At CES 2024, Lordsystem (official site) introduces Trip.PASS, its digital security and personal privacy platform, is the backbone of the Trip.PASS Mobile Passport service. Trip.PASS (the platform) merges identification with financial and tourism services for global travellers. It allows users to perform a number of transactions only using a mobile app instead of requiring a form of government ID that can be easily lost.

According to Interpol, officials worldwide conducted 1.7 billion searches for lost passports in 2021. Losing a passport can quickly take a fun trip down the drain and we would ideally use our passports only when necessary just to reduce the risk of loss. Places like Duty-Free stores or train stations are prime places where ID papers are lost or forgotten.

Enter Lordsystem’s Trip.PASS Mobile Passport service. It’s a digital passport replacement that allows secure identification and financial transactions to happen at places like Duty-Free stores, Casinos, Airports, Hotels, Public Transport, and more. Merchants are very excited about this because a better user experience may lead to higher sales.

To get onboarded, people must create a mobile passport from a physical one. The application will read the passport information and perform a character recognition pass. Next, it will read the passport chip to verify the passport. Finally, it will match the newly created mobile passport with the user biometric information (local phone fingerprint and face ID). The mobile passport will be archived in a proprietary blockchain.

When using the mobile passport, a QR code is generated and can be scanned by a retail point of sale, just like various mobile payment systems operate. That way, the payment and ID verification happens at the same time. With participating hotels, guests can use an automated check-in point instead of waiting in line for staff. Basically, all places where your ID needs to be verified could potentially benefit from this smoother process.

Lordsystem envisions a world where its technology is widely accepted, making it seamless for travellers to pay without currency exchange (there would still be a 1% fee). Using public transportation would also be a lot more convenient because it’s easier to charge anytime from multiple financial sources. In many Asian countries, charging a transportation card needs to be done with cash only, and that’s a major drawback of the established system.

The e-wallet aspect of the app is interesting from a business standpoint because it offers an opportunity for the company to do some arbitrage or at least get some interest from the deposited cash, in my opinion. However, the sizeable business will come from the fees generated at the sales point and perhaps other SaaS services. The company estimates the market to be worth about $20 Billion right now.

It’s hard to build and operate a global ID system that is recognized and authorized by other countries, so the fact that Lordsystem operates in Japan shows they are on the right track. Apparently, 10 East Asian countries will join soon. If they can spur adoption worldwide, we’re looking at a network that could experience tremendous growth.

Finally, there’s also a physical debit and transportation card that’s available in Korea. I’ll try it next time I’m in South Korea because that would be much more convenient than the T-Money card I’ve used until now.

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