Laura Loss - Oct 16, 2022
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Border control of people, imports and exports are set to change dramatically by 2030 - this is the conclusion of the new Accenture study "Future borders 2030: From vision to reality". Several countries are already planning the digitalization of the border processes.  

The recent report by Accenture found that two-thirds of international travelers and import and export traders surveyed favor using existing and new technology solutions by border, immigration and customs authorities to improve the flow of people and goods. In addition, three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents believe that border processes will change massively by 2030.

The report is a compilation of data from recent surveys conducted in 2022 in nine countries (Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States) of travelers and traders engaged in international imports and exports. It is also based on a recent cross-country survey of border control employees.

The report's findings show that maintaining the status quo is not an option for border agencies. 55% of international travelers said they choose the destination of their trip or stopover based on whether they can expect a seamless and straightforward border security experience. 28% had changed the destination of their trip or stopover based on anticipated border crossing problems. The behavior of importers and exporters paints a similar picture: according to the survey, 17% said they had already cancelled contracts due to poor experiences with customs procedures in certain countries.

The report also found that about one-third of people (30%) plan to travel internationally more than before the pandemic. Due to booming online trade, global trade is also growing. This is expected to increase from $4.21 trillion in 2020 to $17.53 trillion in 2030, according to current forecasts. However, 85 percent of importers expect higher volatility in the next three years than in the previous three years.

"We need to leverage new technologies to create frictionless experiences for travelers as well as the hassle-free movement of goods," says Prasanna Ellanti, head of border services at Accenture. "This includes focusing on customer expectations, improving our data capabilities and leveraging new technologies like the Metaverse."

The report highlights three key technology trends:

  • Seamless design: making border experiences frictionless and focusing on travelers' needs and desires for safer, faster, and more responsive travel.
  • Data-based assessments: Increased compilation and use of data for assessments prior to and during border and customs interactions.
  • Virtual Borders: implementing and accelerating the metaverse and its impact on borders in terms of training personnel, facilitating checks and clearance of travelers, and handling trade.

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