The first 2024 Indicio Identity Community Meetup saw Michael Zuriek of SITA and Heather Dahl of Indicio analyze the rapid digital transformation in travel and hospitality driven by the deployment of digital travel credentials.

Watch the recording here.

By Tim Spring

The Indicio Identity Community Meetup kicked off its first discussion of 2024 with Michael Zuriek, Head of Innovation for Digital Travel at SITA, and Heather Dahl, CEO of Indicio, diving into the ways verifiable credential technology will transform the experience of travel for everyone — passengers, airlines, airports, and governments.

First, some context. Indicio and SITA are partners who successfully developed and deployed a Digital Travel Credential (DTC) following International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

Why is this a revolutionary technology for travel?

A paradigm shift is coming: Seamless travel

For years, countries have been storing traveler data in centralized databases and using complex agreements and policies to share that information to make travel possible. It’s why there are so many hoops travelers have to jump through when crossing borders.

Now, with a Digital Travel Credential (DTC) that follows ICAO’s global standard for storing identity data on personal mobile devices, there is no need for this complex, cumbersome system to facilitate border crossing. 

Instead, the DTC allows security to simply scan the traveler’s digital information, in a fraction of the time of using a manual, paper-based system. And it provides a way to pre-authorize travel and check in before the traveler leaves home.

We have been conditioned to wait; but automation can severely reduce the bottlenecks in airports.

Dahl described using a DTC to pass through Aruba’s immigration as “almost magical.”: The system was so efficient and seamless that the border guard had waved her through before she was even aware of what was happening. The DTC allowed her paperwork and identity to be verified ahead of time and a biometric scan at the airport checked that she was the correct individual tied to that travel information. 

Every traveler to Aruba will soon be able to have the same experience as the island implements DTC-enabled technology.

By using a DTC for all the touchpoints at an airport where identity needs to be checked, passengers get a much quicker experience, while airports, airlines, and governments benefit from the verified data, simplified privacy compliance, and enhanced security that comes from decentralized identity.

Airports have already invested significantly into biometrics when Covid hit, we could see rapid adoption of the DTC as some of the hardware is already in place.

The EU, US, IATA, and other governments and industry organizations are all currently working on bringing biometrics and digital travel together. Because Indicio and SITA’s DTC works on any airport system, deployment of the DTC will be rapid. The DTC makes biometric technology work much more efficiently and effectively, while simplifying data privacy compliance. And, on a practical level, as airports are an industry of fragmented IT systems, ease of adoption and integration is a critical value proposition. As many airports have biometric investments, the DTC is an easy way to capitalize on these investments and improve processes. 

These are just a few of takeaways from the conversation; if you have time, I highly recommend you watch the full recording which can be found here. Get in touch with Indicio today to get the DTC for your business.

Join us for the next meeting of the Indicio Identity Community Meetup, where we’ll be speaking with Klaeri Schelhowe, Executive Director of Trust Alliance New Zealand and their Digital Farm Wallet Pilot Project a tool that enables farmers, farm enterprises, and industry organizations to manage critical farm data in an efficient and secure way.