Digital hotel keys arrive on Google Wallet

Google Wallet is making traveling a little less stressful for hotel guests by supporting digital hotel key cards. If your hotel offers it, you can save your hotel key right to Google Wallet and use your phone to unlock your room instead of carrying a physical key.

Adding a hotel key to Google Wallet is similar to adding a credit card. You’d just need to tap the “Add to Google Wallet” button on the hotel’s website, app, or in an email. Then, sign in and add the hotel to Google Wallet. To unlock your room, simply hold your phone near the door handle. Some phone models don’t even require you to unlock your phone first.

Google Wallet isn’t the first digital wallet to offer this feature. Apple Wallet on iPhones has had this capability since 2021 with the launch of iOS 15. However, adding it to Google Wallet opens it up to a whole new group of Android users. Some hotel chains, like Marriott and Hilton, have had digital key cards on their apps for a while, but the Google Wallet integration means you don’t have to download another app.

Digital room keys have been available on iOS since iOS 15 | Image credit — Apple

There’s one catch, though. Not all hotels are compatible with Google Wallet for digital key cards. Each hotel will have to add support for the feature, and right now, not many hotels have. One of the hotels that does offer digital key cards with Google Wallet is the Clarion Hotel Post in Sweden.

This new feature could be really convenient for travelers, but it’s unclear how quickly it will be widely available. Because it’s a new technology, fancier, more expensive hotels are probably the ones that will offer this first. We’ll have to wait and see if more affordable hotels start offering it too. In the meantime, if you happen to be staying at a hotel that offers digital key cards through Google Wallet, you can give it a try and see how you like it.

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