August 9 2023
Each year, Eurostar faces the challenge of processing 11 million people through a space no larger than 3 tennis courts – a task further complicated by manual ticket checks and UK exit check delays.
iProov and Eurostar have been working tirelessly on a solution that reduces processing time and creates a seamless user experience for travelers – which has now officially been launched under the name SmartCheck.
As Andrew Bud (iProov’s Founder and CEO) articulates: “this is the first time remote enrollment and facial verification have been used in the railway industry anywhere in the world”.
SmartCheck enables contactless travel at London St Pancras International Station by utilizing cutting-edge biometric facial and remote identity verification technology. Eligible travelers can now use a dedicated lane that replaces the traditional manual check-in and border exit check, by making your face your ticket.
SmartCheck is the future of border crossing, enabling travelers to complete the ticket and UK exit checks carried out by Eurostar staff in the station in less than 2 seconds.
In this article, we summarize what to expect with the Eurostar SmartCheck process, explain how the technology works, and bring to life the many advantages of this innovative solution.
In short, Smartcheck enables you to travel without needing a physical ticket– you breeze through the gate using your face!
How does this work? Eligible customers departing from London St Pancras can pre-onboard themselves using their mobile device from any convenient location.
You upload a picture of your passport, complete a brief facial scan to verify that you are the genuine holder of that document, and you’re good to go.
This process links your passport, your face, and your ticket together securely and effortlessly. Doing so ensures that on the day of travel, you can simply show up at Eurostar St. Pancras International station and walk through the designated SmartCheck biometric corridor rather than present tickets.
iProov’s national-grade security technology works behind the scenes to defend against spoofs and other threats, such as presentation attacks and digital injection attacks – ensuring that only the intended user can pass through the dedicated lane.
Essentially, the solution works in two parts: remote enrollment on the user’s device before travel, and then physical access on-site. The result is a contactless, fast, and secure journey that enhances the overall passenger experience.
Ultimately, this means passengers avoid manual checks of tickets and passports by Eurostar staff and enter via a facial verification system. All that’s left to do is go via baggage check and pass through the French Border Control before enjoying your Eurostar journey.
This process ensures exit checks and ticket checks are done in one easy step rather than queuing at each point – it does not eliminate them. With SmartCheck, technology is doing the work, ensuring maximum convenience for the end-user. Additionally, SmartCheck is completely optional. It’s there for those that choose to opt in.
Let’s breakdown the Eurostar Smartcheck workflow into a few simple steps:
Note: The identity verification process can be completed in a matter of minutes at the station. However, we’d recommend downloading the app and completing the identity verification process at least one day before your scheduled departure – at a time when you have a good internet connection. This ensures you are completely prepared for your journey prior to travel.
Travelers can remotely verify without regard to cognitive ability, nationality, or ethnicity. There’s no need for special hardware; travelers can verify themselves on any device with a user-facing camera. However, in accordance with GDPR regulations, SmartCheck cannot be used by children under 16.
SmartCheck is currently available from London St Pancras to all routes covered by Eurostar: Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
The iProov.me app uses the latest encryption techniques and pseudonymizes data, capturing only the necessary information to verify your identity.
Your verified information is securely stored in your smartphone, and it’s only shared with ticket gates and passport control systems when you travel. It will then be stored for 48 hours maximum and deleted after travel. All personal data is processed in compliance with GDPR, with full passenger consent.
Eurostar Smartcheck is entirely optional – travelers do not need to use the expedited process if they do not wish to.
From the technical side, SmartCheck incorporates iProov’s Biometric Solution Suite using Biometric checkpoints and facial verification, alongside Inverid’s ReadID NFC technology, and Entrust’s Identity Verification as a Service (IDVaaS) technology for identity orchestration and digital travel credential (DTC) management.
Eurostar SmartCheck provides a glimpse into the future of contactless border technology. If you have further queries about physical access solutions enabled by biometric facial verification technology, you can contact us here or directly book an iProov demo today.