Iconic Identity Trends—Enhancing the Border Crossing Experience

Over the past year, many countries and border authorities have either installed automated passport control systems or implemented pilot projects to speed up the identity verification processes without compromising security. There is no doubt that this trend will continue to accelerate in 2020.

fingerprint being scanned

While electronic gates are the visible part of this drive to improve the traveler’s experience, there are technologies required behind-the-scene that enable the process. One example is the electronic passport. There are still many countries that have yet to implement e-passports, and we will see more of them migrating from their current machine-readable booklets to electronic documents in the coming year. With this migration also comes the implementation of new systems and processes to manage the lifecycle of these electronic documents. These systems are always evolving to face the challenges of the digital age by becoming more modular and connectable, enabling them to interface with a wider range of technologies.

However, security remains paramount, and biometrics is increasingly seen as the answer to the challenge of improving standards. In order to provide convenience at the border there needs to be a robust control of the enrollment and renewal processes. Fingerprint biometrics are being used to check that documents are issued and delivered to the correct applicant. There is also increasing use of fingerprint technology to secure entry/exit processes to ensure that visa conditions are followed. Finally, we think border crossings typically occur at sophisticated airports and ports, but in reality, they frequently happen at remote outposts. Security at these locations can be supported by mobile fingerprint units, which not only authenticate travelers but also perform watch list and other security checks.

Learn more about how HID is delivering physical and mobile identity documents to protect borders and empower citizens.