London Drugs said it's North America's first retailer to offer customers biometric passport technology based on government standards.

London Drugs, biometrics passport photo service, biometric passport technology, e-passport, biometric passport system, Andy Kahrmann, photo electronics, ID Stations Biometric Engine, western Canada drug chain

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London Drugs adds biometrics passport photo service

October 29th, 2013

RICHMOND, British Columbia – London Drugs said it's North America's first retailer to offer customers biometric passport technology based on government standards.

The western Canada drug chain said Monday that as of July 1, Canadian passports moved to an e-passport or biometric passport system. Biometric technology measures unique physical characteristics, such as facial features, to verify identity with a high level of certainty. 

For passports for foreign countries, London Drugs staff can select any nation and the ID station will automatically convert the ID photo. Most requested countries are available, but new ones can be added.

"Travelers will benefit from this new system where staff will instantaneously check photos against global and local regulations (ICAO and ISO) via wireless camera-to-computer connection," Andy Kahrmann, photo electronics business manager for London Drugs, said in a statement. "Being the first retailer in North America to bring this global imaging service to our customers is testament to the constant drive for innovation in our business."

The technology automatically analyzes each photo according to purpose and country, to ensure the highest possible accuracy, according to London Drugs. Brought to Canada from the Netherlands, the ID Stations Biometric Engine reviews and approves, or declines, the image before printing. The system has Wi-Fi access to the on-screen country guide to tell the system which size ID photo is required. The imaging system then allows for the background color to be changed depending on the country requirements, whether a red or a light blue background is needed.

"Passport photo prices at London Drugs will not increase because of London Drugs' investment in this new technology," stated Kahrmann. "We're adopting this technology because it allows us better access to global image specifications and provides our customers with the high-quality photo services we're dedicated to offering. We are carrying on the tradition of trust we've built with our customers."

London Drugs said the new biometric passport photo service will be available in all of its 77 stores at the photo counter. Passport photos at London Drugs are $11.99 and come with a photo guarantee. If the photo isn't approved by the Passport Canada office, then a $50 London Drugs gift card will be issued and the photo will be retaken.