Keycafe’s 6 Different Authorization Methods — Choose The Workflow That’s Best for You

Got keys? We’ve got solutions.

Whatever business you’re in, chances are that you have keys—maybe to cars, offices, hotel rooms, short-term rentals, or something else—that you need to keep track of. Whether you have one key or thousands, Keycafe helps ensure that only people you trust, be they staff, contractors, tenants, or customers, have access to them.

In a nutshell, the Keycafe system works like this: Businesses store keys in one of our modular SmartBoxes, which can expand to hold up to hundreds of keys. All keys are tagged with a unique and identifiable Keycafe NFC fob. Users can pick up the keys they need (and only the keys they need) by authenticating themselves using one of several methods.

Every time a key is picked up or dropped off at a SmartBox, the time and location of the transaction are logged. Since you and your team members always know who has which key, you’ll save time, worry, and the frustration of having to track down missing keys.

Because every business is different, Keycafe’s software is designed to be flexible. You can choose whichever of our six different authentication methods best suits you and your team and customize our software to your unique workflow needs.

6 Authentication Methods

Every time you create a new user, you can choose how you want them to authenticate themselves. Methods can be changed and updated as workflows and user needs change, so you’re never locked into one specific method.

For Staff and Trusted, Regular Users

Access Code

Access codes are enabled by a business’s administrator when new users are created. They can be customized or randomly generated, and can be changed or revoked at any time by the administrator. This gives the user access to any key they’ve been granted permission for in a business’s network of SmartBoxes.

Phone Number

Users can authenticate themselves using the phone number they registered their account with. For extra security, the business’s administrator can enable 2-factor authentication, which will require users to enter either a personal PIN or a code sent via SMS after their phone number. This requires a little extra time, of course, but it’s not much different than logging into an online bank account. Plus phone numbers are easy to remember, which makes this method convenient for most users.

Mobile App

The mobile app method eliminates the need to memorize access codes and PINs. Users simply log into the Keycafe mobile app and select the key they want to pick up to unlock the SmartBox bin where it’s kept.

For users with access to a large number of keys, the Keycafe mobile app is the most effective way for them to view the status and history of all keys they have permission for. The app allows users to quickly search and pick up a key without interacting with the SmartBox directly.

User Badge

A User Badge eliminates the need to memorize codes or carry a phone. Users simply tap the fob or badge at the SmartBox scanner to authenticate themselves. The SmartBox screen reveals the keys they have been given access to and the user can then select the keys they wish to pick up.

The Keycafe badge can either be a physical fob or a sticker that can be placed on a staff ID card, business card, or any other object that users regularly carry. User badges are ideal for staff that access small numbers of keys regularly.

Key Code

Key codes are codes associated with a key rather than a user. They can be used by anyone who knows the code, regardless of permission, to pick up a key. This is useful for workflows where quick and simple key exchanges are desired.

They are also perfect for one time pickups when a fob is not attached to the key, such as customer after-hours vehicle pickup at an auto dealership.

For One-Time Guests or Visitors

Booking Code

For hotels, short-term rentals, car rental companies, and other one-time uses, nothing beats the convenience of our one-time booking. Booking codes are sent to users via email or SMS or accessed in the Keycafe app. Users can use this code to pick up the associated key during the time frame set by the creator of the booking. They are a one-time use and expire at the end of the booking period.

Personalize Your Workflow with Custom Alerts, Time Frames, and Partner Integrations

Depending on your situation, you may want to customize your workflows for extra efficiency. Keycafe offers a few ways to do that.

Programmable alerts can be set and personalized by administrators for particular keys or key groups. They’ll automatically send a notification by SMS or email to a key’s administrator, user, or anyone else within the organization after a specified amount of time (minutes, hours, or days) after a key is picked up or a specified amount of time after the end of a booking or shift. A common use is reminding employees at the end of a shift to return their keys, thereby preventing missing keys for the next shift.

Time shifts let administrators limit a user’s key access to a pre-specified time frame, such as normal business hours or a night shift. Time shifts can be applied any time a user is granted access to a key or group of keys.

Finally, Keycafe is designed to integrate seamlessly with a growing list of partner apps including Airbnb, Fleetio, Guesty, and RentHub. If you’re using one of these apps to manage properties or vehicles, you can automate booking creation, access code generation, and communication with guests/staff.

Want to learn how Keycafe can streamline your business with a custom workflow? Contact our sales team today to request a product demo.


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