From Armin Ebrahimi, CEO, ShoCard

The advent of the smartphone has dramatically changed the way we interact with the physical world. From commerce and banking to air travel, mobile allows us to carry out an increasing number of transactions digitally.

However, one of the key challenges in the digital age is identity management: making sure you have the right person completing each transaction. Complicating the situation is growing demand from users for more control over their digital interactions.

At ShoCard our aim is to create a single digital ID where the user is the one in control, and that information is carried with the user. They decide who they want to share their identity with, ensuring privacy.

ShoCard believes that the solution to this digital ID lies with the blockchain, the technology that launched Bitcoin. Blockchain is a publicly shared database that actually is not owned by any one person, or any one entity. Anyone can have copies of that record and you’re able to actually access the record that’s stored on the blockchain and use that information to validate transactions. The more is it used and validated by various parties, the stronger the identity, building a web of trust.

While blockchain technology will take some time to develop fully and standards to be agreed on across the industry, we believe the blockchain promises to enable a far more secure identity solution while making it easier for the passenger.

Armin Ebrahimi, CEO, ShoCard

 

While Bitcoin uses the blockchain to validate financial transactions, we believe we can use it to create a single travel token to validate identity everywhere and at anytime. Together with SITA, we have developed a mobile traveler app to demonstrate the functionality of a mobile single travel token that enables passengers to be verified by an airline, airport or government anywhere in the world.  

In terms of the demo, once travelers have booked their trips, they download the Traveler App, scan their passport and take a self-portrait or ‘selfie’. Later when checking-in at the airport travelers then securely presents their information, via the Traveler App with a Quick Response (QR) code. At this point, travelers may be asked to present their physical passport and other booking information for additional verification purposes.

If at a kiosk, a new image is taken for facial comparison with the selfie or the agent can verify the selfie against the traveler in their presence. If the traveler’s identity is confirmed, the digital traveler identification is certified and a single travel token is issued.

Once travelers have their single travel token, they can use the travel token to pass through any checkpoint equipped to process the Digital Traveler Identity App.

At a checkpoint, the user simply presents a new QR code issued at check-in to an agent, or uses a kiosk to scan that code and take another image of the traveler. The travel token is verified for authenticity and origination. The certified selfie of the user is then compared with the new image taken for facial recognition. If the information matches, the traveler can proceed.

The only information shared by travelers is what they chooses to pass on to the agent via the Traveler App, and this only happens when the agent or station does the authentication and verification.

The future of air travel will depend on traveler convenience and the security of knowing who is passing through each point of the travel process. While blockchain technology will take some time to develop fully and standards to be agreed on across the industry, we believe the blockchain promises to enable a far more secure identity solution while making it easier for the passenger. 

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