skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Ovum view


The CATRENE-EUREKA consortium has published the outcomes of its "NewP@ss" research project on new passport technologies. By replacing today's read-only RFID chips with writeable chips, the next generation of e-passports will allow visas and stamps to be recorded cryptographically. This could help reduce visa fraud, but could also make it harder to determine where travelers have been.

Crypto-stamps could make border control more complicated

States would need common standards to record crypto-visas in one another’s e-passports, but host countries could also issue them as separate chipped cards. In either case, crypto-visas could be renewed and revoked electronically. They could help reduce fraud, especially if strengthened with biometric data.

The CATRENE-EUREKA consortium also says the passports themselves could be renewed electronically without replacing the physical document, but this is not practical. Countries that do not use the new system will deny entry to people carrying passports without visible expiry dates. Electronic renewal might work for identity documents designed to be used inside the issuing country, but anything intended for use abroad – including driving licenses – would need a printed expiry date.

If a state issues passports that allow another to record crypto-stamps, a third country might struggle to determine where travelers have been. This might stop some from denying entry to people who have visited countries they do not like or recognize, but it could also prompt them to turn away anyone with crypto-stamps they cannot read. States could agree to continue issuing ink stamps, but there is little incentive to do this. A state stamps passports to regulate immigration to its own country, not to others.

For citizens, the NewP@ss proposals threaten to remove the last vestige of fun from the tediousness of immigration control: filling one’s passport with exotic stamps and colorful visas. EU citizens have swapped this simple pleasure for greater freedom of movement, but that was a fair trade. Citizens will want to know how the technology benefits them, especially if it increases application fees like the current generation of biometric passports did.


Further reading

Citizen Identity and the Options for Local Government,IT0007-000821 (June 2015)

ID Management for Public Services: Opportunities and Pitfalls,IT0007-000767 (September 2014)

“ Verify requires a deeper – not just wider – set of identity attributes,” IT0007-000810 (March 2015)

“Holyrood creates a national identity register in all but name,” IT0007-000805 (March 2015)

“Lloyds moves toward fully digital origination with online identity verification,” IT0003-000646 (March 2015)


Nick Wallace, Analyst, Public Sector

Recommended Articles

  • Service Provider Markets, Consumer & Entertainment Services,...

    MWC 2018 Highlights

    By Ronan De Renesse 27 Feb 2018

    Over 20 of our senior Ovum analysts and consultants attended this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In between meetings, briefings and presentations, our analyst team were blogging and tweeting about key developments, trends and rumors. Have a look through our daily MWC 2018 Highlights to find out what happened.

    Topics 5G AI IoT Cloud Payments SDN/NFV Smart home

  • Enterprise Decision Maker, Enterprise IT Strategy and Select...

    2017 Trends to Watch: Big Data

    By Tony Baer 21 Nov 2016

    The breakout use case for big data will be fast data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing the urgency for enterprises to embrace real-time streaming analytics, as use cases from mobile devices and sensors become compelling to a wide range of industry sectors.

    Topics Big data and analytics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now