Finland trials digital passports in global first Finland trials digital passports in global first

Digital Travel Credentials (DTCs) are being tested out in a real border control environment for the first time ever, giving us glimpse into the future of travel…
06 September 2023

In this fast-paced high-tech age we live in, with e-visas and mobile boarding passes, it wasn’t going to be long before digital passports came into play. And the moment has finally arrived for one European nation, who are officially the first in the world to use smartphone IDs to cross borders – no physical passport required.

The groundbreaking initiative is currently being trialled by Finnish residents flying to some parts of the UK, and will take place from August 2023 to February 2024. The scheme is led by the Finnish Border Guard and is in partnership with the airline Finnair, the Finnish Police and airport operator Finavia.

Passengers flying to and from Helsinki during the six-month trial period will be able to use their Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) on flights operating along three UK routes to Manchester, Edinburgh and London.

Passengers will be able to use their DTCs to board some Finnair flights (Shutterstock)

Raja, the Finnish Border Control, have stated that digital passports and physical passports are “equally reliable”, and the new DTCs will allow “smooth and fast border crossings without compromising security”.

Eligible travellers who want to take part in the scheme will need to download the FIN DTC Pilot app on their smartphone, and will need a screen-locking mechanism (such as face or touch ID, or a pin password) in place before installing the app. They will also need to register with the police at Vantaa Main Police Office, and have their passport photo retaken. 

Although Finland is the first to test out this exciting new travel tech in a real border control environment, it’s all part of the EU’s plans to have at least 80% of its citizens flying with DTCs by 2030.

The EU is co-funding the pilot with €2.3 million (£1.97 million). Croatia’s Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport and the Netherland’s Schiphol Amsterdam Airport expected to be the next guinea pigs for the project later in the year.

Not physical passport will be needed (Shutterstock)

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