WorldReach included in Biometrics Institute COVID-19 Response Report 2021
May 12, 2021 | Source: WorldReach
WorldReach Software, an Entrust Company, is a key technology supplier featured in Biometrics Institute’s latest Report: COVID-19: Effective and responsible biometrics solutions and concepts – one year into the pandemic.
For the 2021 updated Report, the Biometric Institute asked its members to address the critical questions organizations are still facing as a result of the pandemic and to explain how their solutions are effective. WorldReach chose to focus on lessons learned from successful, uninterrupted digital onboarding programs, and the new customer experience expectations that are here to stay.
Digital Onboarding After the Pandemic: A Checklist for Success
As vaccination programs expand and COVID-19 cases drop, thoughts are turning to life after the pandemic. What will our new normal look like? What have we learned and what changes will persist?
One safe bet is that citizens will demand and expect remote, digital onboarding into both government and commercial services. The public appetite for sitting in waiting rooms and handing over paper documents – already waning before the pandemic – has gone forever. The post-COVID citizen knows that digital options are available, and expects service providers to offer them.
But this is about much more than buying some shiny new tech. To make a success of digital onboarding, service providers need to focus on the whole end-to-end process and the customer experience. For both government and commercial services, this is the only way to derive best value from digitization.
In the financial industry, the abandonment rate for digital onboarding is reported to be 63% (Signicat, The Battle to Onboard 2020 – The impact of Covid-19 and beyond). By comparison, in our work in government services, WorldReach has a successful user completion rate of over 90%. Why the stark difference?
At WorldReach, we are able to monitor telemetry data from ongoing usage (over 5 million transactions and counting), identifying opportunities for continuous improvement and examining the impact of subtle changes to see their results on the ground. As a result, we have developed a clear view about what works.
The diagram below summarizes our checklist for success: four key Customer Value Drivers that all service providers should consider when planning a move into digital onboarding and services.
Customer Value Drivers
We believe these four Customer Value Drivers can help agencies assess the impact of proposed designs, technology and user experience for each element of identity verification and digital onboarding:
Achieving high user completion rates above industry norms: A service provider should offer high incentive or value to the end user to try the digital process. Once the end user decides to opt in to the digital channel, there should be a very high success rate of completing the process. This requires a logical workflow, clear user guidance, easy to use technology, and process innovation to ensure a good user experience. If these elements are all in place, service providers will minimize rates of abandonment, which provides no customer value and often creates a disincentive for others who may follow.
Achieving a high identity assurance level: This includes the level of verification of the e-chipped document and use of its secure facial images as a biometric reference, without having to gain access to a central database from the issuing authority. Many identity verification services rely primarily on optical scans/images of an ID document, with inherent security weaknesses for the verification process. It is difficult to obtain consistently high-quality facial images from a scanned or photographed document at the same level as a chip-stored biometric. This can cause repeated customer attempts, leading to abandonment and/or a low-quality image for the reference photograph. This, in turn, can lead to more attempts at manual confirmation. There is also a need to ensure the facial image meets appropriate criteria for 1:1 facial matching that is sensitive to the circumstances of the user. Liveness (or genuine presence) is a further example of the recommended security measures, along with corroborating information needed to achieve high identity assurance (e.g. see UK Good Practice Guide 45).
Achieving minimized manual review/intervention: The degree of success achieved on the above issues will greatly affect the ability to meet a threshold for automatic processing and so allow minimal manual human review and acceptance. Manual review, if used routinely, will slow the process to the point where end users may abandon and so will not be easily scalable or cost effective. There will always be instances where manual adjudication and approval is deemed necessary, such as suspected fraudulent activity, or other circumstances where it is not possible to meet typical criteria for an automated review. The key is to ensure these cases are the exception and not the rule.
Delivering high cost effectiveness: This requires an end-to-end focus on doing it right the first time, rather than incurring unsuccessful attempts to launch, which tends to create bad reviews and user skepticism. It’s important for service providers to choose technology companies with significant experience of similar deployments at high volumes, in order to benefit from lessons learned elsewhere. A poor rate of completion, low identity assurance results or high manual interventions can contribute to poor overall cost effectiveness, even if most technical components are individually running well.
What works in a demo version or early prototype is not necessarily the same as a service that is scalable to millions of people and able to deliver high completion rates to a high level of assurance, meeting customer’s goals. There is considerable complexity behind a large-scale production implementation that can run on global ePassports or citizen eIDs across their multiple generations, plus the wide range of smart phone models and operating systems in use by the general public.
Any agency or company looking to move into digital onboarding should carefully consider not just the tech but the totality of the business processes changes that are required for success.
