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Hotels & Resorts

Key Card Solutions for the Hotel Industry

The key focus for the hospitality industry is very much centered on the positive experience for guests. As a result, more modern hotel systems are being introduced deploying hundreds of thousands of contactless smart or proximity cards.

With a 20-year heritage in smart card technology; Universal Smart Cards is helping the industry to extract the most out of the technology.

The development of access technologies and hotel key cards

The journey to contactless cards has been a long one. Traditional metal keys were of course used in the 1960's and 1970's.

'Punch cards' emerged in the late 1970's and early 1980's but it was ‘magstripe’ that heralded the 1980's with the need to store data for the first time on a card. Of course, magstripe cards are still in mass issuance today but it is the guest user experience, as mentioned before, that is by far the most influential factor pushing hotels to newer forms of contactless card technology.

There is nothing more frustrating for the guest than having to trample the long weary route back to reception because their card has not worked first time! Contactless cards help to solve this problem with their ease of use and reliability because there are no moving parts between the card and reader. This makes them far more reliable, less susceptible to data loss and the locking systems are far easier to maintain.

In addition, the hotel industry has begun to unlock (excuse the pun) the full potential of smart cards by adding other hotel services in addition to simply opening the door. Hotels can therefore re-enforce their brand and services for a multitude of functions whether it is access to the gym, the mini-bar or something else. The latest development is the growth in Near Field Communications (NFC) which, in addition to cards, enables mobile phone usage. This harnesses the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) philosophy allowing guests the flexibility to use their phone during their stay.

Universal Smart Cards has a team of consultants to help with the following services or products:

High-quality card supply - including brands like Ving, Assa Abloy, Cisa, Kaba, Onity, Saflok, Paxton, MIFARE®, Salto, Dialock, iLco, Miwa, and many more. Just check with our team for an extensive list that is constantly growing.

Antimicrobial cards - Anti-microbial cards are coated with an anti-microbial overlay to help stop the spread of germs and bacteria.

Environmentally friendly card options - We supply recycled PVC, PPH and wooden cards to help clients with their environmental goals and targets.

Improve Branding and Design - Please ask for our sample pack showing how we convert poor visual artwork or designs into something that leaps out at guests.

Lower pricing - why not get a quote to see how we can help save you money over your current supply chain. We have been supplying smart cards for nearly twenty years and provide high-quality cards that are built to last at a very competitive price point.

Hotel Key Cards as Unique as your brand – choose from a range of card materials

Your hotel is unique and your key cards should be too. Our range of materials, combined with specialist print effects and customisation options, allows you to stand out from the crowd and portray the personality of your hotel or resort. Discover our wide range of material choices below, from eco-friendly alternatives to PVC including wood and recycled PVC, to high-end metal cards.

PVC Cards

PVC cards are our most popular choice, having been used in the industry for many years. Available in a wide range of technologies, these cards are often the most cost effective option.

Wood Cards

Wooden cards are a fantastic alternative to PVC for the business who is conscious of their plastic use because, most importantly, our wood is all from FSC approved sources and is fully biodegradable.

PPH Bio Cards

PPH Bio is a 100% biodegradable wood pulp fiber material for projects that do not require the sturdiness of PVC cards. The raw materials are procured in-line with the stringent FSC standards and we have full FSC accreditation.

Metal Cards

Metal cards are designed to give your brand a high-end, luxurious look and feel. We provide the highest quality custom metal cards with options including lazer engraving, personalization and special print effects.

Make your hotel key cards stand out with a range of specialist print effects & finishes

When it comes to customization of your cards we offer a huge range of options, so whether you want to stand out with glitter effect inks, or add subtle branding to wooden cards with laser engraving. Discover our range of key card personalisation options below.


Choose from a wide range of foiling options, including rainbow UV foil (as in the example above), silver hot foil, edge foils and more. Our card foiling options allow a wealth of benefits, from adding an extra level of security, to elevating the look and feel of your hotel key cards.

Metallic Inks

Metallic cards can be fully personalised with a wide range of print effects. The metallic effect can be seen as a shimmer that changes dependant on the angle of the card and the lighting its exposed to. This gives cards a luxury feel and works well with single colour print personalisation.

