Digital Onboarding, Identity Verification

How the Travel Industry is using emerging technologies in Identity Verification and Digital Onboarding


As per the World Economic Forum, digitization processes in travel, tourism, and the aviation industry will build up to $305 billion in value between 2016 and 2025.

Digitalization has sped up the onboarding processes for the travel industry. And at the same time, it has also smoothened the customer travel experience. However, the travel sector has to deal with a large number of customers in a day. As you all know, they come under a lot of pressure to deliver efficient and quick services. 

It is a sine-qua-non(essential condition) for them to regularly maintain a system that quickly and categorically onboards secured customers. With customers often finding new loopholes to exploit them monetarily, the advent of identity verification technology and the digital onboarding of travellers has become more trustworthy and convenient. 

What are the immediate consequences of Digital Customer Onboarding in the Travel Industry?

1. Reduction of operational costs

  • Successfully implemented Digital processes save the overall cost of the organization. 
  • There is immediate cost and time reduction of the frontline workforce in paperwork, maintenance of the manual records, and sales thrust. It also reduces the overall stationary cost load.
  • Instead of investing in training for new workers, it is better to enhance the skills of existing workers. These digitally trained existing staff and their past work experience can be utilized or channelized to improve customer experiences. 
  •  It also nullifies any human error in the transaction process and builds a database of secured customers.

2. New traveller’s onboarding

The first association with the customer starts during the Onboarding process and is a very crucial step. Now a seamless onboarding process is possible with advanced digital technology. There is a continuous inflow of travellers across all places. Non-dependability on the middlemen and many convenient onboarding processes have enormously increased the pressure on travellers in the travel industry.

Therefore, it is imperative to conduct identity verification of the customers efficiently to protect the security and safety of information. Also, it helps to build customer trust and revenue for the organization. 

How is Biometric Verification used in Remote Check-In? 

This incorporates a facial verification technique, which is quick and more reliableBiometric technologies substantiate facial scans against any one of their identity documents. During the process, it conducts traveller face verification in real-time and matches with the uploaded document. Facial recognition software facilitates this procedure. The customer can use the phone camera to verify themselves on the company site. It drastically reduces customer check-in time at various checkpoints.

Biometric verification at check-in has accelerated the onboarding process in the hotel industry. It is a quick, hassle-free, and more secure identity verification method in the travel and hospitality industry. And as it got implemented during Covid 19, it also addresses the issue of infectious diseases. The Hotel staff involved in the manual verification can now focus on other aspects of the hotel and enhance the customer experience.

Thus, digitization has reduced dependency on staff in the Travel and hospitality industry. It has systematically streamlined operations with Artificial intelligence (AI), Traveller Identity verification, and Machine Learning (ML) Fraud detection solutions. 

Why is Digital Onboarding essential in Airline Industry?

Digital onboarding not only opened up the Covid-19 affected international travel, but it has also smoothened and enhanced traveller experiences

The traditional process of booking travel has substantially changed in the past few years. Especially after Covid-19, when the need for a contactless business has emerged to elevate the sagging volumes in the travel industry

The automated workflow and self-service tech through biometrics, chatbots, and virtual and augmented reality led to a refined onboarding experience and reduced operating costs. 

Travel and hotel providers are exploring various ways to integrate frictionless, convenient, and best digital experiences at all points.

To pace up with travellers’ digital cleverness and the increase in smartphone usage for booking, online travel agencies (OTA) have expanded their services. They accommodate all travel conveyance, hotel rooms, and rental car booking services at one point. 

Now online booking and Check In’ of flights, hotels, and car services along with verification is possible on a single platform through OTA. 

  1. OTA portals help to compare prices, allowing Travellers to plan their trips based on the planned budget.
  2. AI-based applications and technology have made it possible to access all the information about travel services used by travellers from their mobile phones. 
  3. We are all connected via ‘The Internet of things (IoT) software and technology that can connect devices and systems and exchange data with others over the Internet or other networks. Like others, the travel industry uses prospective traveller data to precisely customize the service and present it to them.  IoT helps the travel industry to gauge site visitors’ travel patterns over the last few years. And accordingly, modify its communication with the customer like a reminder message about the last travel, preferred food, outings, and services available.
  4. The travel industry also offers vehicle or car rental solutions through its online travel portal. Travellers can utilize these customized cars for rent. Before renting out their expensive vehicles digital KYC verification is carried out to verify the credentials of travellers 

Thus, accessibility and convenience factor have amplified consumer experience. The technologies have opened up innumerable opportunities in the OTA. They can plan a complete vacation or trip, from home to flight and hotel check-in, ID Verification, and rental car for the trips.

What are the frauds mitigated by Digital Identity Verification for travellers?

Accessing travel agency computers by an acquaintance or an insider fraud, payment fraud, phishing scams, and chargeback fraud are a few frequently occurring scams. Let us now look at more serious frauds that drain major chunks of revenue in the travelling industry and how Digital Onboarding and Identity Verification can help:

Travel booking with a fake or stolen card identity details

Card Identity theft has become the most common method. Scammers can buy identity cards in the dark market and rob credit card numbers and identity information of genuine customers. 