WorldReach CEO speaking at World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit
April 16, 2021 | Source: WorldReach
The adoption of innovative digital technologies to enable safe and seamless travel are crucial for the recovery of the travel and tourism industry, post-pandemic. The World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2021 brings together the highest-level industry leaders with key government representatives to create a dialogue and take action on the most vital travel and tourism issues affecting the industry now and in the foreseeable future.
WorldReach President & CEO, Gordon Wilson, will be addressing this digital-forward, touchless process vision of Safe & Seamless Travel with a group of highly respected regional experts on Monday, April 26, 2021:
Panel: Shifting Gears for Recovery: Rebuilding Travel & Tourism in Latin America As COVID-19 swept through Latin America, it destroyed almost 10 million jobs in its wake. The closure of international borders to protect public health has been devastating to the sector and made its 2019 GDP contribution of almost US$ 300 billion, a goal for recovery rather than a marker on its path to future growth. What strategies and policies are being implemented or need to be enacted to recover the millions of jobs destroyed and the US$ 110 billion GDP lost to establish a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive sector?
Esteemed Panelists: Martin Zanone, Managing Director, Eurotur Hugo Desenzani, Chief Executive Officer, Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas Gordon Wilson, President, WorldReach Software Julián Guerrero Orozco, Vice-Minister of Commerce, Industry & Tourism of Colombia Moderated by: Arturo Sarukhan, President, Sarukhan + Associates
As a Global Member sponsor, WorldReach has a Virtual Booth highlighting our real-world Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey (SSTJ) Pilots for both air and rail. The Virtual Booth will be available to explore, pre-event, on April 21st. We are also one of only nine companies profiled in the WTTC Global Guides for Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey Reportas technology providers that support the implementation of SSTJ concepts today.
THE WORLD TRAVEL & TOURISM COUNCIL GLOBAL SUMMIT UNITING THE WORLD FOR RECOVERY 26-27 April VIRTUAL + Cancun, Mexico Online, and on demand Register here to attend virtually, FREE!
About WorldReach WorldReach Software uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are to enable digital services delivery, through its systems for:
• government travel services (borders, immigration, passport, consular) and digital citizen services; • safe and seamless traveller journey with the travel sector; • highly trusted digital Identity verification and corroboration.
To learn more about WorldReach’s SSTJ solutions and identity verification approach, visit our website.
Press contact Shelley Bryen, Director of Marketing, +1 (613) 697-6997
WorldReach invited to speak at the INTERNATIONAL BIOMETRIC FORUM launch webinar
WorldReach is delighted to announce our participation in a virtual event officially launching a brand new biometrics association. The International Biometric Forum, a jointly-owned project developed by Smartex and Goode Intelligence, is a membership-based educative and networking forum to address the emerging world of biometrics.
Jon Payne, Executive Director of Global Partnerships at WorldReach, will be speaking on the critical role of biometrics in the remote identity verification digital process of the highly successful Home Office EU Settlement Scheme.
INTERNATIONAL BIOMETRIC FORUM – FREE WEBINAR Tuesday, 30th June 2020 3:00 – 4:45pm BST
Join WorldReach at this launch event and benefit from the views and visions of an esteemed panel of specialists in this field.
Speakers and topics: Welcome and IBF vision statement: Richard Poynder, Smartex IBF and the biometric imperative: Alan Goode, Goode Intelligence Biometrics and beyond, a finserv perspective: Martin Ingram, RBS Home Office EU Settlement Scheme: Jon Payne, WorldReach Securing corporate payments with biometrics: Ray Hockley, Hitachi Europe
About WorldReach Software WorldReach Software uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are to enable digital services delivery, through its systems for: • government travel services (borders, immigration, passport, consular) and digital citizen services; • safe and seamless traveller journey with the travel sector; • highly trusted digital Identity verification and corroboration.
In September 2018, WorldReach signed a multi-year contract with the UK Home Office for the use of its smartphone based digital ID Verification (IDV) and enrolment capability. The Know Your Traveller™ platform is the front end IDV app supporting the EU Settlement Scheme.
In our latest digital interview on the Think Digital Partners’ YouTube interview channel’s just dropped and it’s a very timely one as the UK starts to emerge from Lockdown: how to make one of the main drivers of the global economy, travel, function properly again.
That’s in the shape of some great new commentary from Jon Payne, Executive Director, Global Partnerships at WorldReach, a Canadian software company focusing on Government Travel and Citizen Services, Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey, and Identity Verification solutions. Jon reminds us it’s not too early for Governments round the world to start thinking about the real practicalities of post-Lockdown international travel.
