Hotels in Singapore are trialling the use of facial-recognition technology to speed up guests’ check-in times and boost worker productivity in an initiative that is linked up with the city-state’s immigration authorities.

The new system, which was launched this week, enables visitors to use a kiosk or mobile phone to verify their identity, eliminating the need for manual checks, the Singapore Tourism Board and local hotel association said in a statement. That can trim check-in times by as much as 70%, they said.

Authorities in the Southeast Asian country are constantly on the lookout for ways to promote automation and boost workers’ productivity, both to improve efficiency and adjust to the constraints imposed by an ageing workforce. Tourism accounts for about 4% of the nation’s gross domestic product.

The facial-recognition system, known as e-Visitor Authentication, allows users to scan their passport and take a photo, with data then sent to immigration to attest to the validity of their stay. So far, it’s being piloted at three hotels, the Straits Times reported.

One of the users, Grand Park City Hall, estimated the new process reduced the time it took a guest to check in to about one minute, down from five. “Guests now enjoy more convenience,” said General Manager John Kockan.