Mobile Driver’s Licenses Offer COVID-Safe Contactless ID Option for Pharmacies

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

In October 2020, the New South Wales (NSW) Road Transport Amendment (Digital Licensing) Bill gave digital licenses the same legal standing as physical ID cards. This allows, among other use cases, pharmacists in New South Wales to accept a patient’s mobile driver’s license (mDL) instead of a physical ID when purchasing restricted OTC medications such as pseudoephedrine[i]. With Florida poised to become the first U.S. state to widely offer trustworthy ISO-compliant mobile driver's licenses to its residents[ii] in 2021, pharmacies in America are likely to soon follow suit.

Driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of contactless ID is catching fire. Authenticating a person’s ID without the need for a physical credential (or their mobile device) to change hands increases safety for both the pharmacist and their customer. Additionally, a mobile driver’s license gives control over one’s identity data that’s not possible with physical cards. While traditional physical identity documents provide verifiers access to all the citizen’s personal information, mobile ID utilizes data minimization which allows the mDL holder to only share the data required to complete a specific transaction. For example, pharmacies only receive user’s “contact information” (birthday, address, name, photo, and validity of the identification document). This is different from a liquor store, which would only require a user’s “over 21” status, photo, first name, and validity of the ID.

Mobile driver’s licenses provide a contactless “Tap & Go” ID transaction comparable to making a payment with the tap of smartphone. Similar to a credit card on a phone, for an mDL to be secure and effective you cannot simply show a photo, rendering, or mock-up of a license. Visual authentication is too easy to fake. Instead, ISO 18013-5-compliant mDLs are a trustworthy, official, government-issued driver’s license/ID on a mobile phone. The government issuer e-signs the data and puts it under the control of the mDL holder (the citizen), to be used via electronic transfer. Pharmacists (or any verifier) can authenticate eSignatures to immediately ensure the data is authoritative and not tampered with. Specific to the pharmacy use case, it is important to ensure an ID has not been tampered with so that only the intended recipient is obtaining medications.

Find out  how GET Group North America can support the contactless ID technology needs of pharmacies and other verifiers here. Click here to schedule a 15-minute demo.

[i] https://issues.pharmacydaily.com.au/2020/Oct20/pd141020.pdf

[ii] https://www.fox13news.com/news/florida-to-offer-mobile-drivers-licenses-on-smartphones-starting-in-2021

 

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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.

[i] https://restaurant.org/manage-my-restaurant/business-operations/covid19/research/industry-research

[ii] https://www.yelpeconomicaverage.com/yelp-coronavirus-economic-impact-report.html

[iii] https://www.publicissapient.com/insights/covid19_perspectives_on_the_coronavirus/contactless-qsrs

[iv] https://www.mdlconnection.com/

[v] https://veloxity.us/dirty-cell-phones-studies-statistics/#:~:text=It%E2%80%99s%20a%20well-known%20fact%20that%20cell%20phones%20are,time%20you%20press%20your%20face%20to%20your%20phone.

[vi] https://www.restaurant.org/research/restaurant-statistics/restaurant-industry-facts-at-a-glance

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The Importance of Contactless ID in a Post-COVID World

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

As the world emerges from the global COVID-19 shutdown and adjusts to an uncharted “new normal”, all forms of contactless transactions are becoming increasingly necessary. Economies are reopening but the threat of COVID-19 resurging is forcing companies to continuously evolve and adapt. While convenience and fraud protection were previously driving demand[i] for high-assurance mobile ID technology and online identity[ii], the potential advantages[iii] of contactless ID now include health[iv] and personal safety[v].

To initially stop the transmission of COVID-19, states shut down the majority of their economies and required extreme new protocols for essential transactions. Now, as governments proceed with phased plans for safely regaining normalcy while maintaining physical distance, adopting contactless ID --presenting identity without handing over a card from your pocket[vi] -- can limit the risk of virus transmission between ID verifiers (such as law enforcement officers, TSA Agents, airlines[vii], or retailers[viii]) and the card holder.  As government leaders continue to invest in ways to keep citizens safe, contactless ID should become a new standard, in conjunction with mask-wearing policies and recommending at least six feet of distance.

Government ID Issuers have a new role to play in protecting our society

To improve health and safety, retailers are moving age-based purchases to online delivery, checking ID through the front door glass, and offering drop-and-go delivery. The difficulty with this is that authenticating the ID and visually verifying the identity of the card holder is obscured by distance and the drop in accuracy is sharp. Fortunately, technology for contactless ID exists now[ix] and there is a better way to perform ID checking[x]. With a mobile driver’s license (mDL)[xi], we have the ability to distance these transactions, similarly to what has previously been done by taking payments to contactless “Tap & Go”.

While the benefits of expediting widespread adoption of contactless ID are increasingly apparent post-COVID, it is also important to do it in a safe and secure way that protects against fraud and identity theft and safeguards citizen privacy[xii]. Therefore, an mDL[xiii] used in contactless transactions cannot simply be a photo or mock-up of a license on a phone. Instead, an ISO 18013–5-compliant mDL creates the possibility of trustworthy, official, government-issued mDLs and IDs on our mobile phones. The government issuer e-signs the data and puts it under the control of the mDL holder (the citizen), to be used via electronic transfer—just like payment cards.  Unlike with physical identity documents, the mDL holder consents to share only the personal information that is relevant to the transaction.  The verifier (shops, restaurants, rental counters and everyone that relies on government ID) can verify eSignatures to receive only the data they need without ever physically handling the card holder’s mobile device or having to get close enough to check a physical ID card.

Government IDs can be securely issued to our mobile phones for us to use

In conclusion, contactless payment and ID are more necessary than ever and governments should adopt contactless ID for the public’s safety by rolling out mobile ID technology.  With government-issued mDLs, the possibilities of improving the safety, health, security, and privacy of our ID-proofing transactions are numerous.  The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown all of us how necessary and important this is.

Find out  how GET Group North America can support the contactless ID technology needs of both identity document issuers and verifiers here.

[i] https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/16/online-id-verification-is-seeing-a-spike-in-demand-driven-by-covid-19/

[ii] https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35570/fatf-promotes-digital-id-during-covid-19

[iii] https://medium.com/@dkelts.id/id-transactions-as-we-open-up-our-world-post-covid-19-395dd548ef13

[iv] https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2020/04/15/coronavirus-more-than-400-tsa-officers-test-positive-third-dies/5137940002/

[v] https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/dont-waste-a-good-crisis-experts-push-governments-to-create-digital-id-programs-as-covid-19-pushes-digital-transformation/wcm/ffdc23f9-7f28-483d-9d08-1d827fd6e49a/

[vi] https://askthescientists.com/hidden-germs/ Item #7

[vii] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-airports/touchless-how-the-worlds-busiest-airport-envisions-post-covid-travel-idUSKCN24D0B8

[viii] https://www.pymnts.com/today-in-data/2020/retail-challenges-opportunities-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/

[ix] https://medium.com/@dkelts.id/mobile-driver-licenses-mdl-how-to-use-iso-18013-5-5a1bbc1a37a3

[x] https://www.lawfareblog.com/weaponization-dogs-internet

[xi] https://www.mdlconnection.com/

[xii] https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/08/coronavirus-will-we-give-up-privacy-for-security/

[xiii] https://www.mdlconnection.com/

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