Enhancing Automated Check-In: How Kiosks and Mobile Work Together for Seamless Guest Check-in

Tourist woman with her luggage in hotel bedroom.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of hospitality, technology integration is essential for meeting guest expectations and operational efficiency. The use of contactless hotel check-in experiences has rapidly increased in the last five years, and the trend shows little sign of slowing down.

Creating exceptional guest experiences is an evergreen priority for the hospitality industry, and the combination of mobile apps and check-in kiosks has emerged as a powerful solution for delivering a modern and seamless check-in experience.

While mobile and kiosk guest check-in options are often thought of as an either/or decision, smart hoteliers know that utilizing both technologies creates a tailored experience for all guest demographics.

Mobile Check-In – Perfect for the Frequent Business Traveler

Mobile apps have become indispensable tools for guests, especially those who travel often. Frequent business travelers are often brand loyalists and reap the benefits of hotel loyalty programs, like free nights and room upgrades. These travelers have brand apps downloaded to their mobile and want to check in and out with as little friction as possible.

Mobile Convenience & Flexibility

Mobile apps allow guests to complete the check-in process before they even arrive at the hotel. This includes providing personal information, selecting room preferences, and activating mobile keys. Unlike the traditional hotel check-in process, guests can view available rooms and choose the one they prefer.

This pre-arrival process saves time and makes it possible for guests to skip the lobby entirely and head straight to their rooms upon arrival – a big plus for guests arriving after a long and exhausting day of travel.

Kiosk Check-In – Preferred for Leisure Travel

While mobile check-in works well for power users, there is more friction in the mobile check-in process for leisure travelers. More than half of hotel visits are made by leisure travelers, and these guests are much more likely to prioritize cost savings over brand loyalty.

To fully benefit from mobile check-in, guests must have the hotel’s mobile key app downloaded, otherwise they will still need to wait in line at reception upon arrival to pick up a physical key. For guests who only travel a few times a year and prioritize price over brand, downloading a new app for each trip they take may be too much of a hassle.

Kiosk hotel check-in bridges the gap between regular business travelers and casual vacationers, making contactless check-in an easy option for all hotel guests.  

Kiosks Offer Ease of Use

Upon arrival at the hotel, kiosks serve as an efficient and user-friendly option for finalizing the check-in process:

Streamlined On-Site Check-In:

Check-in kiosks enable guests to quickly complete their check-in upon arrival. Designed for ease of use, these kiosks can serve as an extra check-in counter at the busiest times, and free up staff to act as hosts during slower periods.

When there’s no line for check-in, reception staff are available to offer beverages, help with luggage, or provide other value add activities when guests opt to use a check-in kiosk. And at busy times, kiosk check-in options keep the line moving quickly for those who need assistance or just prefer the in-person check-in process.

Encoding and Dispensing Physical Keys:

Kiosks equipped with the capability to encode and dispense physical keys provide an essential service. Many mobile key users have reported that the technology is unreliable, whether that’s because of spotty internet connection in hotel hallways or a dead phone battery after a busy day. Mobile kiosks give guests the opportunity to quickly obtain a physical key at any time during their stay.

Adding kiosks with key dispensing capabilities ensures that every guest can access their room easily and securely.

The Synergistic Benefits of Combining Mobile Apps and Kiosks

The integration of mobile apps and kiosks offers a comprehensive contactless check-in strategy, maximizing convenience and security:

Comprehensive Contactless Experience:

From pre-check-in via mobile apps to on-site key dispensing at kiosks, guests enjoy a fully contactless journey that lets them bypass the lines for check-in, and helps them start enjoying their vacation sooner.

Increased Operational Efficiency:

Automating the check-in process through mobile apps and kiosks allows hotel staff to focus on delivering personalized services rather than handling routine check-in tasks. This enhances productivity and improves overall guest satisfaction.

Enhanced Guest Satisfaction:

Offering both mobile and kiosk check-in options caters to a range of guest preferences. Whether guests prefer the convenience of their smartphones or the reliability of a physical key, the seamless integration of these technologies ensures a positive experience.


The synergy between mobile apps and check-in kiosks provides a significant advancement in the contactless check-in experience. By leveraging the strengths of both technologies, hotels can provide a seamless, efficient, and secure check-in process that meets the evolving needs of modern travelers. As the hospitality industry continues to innovate, the integration of mobile apps and kiosks will play a crucial role in enhancing guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. Embracing this technology offers a more guest-centric and future-ready hospitality experience.