Today, governments are mostly relying on a range of paper-based processes to determine the COVID-19 test results and vaccine status of travellers. In many cases, these paper certificates can be easily falsified, are difficult to validate, and inconvenient for people to use. ICC and Mastercard believe trusted technology should be at the heart of strategies for reopening societies and bringing travel back safely.
To that end, both organisations will partner to establish an enabling environment for interoperable digital solutions that reduce fraud and reinforce trust. ICC and Mastercard recognise that time is of the essence and believe that no one digital solution, or provider, will be able to scale globally fast enough to address the global and networked needs of the air travel industry.
In the coming months, ICC and Mastercard will work with policymakers and business leaders to ensure that governments have a range of compatible digital health pass solutions at their fingertips to bolster their recovery strategies and protect the personal data of users everywhere. Through organisations such as the Good Health Pass Collaborative, this extends to the promotion of digital standards for the management and exchange of COVID-19 test results and vaccine status, with a focus on the appropriate use of digital identity services that foster trust.
Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard said:
Around the world, there is an urgent need for us to develop solutions that will help us address the current health concerns and enable people to safely reconnect with each other and their communities. Delivering a global, interoperable health pass system can only happen if we come together in a way that meets the needs of everyone involved. Together with ICC, its member organisations and our partners in the Good Health Pass Collaborative, we can work to get the world moving again and jumpstart the global economic engine.
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:
Restarting international mobility and reopening our global economy are the greatest challenges facing the private sector in 2021. We are extremely pleased to join forces with Mastercard to establish an enabling environment for digital health passes that are interoperable, inclusive, and backed by the highest data privacy standards. Given the scale of this crisis, we need to ensure that business leaders and policymakers are equipped with as many tools as possible to mitigate disruption and safely reopen our global economy.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICC and Mastercard have developed and expanded digital solutions in support of this aim. In February, both organisations were instrumental in launching the Good Health Pass Collaborative, an open, inclusive, cross-sector initiative to create a blueprint for interoperable digital health pass systems.
In May 2020, ICC launched ICC AOKpass, a digital health pass, supported by International SOS, that allows users to safely present medical records to border authorities and government administrations without compromising their personal medical data. ICC AOKpass has been piloted by Alitalia, Air Caraïbes, Air France, Etihad Airlines, French Bee, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, and the city of Girona in Catalonia, Spain.
In the past year, Mastercard has expanded tests of its digital identity service, ID, which is based on a decentralised approach, with users in control of their data. The company has announced partnerships with Australia’s Deakin University, Optus, and the government of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to design and implement digital identity services across a range of use cases. In addition, it has completed successful trials in Glasgow and London Gatwick airports to demonstrate what components are crucial to the success of a global, interoperable health pass.