Reimagining the Post-COVID Restaurant Experience with Contactless ID

David Kelts, Director of Product Development, Mobile Identity, GET Group North America

You can provide a more personalized and healthier restaurant experience with Contactless ID

The COVID Restaurant Problem

In the United States, the National Restaurant Association anticipates the restaurant industry will sustain $240 billion in losses by the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March and April, it had already lost $80 billion in sales[i]. According to data from Yelp, restaurants and retail were the two business areas hit hardest by the impacts of COVID. In March, the first month of widespread U.S. quarantines and restrictions, restaurants had the highest number of business closures and have continued to experience high closure rates as they struggle to adapt to new and evolving safety guidelines and widespread public health concerns. Running on thin margins and struggling to break even, many restaurants were unable to bounce back from the months of financial loss caused by mandatory shutdowns. By early summer, 23,981 restaurants had closed, and Yelp found 53% of those closures are permanent.[ii]

Restaurants that have recently reopened have to navigate this socially distanced new world. It is not easy to keep employees and customers safe, adhere to shifting government regulations, and maintaining the public’s confidence. Luckily, during summer of 2020, beautiful weather allowed restaurants to offer outdoor dining. This ingenuity resulted in reclaimed parking lots turned into lively and romantic settings to dine. As warm summer temperatures cool off into chill fall nights, patio heaters may no longer suffice. What do we do now?

How can we protect health while returning to what we enjoy – dining out?

Many restauranteurs have invested in contactless solutions[iii], such as digital menu boards or mobile menus accessed via QR codes, to cut down on physical exchanges where germs could potentially be spread. Customers and restaurants are opting for contactless payment – tap cards, phone payments, and QR code-driven restaurant checks.

While many restaurants have worked to minimize the spread of germs via digital menu solutions, there is still concern for contamination when a bartender or waitstaff needs to check a patron’s ID to verify their age. To date, a thorough look at an ID requires handing over a physical credential but now, the prospect of mobile driver’s licenses (mDL) opens the potential for accurate Contactless ID checks.

Contactless ID using Mobile Driver’s License (mDL)

An mDL[iv] used in contactless transactions cannot simply be a photo or mock-up of a license on a phone. Photos are too easily manipulated and may still require that waitstaff physically take hold of or touch the patron’s phone. This would be less efficient than a physical card; less safe from a health standpoint, as statistics show that each square inch of a cell phone may contain a whopping 25,000 germs[v]; and could even increase identity fraud. In contrast, an ISO 18013–5-compliant mDL creates the possibility of trustworthy, official, government-issued mDLs and IDs on a mobile phone. An ISO 18013-5 compliant mDL is an actual ID on the patron’s phone. The government issuer (DMV) e-signs the data and puts it under the control of the mDL holder (the citizen), to be used via electronic transfer. A restaurant employee can verify the DMV’s eSignature via an “over the shoulder” QR scan method or a quick tap on the employee’s mobile device on a payment terminal. The restaurant receives only the data they need without ever touching the ID card, the patron’s mobile device, or having to get within minimum social distance.

Making Contactless More Personal and an Improved Experience

As adoption of mDL technology becomes widespread, it also opens the door for other contactless experiences in restaurants, such as virtual “check-ins”, allowing patrons to announce their arrival via Bluetooth instead of going to a host/hostess. Not only could this help promote increased social distancing, it could also allow for a more customized dining experience. Imagine arriving to a restaurant with a personalized greeting from the server and not having to fumble through your wallet to find your ID because your age was verified prior to sitting down. In a society where 63% of consumers value the experience more than the item purchased[vi], being at the forefront of implementing safer and more personalized practices with mobile ID can help a restaurant differentiate itself from those that are sticking with antiquated practices.

Find out how GET Group North America can meet your contactless ID technology needs here. Click here to schedule a 15-minute demo.








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Identity Management Expert Geoff Slagle Joins Private Sector to Drive Global Adoption of ISO-Compliant Mobile Driver’s License

AAMVA Veteran to Shape Mobile Business Development for mDL Technology Partners Scytáles AB and GET Group

 Waltham, Massachusetts, September 21, 2020 Geoff Slagle, a globally-known patron and spokesperson for mobile driver’s license (mDL) technology, has been appointed as President and Chief Business Development Officer of Scytáles AB. The former director of Identity Management for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) will help guide both Scytáles and its global mDL partner, GET Group, in establishing a market-leading position for ISO-compliant mobile driver’s licenses and mobile IDs.

Geoff Slagle has more than 23 years of identity management experience. Since 2008 he has been directing AAMVA’s identity management program, including leading its mDL activities and managing its Electronic Identity and Joint mDL working groups. Mr. Slagle coordinated with the DMV of the Netherlands; the National Police Agency of Japan; and AAMVA (including seven of its jurisdictions) on mDL proof-of-concept. For the past four years he has also chaired the ANSI committee (INCITS DL) responsible for driver license standardization, including mDL.

GET Group, together with its affiliate GET Group North America, and Scytáles AB partnered to develop a mobile identity technology platform that is fully compliant with the 18013-5 standard, which specifies technical and interoperability requirements for mDLs. The companies work in close collaboration to make this technology available across the world and to educate the market on the importance of the cryptographic proof of ID provided by ISO 18013-5.

“Mr. Slagle is one of the most recognized and highly-regarded champions of mobile driver’s license adoption and has been instrumental in coordinating and publishing AAMVA’s guidelines and model legislation around the subject,” said Alex Kambanis, president and managing director, GET Group North America. “We are thrilled to have him supporting our efforts in North America in particularly, via his new role with our partner Scytáles. Like us, Geoff recognizes the importance of 18013-5 standardization for mDLs to be truly trusted around the world and appreciates that GET and Scytales are the experts in ISO 18013-5 implementation.”

“I am optimistic about the future of digital identity and impressed by the global partnership Scytáles and GET Group have formed to produce mDLs that can be issued and used everywhere thanks to compliance with global identification standards,” said Geoff. “I have spent the last decade assisting with the creation and shaping of policies and standards that make possible the implementation of mDL. I now want to apply myself and invest in the execution of those in a practical way and know that Scytáles and GET Group are poised to accomplish this better than anyone to the benefit of billions of individuals that currently hold a driver license and the potential to possess a mDL. The two companies have made significant financial investment into the technology and are ready to go right now with standing up mDL capabilities for issuing authorities. I look forward to working together with GET in my new capacity as President and Chief Business Development Officer of Scytáles AB to make the promise of efficient, secure, and affordable mDLs possible for everyone.”

About GET Group

GET Group’s history spans more than 30 years of milestones, awards, partnerships and many achievements. Since its foundation in 1986, the Group has established and maintained a prestigious reputation in the fields of security printing, smart solutions, and, more recently, robotics and automation. Today, GET Group employs more than 1,000 professionals in five continents, with country representation offices in major economic and technological hubs around the world.

About Scytáles AB

Scytáles is breaking new ground by developing and offering ISO-Mobile Drivers Licenses, ISO-Mobile IDs and Derived Mobile IDs, as a complement to Security Printed Documents, and Validation mechanisms in realtime in online and offline modes. Scytáles is also providing a Credential Service Provider (CSP), an ICAO 9303/PKD PKI, supporting multiple Mobile Driver Licenses (mDL), Mobile IDs (mID), Derived Mobile IDs and online identity validation providers. The company´s Scandinavian roots and values are an important asset, as well as its extensive network of key players and legislators in 60 countries around the world.

PR Contact

Jordan Bouclin
SVM Public Relations & Marketing Communications


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