MOBILE ID: Lotte shoppers use NFC and OCR to upload their passport details to the retailer’s app
Residents and visitors to Seoul can now use a digital ID service introduced by Lotte Duty Free to buy duty free goods at the retailer’s downtown stores in South Korea’s capital without needing to take their passport with them to prove their identity.
The service uses a combination of NFC, optical character recognition and digital distributed identification (DID) blockchain technology to let shoppers add their passport to the retailer’s mobile app and then verify their identity in-store.
“After first recognizing information such as passport number and expiration date through the camera OCR (optical character recognition device), when the smartphone is placed on the passport, the e-passport IC chip is automatically scanned,” Lotte Duty Free says.
“Then, when a QR code with digital distributed identification (DID) blockchain technology is issued, mobile passport registration is completed.”
When a shopper visits a store to make a purchase, Lotte then uses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Justice’s database to perform a real-time check of the expiration date and length of stay of the customer’s passport.
“The QR code generated when using a mobile passport is regenerated every 30 seconds to prevent fraudulent use,” Lotte says. “Once you have authenticated for the first time, you can use it for up to 10 years of passport validity.”
The launch follows the introduction by the Korea Customs Service last year of new rules that make it possible for downtown duty free shops to allow customers to use a digital version of their passport stored on their mobile phone to prove their ID — provided the retailer has put in place the required live link to the passport database.
The service is currently live at Lotte’s main store in Myeong-dong and at World Tower in Seoul. The merchant’s Busan and Jeju branches will be added “as soon as the approval process is completed”.
“Lotte Duty Free Shop is the first in the industry to introduce passport-free duty-free shopping,” the retailer says.
Lotte Duty Free lets shoppers add their passport to its mobile app for passport-free duty free shopping was written by Sarah Clark and published by NFCW.