Securing components for future travel documents

There is an ever-growing demand by governments for innovations that can deliver even more secure, reliable and robust passports to its citizens. For users the passport is the document which not only provides the right to travel, but also protects their identities, personal data and is used as a valuable proof of ID.

Passport fraud is a major issue for governments, with tightening border controls and security checks appearing internationally during the Covid-19 pandemic, and for example, the passing of Brexit. Inductive coupling In order to answer to this demand, passport manufacturers are constantly seeking new ways to easily integrate security features to their product, while guaranteeing durability, cost effectiveness and flexibility in the assembly process.

The focus for electronic passport documents remains a 10-year reliability requirement for contactless reading. Inductive coupling technology for ePassports is advantageous as it consists in using electromagnetic coupling between the antenna and the module (there is no physical connection between the chip and the antenna). As there is no physical connection between the small antenna embedded in the micro module and the large antenna etched on the inlay, the final product is more durable and can easily stand the life expectancy requirements of identity applications.

Passport documents are exposed to a lot of physical stress such as ‘bending in the user’s pocket’. The absence of a connection between the module and the antenna fully neutralizes this risk of connection loss between the module and the antenna due to intensive mechanical stress. This technology is compatible with all chips and OS makers of the market. Copper wire antenna The integration of a copper wire antenna in addition to an inductive coupling module appears to be the best combination to achieve a durable and effective solution. The copper wire antenna process is today the most common antenna technology used in the market with more than 95% of market share. It is a very effective and recognized technology when combined with a module that does not need to be molded onto the antenna. Moreover, inductive coupling modules are extremely reliable as they protect the chip on both sides: on one side with the module itself and the other side with the resin, resulting in the highest level of document reliability.

Flexibility is a top supply chain priority for document manufacturers as well as ensuring the security and reliability of the final document. The use of a copper wire antenna with a non-molded chip allows for an easier techno transfer to be achieved for customers who need to manufacture their product locally. They will only need to glue the module in the inlay cavity. This technology offers a flexible and cost-effective solution to ID document manufacturers, allowing them to be more flexible and competitive on the ePassport market.

by SPS