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Digital Transformation

Face scans introduce passport-free international travel

Even international travel is going paperless.

For the first time, Eurostar passengers will be able to travel between major European countries and the UK without showing their passports. All they’d need is a quick face scan and they’re away.

British biometric authentication specialists iProov recently announced that their technology will be deployed to improve the speed and safety of train travel. The system, approved and funded by the UK government, will use a “biometric corridor” to allow passengers to walk through ticket checks and passport control without having to hand over any physical documentation.

This is the next iteration of this kind of technology. Similar systems, such as those at certain airports, require a passenger to scan their passport and their face at the same time. This new system will eliminate that step. Prior to travelling, customers would scan their ID documentation and their faces using their smartphone – kiosks at the station would allow passengers without smartphones to complete the same process. Then once they arrive at St Pancras, their face is scanned and verified against the uploaded image.

This is a world first. iProov is enabling train passengers to choose to travel without tickets or documentation in a way that is safe and secure.

What started off as a project to reduce travel congestion and keep passengers moving is now going to help keep people safe in a pandemic world through social distancing and contactless interaction.

“It’s yet another example of how opt-in facial verification is making life easier and safer for people around the world.

Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO, iProov

Not only will this make Eurostar travel more convenient – cutting queues and speeding-up boarding – but in a time of concern regarding physical contact and the spread of Coronavirus, this system could help passengers feel safer on their journey.

The system is set to launch by the end of March 2021.

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