A DTC-based travel credential creates a single check in experience for an entire trip

By Yuri Feliciano

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently held its first post-pandemic,  in-person meeting for IATA’s One ID working group in Montreal, with airlines, airports, governments, and other international organizations and companies involved in air travel presenting and discussing new digital identity solutions for the future of air travel. Indicio attended with SITA to demonstrate how its DTC-enabled travel credential transforms the entire passenger experience from home to airport to hotel.

Indicio began working with SITA, the world’s largest supplier of IT solutions to the air transport sector, at the start of the pandemic: the goal, to create a privacy preserving way for travelers to prove their Covid test or vaccination status so that they could safely enter countries—and do so without these countries having to create complex, direct integrations with health providers or rely on third parties for data management. 

Working with the Government of Aruba, the project successfully deployed open source decentralized identity technologies to create the Aruba Health Pass. This grew in sophistication to handle more complex use cases: Passengers in the US and Canada were able to get their Covid test from their health providers, combine it with air travel requirements, and check in and get approval for travel to Aruba—all before arriving at the airport.

This breakthrough laid the foundation for a big leap forward in the digitization of travel—a privacy-preserving verifiable digital credential based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s protocol and standards for a Digital Travel Credential (DTC), which sets out the stages to creating a full digital and tamper-proof  equivalent of a physical passport, something that would dramatically simplify check in and border control and transform the passenger experience (in other words, eliminate long airport lines). 

Together at the IATA working group meeting SITA, the Government of Aruba, and Indicio demonstrated how they implemented the DTC allowing travelers to create a digital version of their passport that could be used not only for check in and border control electronic travel authorization, but also for expedited check in at hotels and other tourist venues. 

By implementing an Indicio DTC-based verifiable credential, a hotel will get only the required passport and connected data—with guest consent— before their guests arrive, streamlining the check-in process, saving guests time, and enabling staff to deliver a more personalized service. With the addition of biometric verification controls, travelers will be able to directly check into their hotel before they leave home for the airport. 

The Indicio DTC will also be able to support hotels to securely use mobile keys — room keys on mobile devices — to provide guests with a more home-like experience. These kinds of personalized interactions are made possible by verifiable credentials using DIDComm, a communications protocol for secure, peer-to-peer communication where each interaction is uniquely encrypted. DIDComm enables rich, personalized interaction and will help hotels deliver private, secure, digital concierge-like relationships with guests.   

These are the kinds of processes and services enabled when verifiable digital credentials create Trusted Digital Ecosystems. Indicio and SITA are leading the market in digitizing the check-in process for airlines and using digital wallets to generate one-time, secure digital versions of passports that preserve passenger privacy.

Learn more about how Indicio can help you adopt the DTC for your organization here.