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Smartphones could soon replace your passport

A UK-based company is working on a new technology

LONDON:   A UK-based company is working on a new technology that may spell the end for paper passport by allowing you to use your smartphone at immigration control.

De La Rue, the world’s largest producer of passport and British banknote printer, announced plans to embed passports directly into smartphones.

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of the company said that it had started work on a project to provide secure phone-based information that would work at immigration control, ‘The Times’ reported.

Passport are one of the last hold-outs of non-digital documents. Airline tickets, for example, are already delivered direct to phones.

The key would be for De La Rue to adapt its identity technology into a digital format and for governments to approve its use.

Airports in Miami and Atlanta have already tested mobile-based clearance systems, under which travellers can use a phone to enter customs information.

However, paperless passports were still in the early stage of development and were unlikely to arrive in the short term, Sutherland said.

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