Woman at airport self check-in kiosk

Contactless Identification Readers Creating a Safer Customer Journey — With Side Benefits

There are few places in the world as congested as airports and event venues. Hundreds, if not thousands of passengers and patrons line up in queue near one another as their identification, documentation and ticketing are physically verified by an agent. Almost two years ago, airports, metro and bus stations, subways and stadiums were the first to implement social distancing policies and to take advantage of the previous decades’ drive towards self-service technology.

For some this was a new start, but for many the move towards a fast and frictionless experience had already been implemented with the installation of airport self-check-in kiosks, self-service passport gates and automated car rental collection, to name a few applications. This transition picked up speed with the pandemic, as operators and users alike saw the significant benefits of maintaining social distancing and retaining physical control of their own documents.

Contactless RFID barcode and document readers allow passengers to scan their own passport or government ID at entry. The resulting high-resolution image is displayed on the ticket agent’s local screen. The agent is then able to compare the person in front of them to the printed passport image — all without the document leaving the owner’s hands and while maintaining a social distance. There is never any physical transfer between the ticket agent and the identification holder. The use of self-boarding gates fitted with contactless 2D barcode readers even allows passengers to board themselves, removing any need for the passenger and agent to come into direct contact. The result is a simpler, safer and more secure traveler experience and faster processing of passengers or ticket-goers.

Fast-forward almost two years later. The cost, operational safety and customer satisfaction benefits of the technology are transcending the transportation and ticketing industry to include multiple other use cases, including retail, financial services, healthcare, gaming and hospitality industries — basically, anywhere where it is important to Know Your Customer (KYC).

Some examples of additional benefits:

Customer Satisfaction and Safety

  • Reduced transaction time speeds the process and helps eliminate waiting in lines
  • Contactless technology ensures a safer customer experience
  • Advanced security measures protect customer data and prevent fraud

Operational Efficiencies

  • Facilitates regulatory compliance such as KYC
  • Increases accuracy — over 50 document-specific forensic tests are applied to eliminate manual screening errors
  • Easy to use, requiring little employee training
  • Seamless integration into multiple legacy, current and future ticketing technologies, with all reads taken from a single point of presentation in less than half a second

Cost Savings for Travel Operators

  • Extremely cost-effective, affordable technology
  • Greatly reduces transaction time, resulting in faster processing and higher customer throughput (i.e., more customers processed in less time)
  • Requires less manual interaction by employees, saving on labor and training costs
  • Eliminates financial loss due to fraud and non-compliance
  • Easy to use, requiring little time to train employees

As travelers and consumers begin to resume pre-pandemic activities and plans, companies must shift focus to the anticipated “new normal” and address customer convenience, comfort and safety. Part of that focus is establishing the safest, contact-free environment as possible. What these companies are discovering is that the changes they make to limit physical interaction and increase public safety, have side benefits that benefit both consumers and operators alike, including an enhanced customer experience, streamlined operations and ultimately, cost controls that result in a better bottom line.

Learn more about identity fraud protection KYC.

Learn more information about secure verification of identities, payments and tickets.

Raj has over twenty years of experience and responsibility in global sales, business development and product innovation of data capture systems,  primarily for ticketing, credential reading and recently in the field of biometric solutions in the Airline and Airport environment. Prior to joining HID Global, he held several management and sales positions at Pressac Inc, where he had a secondment for several years in the US within the Automotive sector and as a Product Design Engineer at Unisys in Scotland. Raj holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.