6 December 2021
iProov, the world leader in biometric face authentication technology, and Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, have announced that their trial of a contactless fast-track service, SmartCheck, is now live.
SmartCheck enables passengers to complete secure ticket verification and UK exit check on their mobile devices prior to travel. As part of the trial, Business Premier and Carte Blanche ticket holders will be able to 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.
The concept is being brought to train travel as part of the First of a Kind 2020 competition run by Innovate UK, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). The initiative supports research, development and innovation in the UK rail industry. At this time, the trial involves a limited number of invited passengers and is focused on the check-in and exit control processes operated by Eurostar at St Pancras Station and not the UK or Schengen Entry controls.
“This secure, convenient and privacy-protecting technology will make life easier and safer for travelers around the world,” said Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO, iProov. “The days of rooting around in your bag for your passport or hoping that your phone battery doesn’t run out before you show your e-ticket at the gate are over. It’s effortless and convenient while also delivering the reassurance and security that travelers expect.”
“We are committed to working closely with governments to introduce new tools and technology that streamline the check in and border process,” said Gareth Williams, Strategy Director and Company Secretary, Eurostar. “Face biometric technology, which we start trialing today, is a fast and contactless solution which will enable secure passenger checks to take place more efficiently and provide a seamless start to the Eurostar customer journey.”
“Our investment into the First of a Kind competition, supporting ingenious inventions on our rail network, is driving real-world innovations as we build the railway of tomorrow,” said Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary. “The brand new contactless travel technology from iProov and Eurostar is a window into the future of border control, of smoother, more seamless and convenient journeys.”
iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology enables organizations to securely verify the identity of consenting online individuals in a way that is completely effortless for the user. A brief, multi-dimensional biometric face scan combines light, time and space to verify that a remote user is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating in real time. This highly secure process, supported by iProov’s active threat management system, protects against spoof attacks and can be used on any smartphone, tablet or computer with a user-facing camera.
The trial was developed in close partnership with Eurostar and WorldReach Software, now part of global identity and data security company, Entrust. All personal data is processed in compliance with GDPR law, with full passenger consent. It is not shared with any party outside the trial and is deleted within six hours of the user travelling.
iProov technology is in use throughout the world, with customers including the US Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, the NHS, the Australian Taxation Office, the Singapore Government and many banks and enterprises.