(BUSINESS WIRE) — SICPA, in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other industry partners, supported the first travel experience using digital identity, streamlining the process from booking a flight to border crossing at arrival. The demonstration successfully took place on a journey from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino with British Airways and was presented at the IATA World Passenger Symposium in Chicago on 25 October 2023.
The London to Rome journey serves as a proof of concept (PoC) of a project incubated in the IATA Innovation Lab since 2022, where SICPA provided its innovative technology for the creation and issuance of verifiable credentials (any document, object, or data that proves the identity of a person) through its digital identity platform, as part of a wider IATA project called “Identity Management in Distribution”. Other PoC industry partners include Accenture, Amadeus, Australian Border Force, AWS, Branchspace, British Airways, IDnow, Aeroporti di Roma, Trip.com and Verchaska.
“This strategic collaboration shows our strong dedication for innovation, and for pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the aviation and travel industry. It underpins our commitment to a future travel experience that is digital, efficient, biometrically secured, and leverages a digital identity approach. With this project, SICPA can further strengthen its commitment to digital identity protection, while respecting the rights of every citizen and in particular the protection of confidential data and privacy,” said Catherine Fankhauser, Head of Market Segment – Identity at SICPA.
“Thank you to SICPA for their collaboration in demonstrating the first fully integrated digital identity travel experience, from shopping for flights to arrival. Our goal has always been a future of travel that’s fully digital and secured with biometric identification. Though we’ve had the technology for individual steps, bringing them together has been a challenge. Today, with the support of our partners, we’ve shown it’s achievable. This is a significant stride towards simpler and smoother travel experiences in the future,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security.
Key highlights of the digital travel experience and PoC include:
Creation of a Portable Digital Identity: Digital identity “portability” gives people a way to create a single set of digital credentials – any document, object, or data (e.g., membership, etc) that proves the identity of a person – in a “Digital Identity Wallet”, which is required for travel.
Passengers can create a secure digital passport version in a few simple steps: scanning their passport with a mobile device and verifying identity through a biometric liveness check to guarantee that the holder is a human being, ensuring the link between the ID document with the rightful owner. The tamper-proof digital credential is stored in the digital wallet of the travellers and can be provided to third-party verifiers to have access to different types of services (e.g., flight booking, boarding, etc…). For privacy purposes, travellers can opt for selective disclosure, revealing only specific digital passport attributes as needed. Therefore, passengers have a full control on their personal data.
Other applications stemming from digital identity in travel: personalised offers (i.e., loyalty card and offers), simplified booking (streamlined e-ticket generation and journey detail), seamless travel requirements verification (pre-journey processes to confirm travel requirements), and simplified check-ins (enhancing the check-in process by sharing necessary digital documents with the airline), ensuring a full contactless airport experience. See IATA’s video
About IATA-SICPA partnership
Late 2022, SICPA was selected by IATA to provide its innovative digital identity technology as part of IATA’s “Identity Management in Distribution” project. The aim of this project is to establish an industry-wide approach to identifying and authenticating all parties in the airline distribution chain, including both accredited and non-accredited agents of airlines and other entities. The project was successfully put in production on 8 September 2023 with SICPA’s digital identity platform as a critical component of the solution and is still running today. The 25 October proof of concept presented in Chicago constitutes a first milestone.