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Google Wallet now lets you use your phone as a hotel room key

This could be a great feature, though hopefully it rolls out wider support fast.

Published onJune 26, 2024

Google Wallet logo on smartphone next to credit cards and cash Stock photo 9
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Google Wallet has introduced support for hotel card keys.
  • Unfortunately, hotels will have to work with Google to add support and so there’s virtually no options yet.
  • The first hotel to offer the feature will be the Clarion Hotel Post, in Sweden.

Summer is here, and that means extra travel for many of us. With that in mind, Google Wallet wants to make your hotel experience a bit less of a hassle by adding support for hotel card keys.

First spotted by 9to5Google, we’ve learned Google has updated its support pages. The company has announced that Google Wallet will now be able to save and store hotel keys at hotels that support the feature.

Adding a hotel card key will work similarly to adding a credit or debit card from a direct website. You’ll go to the hotel’s site, app, or follow email instructions and tap on the Add to Google Wallet option. From there, you’ll sign in and be able to add the hotel so you can get into your room for the duration of your stay without the need to pull out a card.

To use your phone as a hotel room key, all you’ll have to do is take out your NFC-capable phone, unlock it, and hold the back of the device near the door handle. Some phone models won’t require you to unlock them first, though we have no further details just yet.

While the idea of adding a hotel card key to Google Wallet sounds convenient, there is a significant catch at present. Google Wallet isn’t automatically compatible with every card key system out there, so hotel chains will need to add support first. Currently, very few hotels support the feature, with the Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, Sweden being one of the few confirmed hotels so far.

Hopefully, Google will work with major chains to roll this out faster. However, the nature of this system means that it will likely be reserved primarily for higher-end hotels initially, as opposed to cheaper hotels that might not see the value in adding support. Of course, you never know, and all we can really do is wait and see.

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