Finland is testing a mobile app that will allow passengers to travel paperless

Finland is testing a mobile app that will allow passengers to travel paperless

Finland could become the first country in the EU to test a mobile app with digital copies of travel documents.

The country has expressed its willingness to test a phone app that includes digital copies of travel documents instead of traditional paper passports. With this new technology, passengers could send information to border authorities before traveling abroad.

According to a report in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, the European Commission got in touch late last year to ask whether the country would be willing to participate in the pilot project.

“We are currently preparing a funding application for the Commission. The application must be submitted by the end of August. After that, it will be decided whether the project will go ahead or not,” Mikko Väisänen, an inspector at the Finnish Border Guard, told the newspaper.

How will Finland’s digital passport trial work?

The Commission is encouraging some Member States to test digital travel documents. With the information gleaned from these tests, it could introduce the ability to cross borders with nothing more than a mobile app across the EU.

Although it is still uncertain whether of Finland The experiment continues, the digital documentation could first be tested on flights to Croatia.

Some passengers are asked to volunteer to download the app on their phones. They can then send their documents to the border authorities before travelling.

“The information is checked in advance and deleted after the trip,” Väisänen said.

The first volunteers will likely be passengers traveling between Finland and Finland Croatia at the earliest in spring 2023.


Tourists have their passports checked at the Nuijamaa border crossing in Finland. – ALESSANDRO RAMPAZZO/AFP

Could digital passports be the answer to airport delays?

For the time being, the passengers involved in the study must continue to carry their papers with them passports and controlled by border officials.

In the long term, however, the aim should be that people no longer have to carry any documents with them apart from their cell phones. Travelers could be easily identified from a facial photo when boarding a plane or passing through security.

It is hoped that these digital travel documents will make transit easier Border much smoother and faster. Even a small saving in time at each individual check could reduce passenger waiting times.

Are digital passports already in use around the world?

2021, Ukraine was the first country in the world to give digital passports the same legal status as physical passports.

A phone app called Dila, released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, allows users to view electronic versions of their documents. You can also generate QR codes, which have essentially the same power as a passport.

Ukrainians have been able to use their digital passports in a number of situations for a number of years, e.g. B. to confirm their identity at the post office, to confirm their age or to open a bank account. But they were also recognized when entering the country by plane or train last year.

Poland and South Korea are also using digital documentation on smartphones in a similar way, and further pilot projects could start soon in Great Britain and the USA.

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