Research Insights The difference between touchless and frictionless travel

The difference between touchless and frictionless travel

April 2022
Phocuswright Research

A panel at the 2021 Phocuswright Conference featured an intriguing discussion on Self-Sovereign Identify (SSI). SSI refers to a single identifier that you own, which contains a collection of information which you can use in your digital life as you interact with vendors. According to Phocuswright’s latest research on SSI Go Beyond Touchless and Strive for Frictionless Travel, the goal is for it to be universally used across vendors, rather than requiring a separate profile with every vendor.

For the travel industry, SSI represents a dramatic shift in the way customer information is stored and used. Using a verifiable credential stored in a digital wallet, the traveler has control over when their personal data is shared, what parts of it are shared, which vendors/intermediaries can access specific personal data, and how long they can access it. SSI has the potential to replace all the bespoke identities that travelers maintain with various travel suppliers and intermediaries, and lets the traveler control how their personal information may be used. This portable, digital, decentralized identity is highly secure and can be used throughout the travel process, removing major areas of friction.

The figure below summarizes the seven steps of the travel process, current friction points, as well as current and emerging solutions. At each step, verifying identity becomes a major friction point since most identity information is stored in disparate systems that do not communicate with each other.

Phocuswright Chart: Friction in the Travel Process
(Click image to view a larger version.)

Do you have the information and insights to help you understand the advancement of Web3 and SSI – and more importantly how it will impact your segment and business? Clearly, the underpinnings are in place for industry-wide adoption of SSI, though the rollout will take many years to accomplish. Every stakeholder in the travel ecosystem needs to gain a better understanding of SSI to ultimately remove friction from the travel process. Digesting reports like Phocuswright’s Go Beyond Touchless and Strive for Frictionless Travel will help you understand that true frictionless travel eliminates pain points for consumers, leading to more secure, seamless and personalized offers. Discover how emerging solutions will play out across the travel journey, and how your understanding of the topic will facilitate a more frictionless industry in the years ahead.

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