Linking with Home Office online application processes, the solution uses a mobile app to scan an end user’s chip-embedded passport. It also prompts the user to take a selfie photo, which is compared to the biometric data stored on their passport’s chip. Liveness detection is used to ensure the end user is present.
The “Generic Identity and Document Verification” (GIDV) solution builds on an existing “Identity Verification as a Service” solution delivered by Entrust that has been in place since 2019. Going forward, Entrust says the new solution will support the pending UK Electronic Travel Authorization scheme, due to begin in late 2023, and could apply to 30 million travelers annually. The contract entails options to extend the project for two additional years.
In a statement, Entrust’s Vice President of Identity Verification, Gordon Wilson, described Entrust’s solution as one offering a “front door” to digital immigration applications, enabling travelers to declare their identity before reaching the UK border.
“The technology ensures personal and unique biometric data is processed securely and efficiently, helping to digitize and streamline border control systems,” he said. “This, in turn, helps travellers to the UK benefit from a more seamless journey and reduces the need for hard copy paperwork and in-person appointments. This also serves to strengthen the UK’s border security by enabling the Home Office to identify quickly and confidently that someone really is who they say they are.”
The UK Home Office contract offers the latest sign of Entrust’s focus on the areas of travel and border control. In October of 2021, the company announced a “Seamless Travel Solution” that was designed to link an end user’s face biometrics and travel documents to a digital credential, enabling faster and more convenient security screening at border checkpoints. Like Entrust’s current GIDV offering, the Seamless Travel Solution also enabled individuals to confirm their identity ahead of reach the border using a mobile device.