Jim Peters, CTO at SITA, told delegates at this year's in Brussels that they need to be prepared for the proliferation of near field communications (NFC) technology, which he predicts will become widespread before the end of the year.
NFC is a short range communications standard to securely transmit information to a contactless payment terminal.
SITA is currently running a project, which launched this week, at Toulouse airport, where it is using SIM-based NFC to allow passengers access into the car park and business lounges. It partnered with Orange and Blackberry to run the project.
"Boarding passes are going to be the next step with this technology. We didn't do it on this project because we didn't have an airline partner," said Peters.
"NFC has had some tough times, because of problems similar to data sharing. This issue is around transaction sharing, where the network operators, Google and Blackberry are all arguing about who is going to get the money from all the NFC transactions. They aren't thinking about the user."
He added: "Who is thinking of the user Apple. They don't argue about it with anybody. They came out with Passbook last week, which is an electronic wallet that they are going to start putting stuff on."