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Startup NeoKe’s decentralized digital ID for travel wins Microsoft hackathon

Startup NeoKe’s decentralized digital ID for travel wins Microsoft hackathon

A startup focusing on decentralized digital ID for travel won Microsoft’s Identity for All hackathon in July and is now entering pre-launch for a product release.

NeoKe is aiming to launch its digital wallet in roughly a month. Potential use cases include hotel and flight check-ins, corporate travel, luggage transport and loyalty programs.

In order to create a more seamless travel experience, NeoKe believes it is necessary to eliminate the friction that exists between identity verifications (government-issued IDs) and identity proofs such as boarding passes.

According to the company, identity verifications and identity proofs are traditionally stored in disparate systems that don’t communicate with one another. NeoKe wants to create a digital ID infrastructure that can bridge this gap.

“Just aggregating supply doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve connected the trip,” one of NeoKe’s co-founders, Vikas Bhola, told PhocusWire. “Touchless services don’t necessarily mean that it’s frictionless.”

NeoKe was founded by a group of former Booking.com executives with experience in travel, product development, self-sovereign identity and blockchain.

Bhola, for instance, was previously Booking.com’s Asia-Pacific regional director. Another co-founder, Sebastian Honores, is Booking.com’s former product manager.

The startup wants to sell to companies that need to verify employees by creating their traveler ID as a one-time setup.

This digital identity effectively replaces know your customer (KYC) checks and allows users to digitally check in with any travel provider by sharing IDs and digitally signed documents and get proof of stay to present back to employers.

“In the first phase of NeoKe we want to partner with providers,” Bhola adds. “In order for this solution to work at a universal level — that vision we have of one trip and orienting travel around the customer instead of the other way around — will only happen when the integrations are at scale.”

Next, NeoKe will build a global Traveler ID network as a one-stop solution for all travel-related needs.

NeoKe can be used to securely log in to any travel service without different user names and passwords, according to a company web-page, and allows pre-check-ins at airports, hotels and car rental agencies for seamlessly travel.

NeoKe is part of Microsoft for Startups and is collaborating with the technology giant to build its digital ID infrastructure.

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