Evolving ID Checks in the Travel Industry

Ashley H

Travel is an intrinsic part of most people’s lives. And industries serving it are thriving. In 2018, there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals documented across the globe – and even more domestic trips taken. While this high number of travellers means plenty of transactions within the industry, it also poses a challenge for keeping mutual trust between businesses and consumers.

Vulnerability When Travelling

In the big wild world, there are dangers for those who travel. The Australian Government even warns extensively about different types of scams that target tourists and urges travellers to take precautions. The common scams they mention include:

  • Unregistered taxis at airports
  • Motor vehicle hiring scams
  • Accommodation scams
  • Credit card skimming.

At the core of each scam is the betrayal of trust, and it can have extreme consequences. Fraudsters are also becoming bolder online. More stolen personal data is being used to trick basic identity verification steps for online purchases. Identity fraud cases in Australia alone are costing the country over $1.6 billion every year. This creates a financial and, in some cases, physical risk for travellers and service providers in the travel sector. Without a proper form of ID verification, there’s a lot of money and brand trust on the line to lose.

The Digital Check-In

Checking in customers can be a slow and extensive process. Digital check-ins, however, allow transport and accommodation providers to check-in their passengers and guests completely online. This can mean a consumer could book and use a service without ever physically meeting an employee – which is especially handy for after-hours accommodation check-ins.

While digital check-ins offer convenience for everyone, if there isn’t a proper identity document verification before someone pays for and uses a service, it opens a floodgate of potential fraud. So how can businesses provide conclusive identity verification of their customers?

Customer Identity Verification in the Travel Industry

Even with billions of travellers and countless ways to commit identity fraud, verifying customer identities is possible. Global and national identity-checking services scan relevant documents or use biometric authentication to prove passengers or guests are who their documents say they are. And with the types of biometric devices evolving, this can be as easy as taking a photo or scanning a fingertip on a smart phone.

With active identification, both providers and consumers can rely on seamless processes. And because the ID is matched with numerous databases across the globe, even transactions with international customers can be trusted. An electronic customer verification examines passports, appropriate travel documents and other forms of ID to ensure the traveller’s identity is authentic and that they have the right to travel.

To help protect employees from physical threats and lower the risk of fraud reoccurring, the verifying entity also submits an identity fraud check and police check online. This includes security database scans that check if a person is politically exposed or may pose another type of threat. This system provides vital safeguarding for employees and helps keep businesses compliant with relevant security acts.

By implementing a concrete ID check, companies in the travel industry can protect their finances and employees. The process also builds trusts with both local travellers and tourists, who can rely on their driver and accommodation to provide a safe service.