Developing the future of digital identity in aviation

MATTR & IATA collaboration

At MATTR, we’re exploring how different sectors can take advantage of verifiable data and digital trust. It’s this mission that led us to our recent partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on their Digital Identity for Distribution initiative.

MATTR is working with IATA to demonstrate how digital identity can be used to enable the secure identification and authentication of organisations involved in the travel distribution chain to improve security and reduce the level of fraud risk for both airlines and travel intermediaries.

How IATA supports the aviation industry

IATA is the trade association for the airline industry, representing 290 airlines around the world. One of IATA’s roles is to support airlines travel agents, industry bodies and other parties to operate more effectively by managing a set of commonly recognised codes and identities which help to create an efficient distribution ecosystem for all players.

Transforming identity management in the airline industry

Current identification standards in airline distribution are based on technology concepts developed in the 1960 and 1970s. They have served the industry exceptionally well and continue to be used extensively today. However, the evolution of technology over the past 50 years has meant a transition from closed, private networks to open, public infrastructure and a need to review the legacy identification standards.

Using solutions such as MATTR VII, which is built on open standards including W3C Decentralized Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials, can help enable industry bodies like IATA to solve identity challenges in a complex ecosystem. At the same this also ensures that members of such ecosystems are always in control of their own identity and can reliably trust the information shared between organisations.

As aviation starts to place customers at the focus of a shop/order/pay ecosystem regardless of distribution channel, IATA has identified some key issues:

  • Airlines can't fully identify all parties in the distribution value chain

  • Current industry coding systems can't scale to cover all parties

  • Current codes do not provide end-to-end security and offer loopholes for fraudulent use and impersonation of identities.

To address these issues, the Digital Transformation Advisory Council (DTAC) endorsed a digital strategy with B2B identity management as the highest priority. The DTAC is comprised of senior digital transformation representatives from airlines and advises IATA on industry digital transformation.

This is a significant undertaking for both IATA and the other parties involved. As part of MATTR’s role in supporting this initiative, we developed a series of educational videos in partnership with IATA to explain the value and mechanics of a decentralised identity ecosystem.

See our video series below.

How this benefits the aviation sector This digital identity approach will give all parties in the aviation sector the ability to quickly verify who they’re doing business with, reduce fraud and provide end-to-end security in the transaction process.

Sellers, such as Travel Agencies, will be in full control of their own identities and information and will only have to disclose (to the airline or supplier) the relevant information required to request a tailor-made offer and complete a transaction.

Find out more about this initiative

To learn more about Digital Identity for Distribution, visit the IATA Innovation Hub.

Watch our video series

The videos below are a series of short explainers and demonstrations of what a digital identity solution could look like in the airline industry:

Get in touch with us

Our technologies give you powerful ways to build trust and prove things about people. If you’ve got a use case and want to see what it might look like, we’d love to talk to you about it.