Digital travel credentials create frictionless, accurate data verification while preserving data privacy at every touchpoint across the traveler’s journey

By Helen Garneau

The way we travel has changed a lot in recent years. Travelers expect a seamless travel experience from before they get on the airplane to their final destination.

Today, at the Queen Beatrix Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba, the government of Aruba, SITA and Indicio, announced the successful trial  of a new mobile application that enables seamless travel to Aruba.

The app — Aruba Happy One Pass (Aruba HOP) — allows an air traveler to  to create a digital travel credential (DTC) from their passport. The DTC allows the passenger to pre-populate their Embarkation and Debarkation card (ED card) as required for travel to Aruba. The traveler can use the selective disclosure features of the credential to select the specific information they need to share by law to clear immigration — and, critically,  they can do all this before they step foot on the aircraft.

The ability of immigration to verify all this information as authentic and uniquely belonging to the traveler streamlines arrival in Aruba. Pre-filling information directly from a passport ensures greater accuracy and less error, while a simple scan frees travelers from long waiting lines.

Dangui Oduber, Minister of tourism, public health, and sports for Aruba, described the trial as the result of Aruba’s relentless focus on innovation backed by a strategy of seeking collaborative partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders. He said he wants the entire hospitality sector on Aruba to be able to take advantage of the digital technologies behind AHOP to provide visitors to the island with a superlative, “seamless” travel experience.

The Aruba HOP trial resulted in a 64% reduction of the manual entry of passport information into the ED card website, and had an overall 100% error-free clearance rate of participating travelers, meaning the information contained in trial participants’s ED card was digitally verified by immigration authorities to be accurate for all participants.

Here are some of the other ways this app adds value to the overall travel experience:

Travel can be stressful, especially when it comes to managing travel documents and clearing immigration. With a digital travel credential that clears immigration before boarding, travelers can have a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made contactless interactions a priority in all aspects of life, including travel. This app offers a contactless solution to clear immigration. Travelers can create a digital travel credential using their verifiable credentials, eliminating the need for physical documents exchange.

Verifiable credentials are secure and tamper-proof, making them an ideal solution for digital travel credentials. Any attempt to alter the information in the credential breaks the credential.  This means border protection can quickly clear pre-approved  travelers with the assurance that their documents are authentic.

Governments worldwide are implementing strict data protection regulations. This app ensures that travelers’ personal information and travel details are secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. This feature provides peace of mind for travelers, knowing that their data is safe and protected.

The next step
Aruba HOP represents a leap forward in digital travel, one that starts with the need for data privacy and delivers the seamless verification that will transform our experience of travel.

Built with the highest level of interoperability using open standards and open source technologies from Hyperledger Foundation, the verifiable credential technology powering the  DTC can be easily integrated into any existing hardware and technology infrastructure.

As the world continues to adapt to the changes brought by new mobile and biometric technologies, digital solutions such as digital travel credentials and verifiable credentials are the easiest way to ensure verification of quality data, a smooth traveler experience, and a privacy-protected method for managing travel.