New contactless technology for Eurostar aims to speed up the check-in process

New contactless technology for Eurostar aims to speed up the check-in process

Eurostar passengers departing from London can avoid manual checks of tickets and passports by UK officials through a facial recognition system.

The technology is aimed at easing congestion and its installation follows on from a successful trial which took place in early 2022.

The technology, called SmartCheck is a contactless fast-track facial biometric check-in system that is designed to allow passengers to go through only one passport check rather than the current two. In order for a passenger to participate, they must download an app before they travel and scan their documents and verify their face and ticket.

The result is that the documents for travel are stored before travel allowing for a contactless and ticketless travel experience. Currently bags are still being scanned by security staff and French border officials are continuing to check passports.

Eurostar has struggled recently with queues at its St Pancras international terminal  as it was revealed that it is taking nearly 30% longer to process passengers before Brexit and COVID-19.

Gwendoline Cazenave, Eurostar Group’s CEO said: “Providing a seamless station experience to our customers is a priority for Eurostar: we continue looking for solutions to increase capacity in stations and simplify the passengers’ flows.

“SmartCheck in St Pancras International station is a solution for a faster and seamless check-in experience. By introducing SmartCheck, we become the first rail travel operator to adopt biometric face verification. This innovation will enhance our customer departure journey, which is crucial to provide Eurostar’s unique travel experience.”

Andrew Bud, founder, and CEO, iProov who has developed the Smartcheck technology, said: “The rollout of SmartCheck in Eurostar’s Business Premier check-in at London St Pancras is significant because it clearly demonstrates how facial biometric technology can be used to manage border control in a smarter and more efficient way, to benefit both organizations and passengers at scale.

“By creating a biometric corridor, we are moving security checks away from the station, saving precious time and space at the border, streamlining the boarding process to one that’s far faster, more convenient, less crowded and stressful, yet even more secure.”

Photo Credit: Istock

Video courtesy of Eurostar/iProov

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