ePassport appeal drives Gemalto biometric passports market expansion
Electronic passports incorporate a secure microprocessor that stores personal data and digital photo
Thanks to enhanced security and the faster, more convenient border crossings they facilitate, ePassports are a major draw for governments worldwide, now representing 57% of passports in circulation.
This momentum has seen Gemalto, a global provider of digital security solutions, expand its ePassport technologies to over 30 different countries.
Gemalto supplies complete travel documents and key components such as polycarbonate data pages, visible and hidden document security features, electronic passport covers and ICAO-compliant embedded software. Gemalto is also making an active contribution to the definition of international ePassport standards.
Introduced in 2005, the ePassport delivers enhanced fraud protection by incorporating a secure microprocessor that stores the holder’s personal data and digital photo. Electronic passports include a standardised electronic portrait of the holder for facial recognition, which opens the door to a comprehensive range of automated, self-service airport services for passengers. This extends from check-in through to immigration control and boarding, resulting in an enhanced experience on arrival and departure.
The future ePassport
A new generation of ePassport will digitally store travel information such as eVisas and entry/exit stamps to support even more efficient immigration control.
Other key trends in travel documentation identified by Gemalto include swift migration to tamper-proof polycarbonate data pages, which dramatically reduce the risk of fraud.
Gemalto also recognises rapid growth in secure digital identity credentials where sensitive ePassport data is stored on the holder’s smartphone to create a secure companion to the physical passport, making life easier for travellers.
In addition, smart borders/smart airports are emerging at a faster pace. Combined with the hundreds of millions of ePassports now in circulation and a strong push behind biometrics (particularly facial recognition), they offer travellers quick and secure cross-border movement.
“Over the past decade, Gemalto has helped develop some of the world’s most secure and attractive ePassports, including landmark projects in Algeria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the USA.” said Youzec Kurp SVP ID document solutions, government business unit for Gemalto. “Our success is based on close collaboration with partners, ensuring that the unique requirements of each project are always fully realised.”