Spot UV

Spot UV printing allows you to create a gloss varnish effect on certain parts of your key cards. This looks and feels slightly raised from the card and has a higher shine than the rest of the card. Highlighting key text & graphics, such as logos. It adds a high end finish to your cards design.

Raised Inks

Available in a wide range of colours raised inks add a tactile experience to the areas they are printed on the card. These work especially well where you need the text to stand out from the background, as in the metallic example above.

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is the process of using a laser to engrave text, or a design into the surface of your key cards. This method of personalization can be used on cards and wristbands. It gives a subtle 3D look, that portrays a high-end feel. We can laser on engrave on a wide range of materials including wood, ABS & silicone.

A world of credentials to meet the unique needs of your hotel or resort

Smart technology is all about flexibility for you and your guests, so why should you be limited to cards? We know that not every hotel and resort is the same, some have swimming pools, whilst others have gym facilities, and cards aren’t always the best solution for your guests to carry around with them. That’s why we supply a wide range of card alternatives available in the same great range of technologies as the cards you use.


We supply a wide range of wristbands, to suit all budgets and requirements in hotels & resorts. These range from eco-friendly wooden tag wristbands, to waterproof silicone wristbands. These provide an ideal way for guests to access rooms and facilities with something they can always wear, removing the need for carrying cards or key fobs. They also make it easy for staff to quickly and easily identify guests in your hotel or resort.

Key Fobs

Take the hassle out of carrying a card or wearing a wristband, with our room access key fobs. Allow guests to attach them to their own keyring or provide them with a hotel branded key ring, for them to easily carry their room key in their pocket or purse. We provide a wide range or key fobs from hard wearing ABS, to eco-friendly wooden options.

Custom Shapes

Create a unique look and feel for your access credentials with custom shaped, wooden, cards. These give your hotel the edge, with a modern eco-friendly solution for guests to access their rooms. Chat to our team today to find out more about the technologies available.

Supporting your social responsibilities, with a range of eco-friendly access products

Our range of eco-friendly hotel access products supports your hotel or resort in making the switch to a more sustainable future. From recycled PVC cards that reduce your organizations CO2 emissions to FSC-certified wooden cards that give you an eco-friendly look and feel, we’re here to help you make the switch to more sustainable hotel keycard solutions. 

Wooden Cards

Wooden Key Cards are not only the greenest option when it comes to sustainability, but they also provide a unique aesthetic that is sure to impress your hotel’s guests. Wood cards are durable, reusable, and come in a wide range of different woods including Bamboo, Birch, Walnut, Maple Cherry and Beech..

Recycled PVC Cards

Recycled plastics use less energy to produce than raw plastic materials, lowering CO2 emissions and providing a truly green card option. These cards are a great option when your looking to keep the look and feel of your current cards but want to make a positive change to their impact on the environment.

Wooden Tag Wristbands

Our wooden tag wristbands represent a step towards sustainable technology. Crafted from natural wood and organic cotton, they are environmentally responsible and embody a seamless blend of function and natural aesthetics.

PPH Bio Cards

PPH Bio Cards provide a unique premium aesthetic to impress your hotel’s guests. The compressed pulper fibres make them extremely durable and suitable for multiple uses unlike thin regular disposable paper keycards.

The Widest Range of Card Technologies

As a leading supplier of key cards Universal Smart Cards is ideally placed to source a wide range of access technologies. With a strong supply chain spanning key locations around the globe, we supply cards by these leading brands and more, at competitive lead times and pricing.

  • Ving
  • Assa Abloy
  • Cisa
  • Kaba
  • Onity
  • Saflok
  • Paxton
  • Salto
  • Dialock
  • iLco
  • Miwa

Can’t see the technology you require? We can supply key cards for most hotel access systems in the market… get in touch to discuss your needs with our team of specialists today.

Let’s Talk Hotel Key Cards

With over 20 years in the industry, our team of experts are here to help you choose the perfect cards for your hotel or resort. So, whether you’re looking for advice on room access technologies or would like help with the best credentials for your hotel or resort, we’re here to help.

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