Eurostar to let international train passengers use biometrics to replace physical tickets and passport checks

Eurostar trains at St Pancras International London
FACE VERIFICATION: Eurostar’s biometrics system will enable travellers to board without showing their passport

Rail passengers using Eurostar services to travel between London and continental Europe are set to be the first to use a new face verification system to board their train “without showing a ticket or passport”.

The new walk-through system “will allow customers to complete ticket checks and border exit processes at St Pancras International station without needing to come into contact with people or hardware,” technology provider iProov says.

Passengers wishing to use the new accelerated pre-boarding system will use the Eurostar app to scan their identity documentation and register a biometric template of their face before they travel.

They will then receive a message confirming that their registration has been successful — and that they will now not need to show their ticket or passport at departure.

On arrival at St Pancras International, they will be able to use a face verification-enabled contactless travel corridor, with no ticket or ID checks required until they arrive at their destination.

A kiosk at the station will allow passengers without access to a smartphone to complete the same process.

The system is being developed by iProov in partnership with Eurostar and WorldReach Software and is being funded by the UK’s Department for Transport. It is due to go live by March 2021.

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