This, he stresses, will have to be totally safe, remote and touchless, and centred on tech-powered approaches to IDV (Identity & Document Verification): but how do we get there from here?
Check out our interview with Jon and see if you agree with his vision of how we can get international business and tourism back on its feet – and help make Recovery really work.
Connect with Jon on LinkedIn here and Twitter here.
Travel after the pandemic: The growth of remote and touchless identity services
Written by Gillian Ormiston, Senior Consultant, Ormiston Consulting Services | Posted on May 29, 2020 | ACI Insights
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of contemporary life, including the travel industry. The majority of flights have been cancelled, airports are deserted, and long queues at security and immigration are just a distant memory.
Airports act as the shop window for many national economies so efficient and secure processes are therefore essential for both trade and tourism. Sooner rather than later, restrictions will begin to lift and travel will start to show the first green shoots of recovery. But that recovery will depend in part on the industry’s ability to respond to the legitimate concerns of travellers.
Passengers’ safety fears
High on the list of traveller concerns will be: am I required to wait in proximity with other travellers, and am I required to use touch devices (such as kiosks, eGates, and boarding pass readers) immediately after other travellers? This is where industry and government agencies will explore remote and touchless solutions.
Seamlessness has long been the byword for passenger processing, whether this is at check-in, access to airside, border control or boarding. Digitization, automation and AI have recently been added to the mantra. However, for good reasons related to safety, airports, airlines, and government agencies take time to deploy new processes.
The need for social distancing has raised many new questions, including: what can be done now to separate queues of passengers, how and where will health checks take place, and what will happen to those passengers who do not pass a health check? There remain many open issues to be addressed by governments and industry bodies.
However, while these complex topics are considered, one fundamental issue can be addressed right now: the need to verify the identity of every passenger. Airlines need to know who is flying so that they can submit Advanced Passenger Information (API), and so they can be sure the person flying is the same person who dropped their bag and went through security.
Most of the current biometric solutions which can support seamlessness at the airport require multiple touchpoints and are based on reading a passport, an ID card or driving licence. So, the most urgent issue now for airports, airlines and government agencies is to put in place a system for remote, off-airport identity verification. With an identity already enrolled securely before travel, the passenger’s face can become their touchless and seamless boarding pass.
The technology to achieve this is already available and proven. It combines the power of smartphones (Android and iOS) to read a passport or ID chip via NFC (near-field communication) with the latest facial recognition technology to provide not just an instant facial match between selfie and passport, but also a genuine presence test to prevent spoofing.
Any authority using this technology can have confidence that a genuine document has been used and that it has not been lost or stolen. They can be sure that the traveller is a real, live person who is the rightful holder of the document. And all this can be achieved remotely, without the traveller needing to be seen in person.
Remote identity and document verification today
This technology is already being used at scale in the real world. As part of the innovative EU Settlement Scheme, the UK Home Office has processed more than 3.5 million EU nationals living in the UK applying for settled status. The large majority chose the digital route and applied successfully, without assistance, in just a few minutes.
The same approach is being explored by Canada Border Services Agency as part of an innovative concept called Chain of Trust, in which biographic and biometric data captured early in the travel continuum is combined with dynamic risk assessment to determine the appropriate channel for each passenger at the border. The ultimate aim is to achieve zero wait time for eligible, low-risk travellers, via the use of biometric corridors.
Airport travel: Where do we go from here?
Many post-pandemic travellers will demand touchless alternatives along these lines. Those organizations wrestling with strategies for pandemic recovery and reconsidering a travel process heavily dependent on the use of touch-screen kiosks, scanners or eGates should urgently consider the fully remote, digital ID verification process described above.
Instead of requiring travellers to stand in a queue with others and use a touch-screen kiosk and/or an eGate, why not allow them to enrol their information in advance of arrival at the airport, on their own smartphone, and grant access to all necessary touchpoints (check-in, bag drop, security, border control, and boarding) based on a touchless facial match?
The required technologies are already available. But prospective buyers should be careful to choose a reliable technology partner and a solution that is proven in the real world at high volumes and a high level of identity assurance. Key issues to consider include security, data privacy, and scalability.
New measures help to rebuild confidence for travellers. Latest protocols aid the reopening of Travel & Tourism sector.
London, UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the second phase of measures to rebuild global consumer confidence to encourage the return of travelling.
The latest protocols are designed to drive the return of safe travel and enable industries, namely tour operators and convention centres, meetings and events to thrive once again.
Detailed discussions took place with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travellers may experience in the ‘new normal’.
