99.99%99.99% uptime means only 52 minutes and 35 seconds of potential outage annually.
self service kiosks newbook

Benefits of Contactless Check In


Hotels with contactless check in have definitely gained popularity over the years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefits of contactless check in include increased convenience, cost savings, heightened health and safety, and much more. 

Here are some of the advantages of contactless hotel check in:

1. Increased Health and Safety

Contactless hotel check in helps minimize physical contact, which in turn reduces the potential to spread infectious diseases. Given the fact that conditions like COVID-19 are becoming part of our new normal, taking measures to keep your guests and employees safe is important. Contactless check in supports social distancing and helps reduce crowding in lobbies and at front desks as well.

2. Speed and Efficiency

Hotels with contactless check in have a more efficient check in process, because guests don’t have to wait at the front desk and instead can complete the check in process on their device. Plus, you don’t have to constantly have staff available to help guests check in, enabling your staff to shift their time to higher-value tasks, like delighting guests or providing more comprehensive customer service to the guests that need it. 

3. Enhanced Guest Experience

It’s much easier and more convenient for a guest to be able to check in using their smartphone without needing to wait in line or deal with filling out paperwork. It’s just one more feature of a guest experience focused on self-service options.

With Newbook, a guest can be in full control of their stay from start to finish. With the online booking system, a guest can book directly from your website, and you can fully customize the booking experience to give your guest more options. 

For example:

  • Let’s say that the guest chooses dates when the room they want isn’t available. Instead of reaching a dead end, the booking system can suggest similar dates and/or other accommodation types that suit their preferences, encouraging them to continue to checkout. 
  • Upsells, including additional amenities and services, can also be included in the booking process. 

A comprehensive booking process behind the scenes helps make the check in process more efficient and seamless while giving the guest complete control over their vacation experience. 

4. Cost Savings 

Hotels can optimize staff resources by allowing self-service contactless check in, allowing employees to focus on more complex guest needs. Contactless check in also helps save money on paper and printing costs, which may not seem like a lot on the surface, but consider that one U.S. hotel chain, Serena Hotels, spent at least $2000 per month per property on printing. Another hotel in China, the Shangri-La Hotel in Qingdao, reports that they saved an estimated 400,000 sheets of A4 paper in a year after becoming paperless. If your business could save a fraction of that by investing in paperless options, it would surely be worth it.

5. Data Security and Accuracy

Contactless check in systems often use secure technologies, such as encryption, to ensure that guest information stays safe and secure. In addition, automated processes help reduce the likelihood of human error in manual data entry, improving the accuracy of guest information as well.

Newbook takes data security extremely seriously. We invest in world-class infrastructure and data hosting through Amazon Web Services, so all data is hosted securely in on U.S. soil. In addition, Newbook partners with leaders in encryption, threat anomaly, and penetration testing to maintain strict security for our software. 

6. Flexibility and Accessibility

With contactless check in, guests have complete 24/7 check in availability, meaning they can check in day or night without being constrained to the hours of the front desk. This means that guests can arrive theoretically at any time on their check in date without issue, so they don’t have to stress if a flight or traffic causes any delays. 

7. Integration With Other Services

Contactless check in can be integrated with other hotel services, such as keyless room entry or mobile concierge apps, providing a seamless experience for guests. The self-service check in process can also trigger additional tasks and notifications, such as sending the guest a code so they can access a key or FOB or updating a calendar on the back end so that staff can see real-time updates of room or unit status. 

8. Helps You Understand Your Guests Better

One of the perhaps overlooked benefits of contactless check in is the ability to collect data about your guests. By working seamlessly with your booking system, you can collect all sorts of insights about your guests’ behavior, preferences, wants, and needs to better tailor your operations and services for them. 

The data can also help with marketing initiatives by helping you understand how to craft personalized offers for different segments of guests and help you present upsells and offers in a more appealing manner. 

9. Improves Accessibility of Information

By offering contactless check in hotel guests will quickly understand that they can access key information at their fingertips without having to contact customer service. For example, if they want to confirm their check in date, they can simply log into their guest portal and see the information or check their email or text messages for confirmation. In addition, they can handle important changes to their reservations themselves and get automated notifications that confirm their changes went through properly. This gives the guest more autonomy over their experience. 

