The travel sector is set to benefit from new, patented technology designed to protect its customers’ ePassports, biometric identity cards and contactless payment cards from data theft.

Plastic card manufacturer, Plastic Card Services (PCS), in partnership with technical solutions provider, VoyagerBlue, has developed an innovative ‘shield’ device, which is available in the VoyagerBlue ePassport Shield and Credit Card Shield formats.

The shield technology can also be incorporated into any plastic card design to sit in passports, wallets and purses, providing a brand’s customers with a protective barrier against accidental or unauthorised use.

ePassports, national residency cards and contactless payment cards use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, where an embedded chip enables travellers to have their identification data stored and read electronically to facilitate more efficient border checks, and consumers can wave their card over a reader to pay for goods.

With more than 80 countries issuing ePassports and around 36 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK, RFID technology is increasingly common. However, while these devices can simplify security checks and retail transactions, accidental use can occur and in some cases, personal data can be electronically skimmed through phone apps.

Having identified this flaw, VoyagerBlue approached PCS to research and manufacture the technology capable of safeguarding the details stored in RFID devices.
Rob Nicholls, managing director at PCS, said: “As biometric identity documents and contactless cards become more common, so does the potential for fraud. The shield technology provides an innovative and easy-to-use method of preventing both accidental transactions and data theft for consumers. It’s an ideal offering in the travel sector, where data protection is an issue and contactless technology is popular among busy travellers.

“As the only patented technology of its type that can be incorporated into card designs, we are confident that it will revolutionise the security of contactless devices.”

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