The welfare of travellers and the millions of people employed throughout the Travel & Tourism sector at the heart of this new comprehensive package of Safe Travels protocols.
They also provide consistency to destinations and countries as well as guidance to travel providers, airlines, airports, operators, and travellers, about the new approach to health and hygiene in the post COVID-19 world.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around our Safe Travels protocols which will create the consistency needed to allow a re-invigorated Travel & Tourism sector re-open for business.
“Among the most important of these measures are those which will enable the aviation sector to take-off. Aviation’s return is critical to help repower the global economic recovery.
“WTTC aviation protocols were created in close collaboration with ACI and IATA. We thank them and their leaders Angela Gittens and Alexandre de Juniac for their guidance, as it is vital we restore consumer confidence to get people travelling and flying safely.
“The expertise from large and small tour operators, contributed to define the new experience via tour operators and visiting event venues again, and were defined in coordination of experts from this segment, through these robust global measures which have been embraced by businesses around the world.”
Angela Gittens, ACI World Director General said: “Our industry has been brought to a standstill. A balanced and effective restart and recovery of the global travel and tourism sector depends on collaboration among the key participants in this ecosystem and we welcome the ambitious approach taken by the WTTC.
“Collaboration will help to establishing a globally-consistent approach to recovery which will be the most effective way of balancing risk mitigation with the need to enable travel and foster economic recovery while also reassuring the travelling public that health and safety remain the overall priorities.”
Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO at IATA said: “COVID-19 is a gamechanger for the travel and tourism sector, requiring us to enhance our approach to health and safety to protect our travellers and workforce. Aviation is the business of freedom and it is vital to enable its restart on a safe basis. IATA is delighted to lend its framework and collaborate with WTTC on the Aviation Protocols as part of its Safe Travels initiative. This is an excellent example of the industry solidarity and cooperation that will be so vital to ensuring a strong recovery for travel and tourism.”
Yuji Akasaka, Japan Airlines President, said: “We would like to thank WTTC for their deep understanding of the aviation industry and for their worldwide support.
“At this moment I think the most important issue is that all members involved in tourism join forces and cooperate to overcome this crisis. Through WTTC’s widespread initiatives, we would like to work not only with the aviation sector but also with the tourism industry as a whole.”
Deborah Flint, Greater Toronto Airports Authority President and CEO, said: “Airports are one part of many organisations that form the travel and tourism ecosystem, to serve business and humanity’s need to connect.
“Together, we must work towards recovery from this crisis. That is why collaborating with partners like the WTTC on protocols for the new travel experience is important to us. A standardised approach, led by governments with input from industry, will allow us to ensure all safety measure are in place and is a critical step in building confidence in travellers, governments and ensuring resiliency for our industry.”
Greg Webb, Travelport Chief Executive Officer, said: The global travel industry is united in its desire to support a safe, healthy and responsible return to travel. However, for this to be achieved, the industry and governments across the world must now unite around a consistent set of clear practical and meaningful protocols, which are backed up by medical evidence and give travellers the confidence they need to once again take to the skies.
Gordon Wilson, WorldReach President, said: “The new Global Protocols provide an important framework to facilitate government and industry collaboration via a consistent set of guidelines to restore traveller confidence.
“The WTTC’s Seamless Traveller Journey initiative has greater urgency and an expanded role due to COVID-19. Health safety becomes a critical factor and combines the previous seamless travel goals with touchless processes, thereby helping the recovery of global travel.”
Miguel Leitmann, Vision-Box Chief Executive Officer, said: “As a leading forum of the travel and tourism industry, we are fortunate to have WTTC taking an important role in the formulation of trusted and clear travel standards in a post COVID-19 environment.
“Travel has become such an essential component of our daily lives, whether on business, vacation, or for personal reasons, that I am certain that we will soon be growing and thriving again. In the meantime, Vision-Box works closely with our clients and industry stakeholders to implement touchless identification and contactless clearance solutions that will enhance the safety and security of all travellers and staff members throughout the travel and tourism sector.
“Moving forward in this unprecedented time, the strength of our ongoing partnership with WTTC is key to recovery and success. Integrity, values and expertise drives our shared commitment to make our world a better place and we look forward to our mutual support, both personally and professionally.”
Aileen Clemente, Rajah Travel Corporation Chairman and CEO, said: “Restoring travel confidence is a major pillar to the recovery of our industry. Rajah Travel Corporation fully supports the WTTC in its leadership in engaging the private sector for the development of Safe Travel protocols across the value chain.
“We all benefit from WTTC’s strong advocacy with global and national institutions to prioritise travel and tourism in the recovery plans. The WTTC initiatives during this crisis are instrumental in how we re-shape our product offerings, business solutions and service to ensure and promote safe, secure, and seamless experience among our global customers and stakeholders.”