Key Features to Look for in Contactless Check In for Hospitality

When considering contactless check in solutions for hospitality, it’s essential to look for features that enhance efficiency, guest satisfaction, and overall operational effectiveness. Here are key features to consider:

Feature Description
Mobile compatibilityThe contactless hotel check in solution should have full mobile compatibility, as that will be the method that the majority of guests will likely be using the check in. 
Digital registration and verificationLook for systems that offer secure authentication methods, such as two-factor or multi-factor authentication with regards to online login (if you have a guest portal).
Compatibility with digital keyboxesIntegration with digital keyboxes ensures that once guests check in, they are able to access a code that allows them to access a digital keybox to retrieve a key or FOB. 
Online booking software compatibilityCompatibility with your booking software is essential because the check in process is the logical next step after booking. This means that if a guest changes arrival dates or other details that may affect their check in, the contactless check in software will update automatically as well.
Data security and complianceThe system should adhere to data security standards and compliance regulations to safeguard guest information. This includes TLS and SSL encryption. 
Customer support integrationIntegration with customer support features, such as live chat or a helpdesk, ensures that guests can easily seek assistance if they encounter any issues during the check in process.
Integration with PMSEnsure that the contactless check in system can seamlessly integrate with the existing property management system, making it compatible with the hotel’s overall operations.

Getting Started: How to Set Up Contactless Check In Hotels


Setting up a contactless check in for your hotel doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Some important considerations that you should keep in mind for a smooth and efficient implementation include:

1. Define Your Objectives and Goals 

Write down the goals that you want to achieve by implementing contactless check in hotels software. Maybe you want to reduce the hours at your front desk to save money. Or maybe you want to offer guests more self-service options to show them that you’re a modern accommodation provider. By understanding the specific goals you want to achieve through contactless check in, you’ll be able to stay more focused on choosing a solution to help you meet those goals.

2. Select the Right Technology

Research and choose a contactless check in solution that aligns with the needs and scale of your hotel. Look for features such as mobile integration, secure authentication, and seamless integration with other hotel systems. You can use websites like Software Advice, Capterra, or G2 to compile a list of contactless check in options and directly compare their features and costs in a table. 

3. Integrate the Solution With Your PMS and Other Software (if Needed)

Ensure that the chosen contactless check in solution can seamlessly integrate with your existing property management system (PMS). This integration is essential for real-time updates on room availability, automated room assignments, and accurate billing. Newbook is an all-in-one solution that includes contactless check in, online booking software, channel management, revenue management, property management, and much more in one comprehensive system. 

booking system newbook

4. Train Staff

Train your staff on the new contactless check in procedures and technology. Make sure they are familiar with the system, can assist guests if needed, and understand how to troubleshoot common issues.

5. Update Policies and Procedures

Review and update your hotel’s policies and procedures to accommodate the changes introduced by contactless check in. This may include revising check in and check-out times, updating cancellation policies, and ensuring compliance with local regulations.

6. Gather Feedback and Improve Your Check In Process

Monitor the performance of the contactless check in system once it’s implemented. Collect feedback from guests and staff to identify areas for improvement and address any issues promptly. This way, you can ensure that the solution you implement is continually helping your staff be more productive and efficient, and providing the best possible guest experience as well.


The hospitality industry is competitive and fast-paced. Adapting to modern technologies is key to providing a seamless and convenient experience for both guests and hoteliers. The implementation of contactless check in is a game-changer, offering numerous benefits that go beyond just operational efficiency. As we’ve explored the world of contactless check in, from its definition to its practical applications, it’s evident that this technology transforms the guest experience and enhances operational effectiveness.

Setting up contactless check in doesn’t have to be daunting; by defining clear goals, selecting the right technology, integrating with existing systems, training staff, and updating policies, hotels can embrace this innovative solution, enhancing the guest experience while meeting operational objectives. As hotels move towards a future where adaptability and efficiency are paramount, embracing contactless check in meets the current demands and lays the foundation for a more streamlined and guest-centric hospitality experience. The journey toward a more convenient and connected guest experience starts with the implementation of contactless check in technology.

If you’re looking to advance your hotel’s technology, Newbook offers the perfect complete solution to suit your business’s needs.

Reach out to us today to learn more about how you can boost guest satisfaction, save money, and gain more revenue with our software

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