JAPAN is developing a new high-tech system that will enable tourists to check in at hotels and make purchases on a special reader via fingerprint recognition.
It is being introduced to make transactions faster and doing away with the need for a traveller to present a passport during check-in. The system also enhances security by making it harder to execute credit card theft.
Japan's Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry, in partnership with private firms KDDI and Liquid Inc. are developing the technology, and ministry officials have confirmed with TTG Asia that the system should roll out in early-2017.
The system works by having tourists register two fingerprints and their credit card details when arriving at one of Tokyo’s airports. More registration locations will be added in the near future.
Once a person is registered, a visitor can check-in at their hotel or make a purchase simply by pressing their fingers on a reader at any one of the venues taking part in the programme.
A demonstration of the system is set to take place at the Prince Hotel in Tokyo later this month. A further 300 souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels in popular tourist destinations, including Hakone, Kamakura and Atami have also been invited to take part in the early trial launch.
By 2020, when Tokyo will host the Olympic Games and Paralympics, tourism authorities here hope the system will be widely available and accepted by travellers.