Darrell Wade, Intrepid Group Chairman said: “Safety and collaboration have never been more important, so its outstanding to see the travel industry work together as one, to ensure the health and wellbeing of travelers, workers and community members.”
Last week, WTTC unveiled Safe Travels protocols for hospitality and outdoor retail, which were widely endorsed and supported by top CEOs and business leaders globally.
However, earlier this week, WTTC’s unveiled its landmark new global safety stamp to encourage safe travels and the reopening of the Travel & Tourism sector.
Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the new protocols will recognise businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them to rebuild confidence among consumers, encourage the return of ‘Safe Travels’ and enable the Travel & Tourism sector to reopen for business.
Detailed discussions took place with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travellers may expect during their next flights in the ‘new normal’.
Evidence from WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation to ensure that smart policies and effective communities are in place to enable a more resilient Travel & Tourism sector.
WTTC divided the new guidance into four pillars including operational and staff preparedness; ensuring a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.
Measures announced today include:
Enhanced cleaning including to self-service equipment, baggage trolleys, counters, buggies, security checkpoints, washrooms, elevators, handrails, boarding areas, and common areas with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points
Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to staff, such as masks
New signage and announcements to limit interaction and queuing at touchpoints
Possible pre-arrival health risk assessment to prevent delays upon arrival
Reduce passenger touchpoints through online check-in before departure, use of self-check in kiosks and bag drop, home-printed bag tags, greater use of biometric e-gates and boarding card reading at gates
If entry-exit screening is mandated, it should be carried out in a non-intrusive, walk through manner, through full body infrared scanners using handheld infrared thermometers, and ear gun thermometers
Enhanced food safety and hygiene at restaurants, with prepacked foods to avoid handling of food at buffets
Possible redesign of immigration halls together with governments and airlines to speed up procedures
Where declarations are required upon arrival, electronic options should be used to minimise contact; ideally using contactless processes.
Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to staff such as masks
Reduce passengers’ touchpoints through online check-in before departure, use of self-check in kiosks and bag drop, home-printed bag tags, greater use of biometric e-gates and boarding card reading at gates
Provide approved hand sanitizers as appropriate based on high-traffic areas, such as check-in and boarding areas
Revisited guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the plane including washrooms, as well as check in and boarding areas, with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points
Consider boarding from back of the plane to the front, window to aisle
Limit movement in the cabin as much as possible
Retrain crew and frontline staff regarding infection control and hygiene measures
Enhanced sanitation, disinfection, and deep cleaning practices for coaches and other vehicles
Focused cleaning on high-frequency touch points, including handrails, door handles, tables, onboard toilets, air conditioning filters, overhead lockers and headsets
Pre-allocated seating plans with no rotation
Limit physical contact and queuing where possible
Explore staggered timing for access to venues, hotels and restaurants among others
Health, sanitation, disinfection and hygiene and food safety protocols at partner restaurants
Establish with partners and suppliers including shops, showrooms, tasting venues/shops, museums, shows theatres, concert halls, factories and farms, that they follow likely protocols
Convention Centres, Meetings & Events
Implement physical distancing for seating distribution and aisles, utilizing government guidance if available. Create visual support to show intent as appropriate.
Reduce venue capacity limits for participants as appropriate and required by local legislation
Distinguish between different areas of risk in the venue
Consider pre-arrival risk assessment questionnaire for participants
Limit physical interaction and possible queuing at reception and registration using advance registration to enhance participant flow
Create isolation units outside the venue where possible for those showing COVID-19 symptoms
Additional and separate measures for the Cruise sector and Insurance businesses, amongst others, are currently in development and will be announced in due course.
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.
COVID-19: WorldReach Company Statement
March 16, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to impact communities globally, WorldReach has taken all possible measures to protect our staff and to maintain the same level of service and support for all of our valued clients.
Following guidance from our health authorities, and as a precautionary measure, all of our employees in the Ottawa headquarters and UK office will be temporarily working remotely in self-isolation. In accordance with our Business Continuity Plans, our IT infrastructure has been designed and thoroughly tested to support all employees working remotely with their secure, company-assigned mobile devices. We will continue to rely on video communication services and other collaboration tools to conduct meetings and deliver on our commitments.
WorldReach’s ability to support the on-going operation of all of our consular (assistance, crisis management), immigration and border control systems and to continue to develop additional capability will not be impacted.
We would like to reassure you that the safety, health and well-being of our employees, community, international travellers and clients will always be our TOP priority.