Your Android phone can now double as a hotel room key thanks to Google Wallet

College IDs sitting next to an Android phone with the Google Wallet app logo
(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Wallet now lets you store digital hotel key cards on your Android phone, replacing physical keys and extra hotel apps.
  • You can add your digital key via the hotel’s app, website, or email instructions by tapping "Add to Google Wallet" and signing in.
  • The Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the first to adopt Google Wallet for digital keys.

Google Wallet now allows you to store digital hotel key cards on your Android phone, eliminating the need for physical keys and additional hotel apps.

Google recently updated Wallet's Help page to reflect the addition of support for hotel keys, as spotted by 9to5Google. With participating hotels, you can now store your digital room key right in the app. This not only means no more physical cards but also lets you access keycard-protected areas of the hotel with just your phone.

Traditional hotel key cards have been the standard for room access, but they come with their own set of problems. They're easy to lose, which can lead to annoying and sometimes expensive issues for guests when it's time to check out.

To add a digital hotel key to Google Wallet, simply go to the hotel’s app, website, or follow instructions sent by email. Just tap "Add to Google Wallet," sign in securely, and your digital key will be saved in the app.

Google Wallet uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the same tech behind "tap to pay" cards. This lets you speed up transactions by just holding your phone near a terminal. But the app isn't just for payments. If you have cards with scannable barcodes, the app can display them too, so you don't have to carry the physical card around.

Meanwhile, since the iOS 15 update , Apple Wallet has allowed iPhone users to store digital hotel keys. Now, Google Wallet brings this convenience to Android users.

However, while Google Wallet offers a great solution for digital hotel keys, it’s not yet available everywhere. Hotels need to actively integrate with Wallet for this feature to work. Right now, this adoption is still in the early stages, so not all hotels offer this option yet.

The Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the first to adopt Wallet for digital keys. Although this feature depends on individual hotels joining in, its debut at such a prominent hotel hints at a big change in the hospitality industry.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.