18 March 2022
Back in December, we announced that Eurostar had begun a trial of SmartCheck at St Pancras International railway station in London. SmartCheck is a contactless fast-track service that enables Eurostar passengers to complete secure ticket verification and UK exit check on their mobile devices prior to travel.
To share the results of the trial, this week we hosted an industry event with Eurostar, InnovateUK and Entrust, also providing attendees with a demonstration of how the solution works.
Attendees spanning all areas of travel and rail came to see firsthand how iProov Genuine Presence Assurance® can be used to improve national and international travel while balancing user experience and security.
The speakers included Gareth Williams from Eurostar, Andrew Bud, CEO of iProov, and Gord Wilson and Jon Payne from Entrust, who explained how the project had evolved.
The project started back in July 2020 but was put on hold several times due to COVID19. The pandemic actually helped to highlight the need for a contactless travel experience and provided further insights into how a solution could and should be delivered.
For everyone involved, improving user experience and managing data protection were at the core of the project. Each presenter talked about how the trial puts the passenger in control. SmartCheck is optional for passengers and is also compliant with data protection and GDPR.
From a user experience point of view, the streamlining of travel transactions frees up the Eurostar team to focus on providing a faster customer service experience that focuses on connection rather than the exchange of tickets.
The delegates then received their Eurostar ticket to Paris! Unfortunately, this was only a fake ticket for use in the demonstration. They registered their tickets, passports, and face biometrics before heading down to the SmartCheck counter to see it in action.
The feedback was very positive, with many commenting that they can see how much simpler the ticket transaction process will be from their living rooms. The excitement of the fast-track biometrics line allowing for quick boarding was also highlighted.
To close the event, Elanor Forester from Eurostar shared the positive and negative results and insights from users. It is no surprise that responses were consistently high and positive about future use, with 86% of users likely to opt for SmartCheck in the future.
SmartCheck is a solution developed by Eurostar, iProov and Entrust that enables passengers to complete secure ticket verification and UK exit check on their mobile devices prior to travel. Passengers scan their identity documentation using their iPhones before arriving at the station, completing a brief biometric face scan to verify that they are the genuine holder of the identity document. The biometric face verification, which uses iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology, is then linked to their e-ticket, with confirmation sent to the passenger.
On arrival at St Pancras International station, passengers proceed through a dedicated SmartCheck lane. A brief face scan at the ticket gate verifies that the customer has completed the ticket check, with no sharing of paper or electronic tickets needed. A second face scan at the UK Exit Check allows Eurostar to verify that the passenger has completed their passport information, again replacing the need for travelers to hand over documentation.
SmartCheck aims to revolutionize the travel experience by making it completely effortless for the passenger, while maximizing privacy and increasing reassurance through improved security. The aim is to eliminate queues and expedite the boarding process to further improve customer satisfaction, especially for frequent travelers.