A major update of the HSU interface for integrating the hotel ACS with the hotel property management system (PMS) has been made. Now the track data transmitted from the PMS to the ACS can be directly recorded to the card. In addition, this card data can be changed by other systems and then read back by the PMS. Alteration of data is protected by a password which is transmitted to the required system if it needs to be granted access to modify.
By other systems we mean any systems that can work with Mifare cards. These can be specialized access control systems, bars and restaurants systems that the Mifare recording device is connected to, or any Android application with NFC support.
The exchange mechanism that utilizes cards works as follows:
Track data can be transferred while issuing new cards and their copies, or via separate commands. This means that the PMS can modify the tracks data without re-issuing guest cards, which is useful for auditing purposes.
Scenario 1. Leaving the paid parking lot is required to be allowed only after completing the payment for all the hotel services. The parking lot is equipped with a barrier with an automated card collector that takes the card if the passage is authorized and returns the card to the guest otherwise.
In this case, upon the guest leaving, a flag authorizing exit is recorded to the #2 track. The parking system allows or denies passage by reading this sign.
Scenario 2. The hotel has a paid parking. Each financial movement must be tracked in the PMS.
Time of entry is recorded to the track upon issuing the card to the visitor. After completing the parking payment on the reception desk, PMS records the allowed exit timeframes to the card. Upon leaving the parking lot, the reader checks the time of exit and makes the decision on granting the passage.
Scenario 1. All the beach zone bar services must be recorded to the guest’s bracelet. Waiters use Android-based mobile terminals with NFC support.
Upon issuing a guest card, guest’s PMS account number is recorded to the #2 track. Upon processing the service payments via the guest card, the restaurant system sends the bill to the designated account.
Scenario 2. The hotel uses only the guest bracelet payment method. Cash operations are not allowed. Guest service terminals are mobile, there is no high-speed access to the PMS servers or no Internet coverage at all.
Upon issuing the guest bracelet, the PMS automatically records the number of the issued bracelet to its database. Upon the paying by the guest bracelet, the restaurant system executed two operations. It increases the account balance stored on the #3 track and saves the bracelet number to the closed bill. When the guest checks out, the PMS reads the bracelet and gets the balance from the #3 track. The guest makes a payment for the services accrued to the bracelet, the balance on #3 track is reset to zero. If the bracelet is lost, the balance easily restores through the saved bracelet number in the restaurant system.
Scenario 1. The hotel chain consists of geographically distributed hotels. A centralized accumulative loyalty program needs to be implemented.
When issuing a key that is also a loyalty card, the guest's points amount is recorded on the card. When this card is read at another hotel, the PMS adds new points to the existing ones and re-writes the points to the card. When spending points, PMS deducts the required amount of points recorded on the card. The solution eliminates the need to deploy a centralized loyalty program server and provide high-speed access to it.
The advantages of the integration method utilizing tracks include the independence of internal hotel systems from each other's availability. So, in case of a restaurant system, even if the PMS server is unavailable, the bill can be closed and subsequently synchronized with the PMS. In addition, as you can see in Scenario 2 with the restaurant system, the bill will be closed faster, since the restaurant system does not need to wait for a response from the hotel system, which, for example, may be busy with a night audit and is not available for accruals at that moment.