The fraudster resells tickets on the dark net marketplaces and gets cleared smoothly until the cardholder reports a stolen complaint. These people know that the airline rarely denies boarding to a confirmed passenger. So, they usually buy flight tickets within the next 24 hours of departure and immediately check-in before the online travel agencies (OTA) discover any fraud.

Fake travel agencies and hotels

Fraudsters create fake travel agencies that either purchase tickets or place holds on them with fake credentials. Travellers end up paying for these fraudulent tickets only to find out later about cheating. Similarly, in the hotel sector, fraudsters create fake websites and use phone numbers to book rooms and payments over the phone. Before customers realize the fraudsters have already withdrawn the funds.

Account Take Over (ATO)

In recent years account takeover (ATO) has escalated immensely. Fraudsters find it easier to take over travellers’ accounts having the same email ID and password combinations on various platforms. They also do trial & error methods to steal customer information. And after obtaining such information, they create a synthetic account with the stolen data and impersonate that person.

According to the Digital Trust & safety index report 2019, e-commerce businesses and consumers alone accounted for the loss of an estimated $16.9 billion to ATO attacks. And post Covid-19, account takeover (ATO) attacks have skyrocketed and increased 307% between April 2019 and June 2021.

Insider fraud

Sometimes a travel agent or an employee of a Tourism-related company willingly hands over customer information to a Fraudster. These culprits process bulk customer data that calls for legal action against the company. It also damages the company’s reputation.

The Identity Verification step works as a strong deterrent for fraudsters. As in the case of ATO, it is crucial to stop the attack at the initial stage. Even if the fraudster attempts an account takeover’ (ATO) by phishing user data information, the preliminary AI-based document and identity verification techniques like Biometrics face matching and liveness detection technologies will prevent any such activity through document verification, face match, and ensure the person is the same as he is claiming.

How is Customer Identity Verification performed on Travelers?

It involves various tools like facial Biometrics verification, Liveness detection, and instant Identity document online examination. Deploy Software as a service (SaaS) that verifies passport and ID documents submitted in the systems. 


To encounter spoofing attacks advanced face recognition techniques should be incorporated. 

Along with facial biometric verification, Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm also works in the background to quickly verify the document submitted. In-depth 3D analysis and mapping on we are carried out. 

When required, Liveness detection can also be executed to observe Micro-expression or Skin texture analysis.

Geolocation of the IP address: 

It identifies the geographic location of the travellers at the time of booking. To overall understand the geographic placement of the users. However, these days it can be easily spoofed by fraudsters.

Device fingerprinting method:

Identifies any association of the users with the devices previously involved in any fraudulent activity. And the company can block those associated with the fraud.

Using this technique, companies can block these devices.

How is AI used in Digital Onboarding and Traveler Identification?

Artificial intelligence (AI) also plays a significant role to control fraudulent activities and pull-out breakthrough insights for cross-channel Travel services.

To verify the traveller’s identity submitted at the time of the transaction AI automated processes quickly conduct live screening through the web. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) automated Biometrics and liveness detection techniques can easily verify the person, even if the face doesn’t exactly match the document submitted. It includes face authentication, fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, speech recognition, etc. 

And for liveness detection various AI techniques are involved like Frequency and Texture based analysis, Variable Focusing based analysis, Movement of the eyes and lips, based analysis, Optical Flow-based analysis, 3D Face Shape-based analysis and many more.

On the other hand, Machine learning which is a part of Artificial intelligence technology executes an output algorithms analysis, based on the input values from the past. 

It involves complex algorithms that work on large data input and analyze the patterns in data such as monitoring and scrutinizing customers’ various accounts for anomalies.

Usually, the data is split into – training, testing, and cross-validation segments. The primary application of machine learning in the fraud detection process is to detect suspicious activity.

It can be used to detect spam, for image recognition at the time of Identity verification, recommend products to travellers on various sites, and can observe other predictive analytics of the customer.

If implemented efficiently, it helps to highlight real-time users’ behaviour variations, red flag any ATO risk, evaluate any risk factor involved with the travellers, and block the transaction before it becomes a chargeback for vendors.

For Example, machine learning ML can be used to detect the Frequency of the travel Transaction by looking for repeated purchases by the same user. Any sudden increase in buying behaviour from one cardholder is a red flag. The fraudsters usually do many sales transactions in one go and ML quickly observes such as part of the activity.

However, because of the high infrastructural costs, strict regulations and risk of replacing existing technology many sectors are not incorporating machine learning and AI solution. 


Presently, the need of the travel industry is to maintain continuous fraud prevention tools that automatically assess any fraud activity and immediately provide protection. The travel industry post the Covid-19 pandemic has started picking up its pace, and the AI and ML anti-fraud systems have further smoothened the onboarding process.

A well-coordinated manpower discernment and artificial intelligence within the SaaS structure will eventually curtail fraudulent activity in the travel industry.

To recognize the fraudsters’ patterns and activities; the travel industry needs to adopt new fraud protection methods.

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