Malaysian Airports to Identify Passengers with Single-token Biometric System

Asia Blockchain Review
November 11, 2019

Facial biometrics will be used by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) at each touchpoint, from booking to boarding, to identify air passengers. 

As part of the MAHB’s new Airports 4.0 initiative, a single-token biometric system will be developed by global IT provider SITA using Zamna’s platform. The latter has raised US$5 million in seed funding to develop the platform.

Tokenized ID for Convenient, Secure Air Travel

The facial recognition system will be piloted for three to six months with Malaysian Airlines’ flights heading to Tokyo Narita International Airport and Osaka Kansai International Airport.

Lee Yiang Ming, Chief Information Officer of MAHB, said, “I think for the passengers, the benefit is that it will be more convenient for them and it will help speed up their journey through the airport. It is about the convenience for the passengers, above all.” 

“If you look at some of the manual processes that we have, especially during high peak times, it takes a bit of time to clear. So, with this technology they are able to register not only in the airport but also potentially through the smartphone application that we will enhance later on,” said the CIO.

Using Tokens on Blockchain Network to Verify Data

The platform’s algorithms will check the accuracy of biometric data by attaching a token to it. A blockchain-based network, shared by airlines, airports, and governments, stores the validated tokens.

Irra Ariella Khi co-founder and CEO of Zamna, vouched for the benefits of a single-token system, saying “there is no easy and secure way for airlines and government agencies to share or cross-reference your data — which remains siloed (for valid data protection reasons). They must, therefore, repeat manual one-off data checks each time you travel.”


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