Airports, buses and train stations all have many pinch points where physical proximity is difficult to limit. Its danger multiplied when we consider agents checking documentation and passengers boarding. They don’t see one or two passengers in a day, they may process many hundreds in a single shift.
We’ve all been there, lined up at the boarding gate, you hand over your boarding pass to the agent to be scanned, it’s read and passed back to you. Not only does this mean that you are stood close to the agent, but you are physically giving your pass to them…the agent must then repeat this process for the other 100+ passengers that follow.
The delays caused by these safety procedures and social distancing also affect the efficiency of document checking and therefore can negatively impact the passenger experience.
The simple act of allowing passengers to retain control of their documents, payment or FQTV cards, so that they don’t pass between multiple people not only speeds up the journey, but also eliminates the possibility of transferring contagions.
There is no one solution to alleviate all risk from Covid-19 or for that matter other contagions but rather, there are hundreds of small changes that can make the situation safer.
For companies like Access-IS, the past few years have already been focussed on developing products that facilitate a contactless environment. Now, more than ever, that’s paying dividends as it’s become one of the driving forces behind the return to the skies.
Let’s look at the airport, the first touchpoint is Check-in where documents need to be checked, although this is equally true of visitor or employee registration for building access or indeed VISA issuance.
Traditionally, we hand our passport over, the agent examines it and scans the document. Using document readers such as ATOMTM or CoBolt the passenger can place their own document on the scanners glass, the document is checked, and the data collected. At the same time, the unit can display the passport image to the agent, so they are able to compare the person in front of them to the printed passport image, all without the document leaving the owner’s hand and while maintaining social distancing.
Now we imagine the passenger has checked in at home, so the boarding pass is either printed out or is sitting in their phones eWallet. Arriving at the airport they make their way to an automated self-bag-drop. Again, there is no need to pass documents over to an agent, simply scan the boarding pass, drop your bags and you are good to go. Perhaps the bag is a little heavier than it should be, normally the passenger would be directed to a manned desk to pay the surcharge. Technology such as the Access-IS ATR220 TripTickTM means this does not have to be so. Using the same device as you scanned your boarding pass you can pay the excess; drop your bag and continue your journey…what could be simpler or safer.
Contactless payment is enabled by near field communications (NFC) technology in the point of sale (POS) and transmits data securely. NFC is a method of wireless data transfer that allows smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices to share data when in close proximity. NFC technology powers contactless payments via mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, as well as contactless cards.
Now the passenger has made it to the boarding gate, many airports will have an automated gate where a boarding pass and passport reader will usher them onward to the aircraft. However, not every Airport will be able to implement such infrastructure. As an alternative measure, and where Airports predominately use agent based manual boarding, Access-IS has developed a solution that can be deployed extremely rapidly and allows safe distancing for both agent and passenger during the boarding process.
In some instances, automation may hold the key with upgrades to the airport infrastructure alleviating many of these risk points. The use of Self-Boarding gates fitted with contactless 2D barcode readers like the TripTick ATR2xx or LSR11x series allows passengers to board themselves removing any need for the passenger and agent to come into close proximity.
For those customers without the Access-IS BGR then the devices can be purchased and delivered together. Whether purchasing with a BGR7xx or adding to an existing BGR7xx installation the generous cable length immediately provides suitable social distancing and with the addition of a stand, can be located in a traditional boarding gate configuration but without the need for close proximity of individuals. The 1950g Handheld merely replicates the BGR750 boarding pass scanning at a distance, all the hard work is still done within the BGR7xx device. In the future when Covid-19 is a distant memory and normal operations have resumed, the 1950g can simply be unplugged and the BGR7xx will take on its normal role. Simple and fast to roll out it’s just as quick and simple to roll back.
In these examples we have looked at parts of an airport journey, but other elements of that journey can also benefit from this type of technology including duty free shopping or airline lounge access. But it doesn’t stop there…similar devices can make access to the rail, metro, or bus network at the other end safer, faster, and simpler.
The world has been forever changed over the past few years but some of those changes will benefit us far into the future.
ATOM® Document Reader
Increased Speed – no longer having to manually type in customer details, they can be automatically brought into the software in a fraction of the time.
Greater Accuracy – the automatic completion of account details eliminates errors and subsequent costs involved in the incorrect entry of details that are often found with manual entry.
Improved Efficiency – by allowing customers to complete more and more tasks autonomously, much greater capacity can be created without a correlating increase in staff numbers.
Proven Technology – the ATOM reader can be found in installations from airports to embassies in countries around the world as desktop units of fully integrated OEM devices for kiosks.
ATR220 - TripTick®
Contactless Payments - Works with all popular contactless cards & is cEMV - L2 Certification (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, JCB, Discover) & PCI SRED - V5.0.
Barcode Reading - Reads 2D, PDF417 and linear barcode symbologies.
Low Profile - Only 36.9mm high with a single cable connection to host computer.
IP67 Sealed - Front face sealed for integration into indoor/outdoor kiosks & gates.
Reads Any Media - Optimised focal distance design improves read performance for all media.
Designed for Frontline Use - LED user feedback for intuitive use and uprated UltraGlass® option for extreme environments.
Connection Options - USB (HID, serial or keyboard), RS232, RS485, Ethernet interface options.
Power over Ethernet - Option for Power over Ethernet (PoE).
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