Press Release: VFS Global, Unifier and Accredify announce strategic partnership in digital health credentials for a seamless and safe cross-border travel experience
- Validated Digital Health Credential Certificate solution used by Singapore-bound travellers from Indonesia
- Tamper-proof COVID-19 testing and digital health credential solution for airlines and immigration authorities saves time and improves reliability of health status verification for travellers
SINGAPORE, 22 June 2021 – VFS Global, Affinidi’s Unifier and Accredify have announced a strategic partnership to provide an end-to-end digital solution for COVID-19 (RT-PCR) testing for Singapore bound travellers from Indonesia. With the gradual easing of restrictions by countries while ensuring the safeguarding of public health and traveller safety, a smart and reliable COVID-19 testing and verification solution is now a prerequisite for restarting international travel. The partnership will provide a convenient solution for all travellers who are required to undergo pre-departure testing – a mandatory requirement for travellers entering Singapore from countries classified as high risk.
VFS Global, Accredify and Affinidi’s Unifier are leveraging their strengths and capabilities in the healthcare, travel and technology space to provide a secure and reliable solution to stakeholders within the travel ecosystem. This starts from enabling travellers to seamlessly book their mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 swab test and keep a copy of the swab’s results online via VFS Global’s network of accredited laboratories. With Accredify’s tamper-proof HealthCert solution, the traveller’s test results can be used for verification purposes by relevant authorities. Unifier then enables airlines and immigration authorities to digitally verify the authenticity of the COVID-19 test results using a simple QR code scan and matching the health credentials against entry requirements of the destination country.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr Jiten Vyas, Regional Group COO, VFS Global, “A convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 testing solution will be a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel as the restrictions continue to be stringent compared to domestic travel. We are pleased to partner with Affindi and Accredify to provide a seamless booking system to get a reliable COVID swab result that is accepted by airlines and immigration authorities to verify an individual’s COVID health status. We now offer ease of access to a much-needed and verified solution and also support a safe restart of international travel in the coming months.’’
Ms Gina Chiang, Affinidi’s VP & General Manager, Safe Travel initiatives said “As borders re-open, we have seen an explosion of different technologies, standards and formats for the verification of health credentials. Our aim with Affinidi’s Unifier is to provide an interoperable solution that enables immigration authorities and airlines to verify COVID-related health credentials in an efficient, accurate and privacy-preserving manner, while also enhancing traveller experience. We are committed to working with global stakeholders to build a trusted global ecosystem for international travel, and we are pleased to be collaborating with VFS Global and Accredify on this important initiative.”
Mr Quah Zheng Wei, CEO & Co-founder, Accredify, noted“Following IATA’s announcement that personal travel could return in the second half of 2021, there is a need for services which provide travellers with a seamless process of pre-travel preparation and authorities with an efficient solution to facilitate the regulated health screening of travellers. We’re delighted to partner with VFS Global to realise this solution for both travellers and authorities, beginning with the Southeast Asian and East Asian region.”
With the use of Unifier and HealthCerts tamper-proof swab result, the duration it takes for airline staff and immigration authorities to verify a passenger’s COVID-19 test result is greatly reduced while awarding assurance to authorities within seconds. This enables a more efficient and convenient travel experience for both travellers and border authorities. Unifier, a web-based application by Affinidi, enables airlines and immigration authorities to authenticate digitally verifiable test results using a QR code scan. HealthCerts was co-developed by Accredify to resolve the issue of fraudulent COVID-19 test results as well as black markets selling COVID-negative test results and to provide an internationally recognisable standard to verify a traveller’s COVID health status. As governments, airlines and local authorities require support with implementing COVID-19 testing, VFS Global offers seamless service for travellers through its network of strategic medical partners and authorised laboratories, accredited by Governments, across 270 cities in 45 countries by leveraging the Validated Digital Health Credential solution that was introduced last year.
About VFS Global
VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. With 3498 Application Centres, operations in 144 countries across five continents and over 229 million applications processed (since inception in 2001) as on 31 May 2021, VFS Global is the trusted partner of 63 client governments. The company manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications for visa, passport and consular services for its client governments, enabling them to focus entirely on the critical task of assessment.
VFS Global is majority owned by the global investment organisation EQT. The Swiss-based Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation holds a minority stake in VFS Global. EQT is a global investment organisation with offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and with a 27-year track-record of consistent investment performance across multiple geographies, sectors, and strategies. EQT AB Group is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange.
Affinidi is a core technology company that enables creating, sharing and verification of digital credentials that are portable and verifiable. Affinidi’s solutions empower trusted institutions to issue verifiable credentials to users, who can provide consent to share their credentials with other institutions, applications or service providers, for verification. By sharing these verifiable data credentials, users can access valuable products and services across platforms and geographies in a trusted, open and interoperable manner.
Headquartered in Singapore with a hub in Berlin, Germany, Affinidi works with stakeholders and partners globally to realize the shared goal of driving transformational change and new business models. As part of its Safe Travel initiative, Affinidi’s Unifier offers a universal, privacy-preserving solution to simply and securely verify digital health credentials to address the increasingly complex environment for international travel. Affinidi is also building an ecosystem that provides services to consumers across India using verifiable data, powered by Affinidi’s verifiable credential system. In addition, Affinidi’s Global Developer Ecosystem enables developers to utilize verifiable credentials to create innovative solutions and new use cases that will foster digital trust globally.
Founded in 2019, Accredify is pioneering the adoption of verifiable data by providing organisations with an end-to-end solution to create and issue verifiable documents. With a presence in more than eight markets serving 800 clients globally, documents issued by Accredify have been verified close to 6 million times. With a dedicated team that embraces the highest standards of customer service, security, and privacy, Accredify’s objective is to be the trusted solution for managing and verifying documents anywhere and anytime.
For more information, follow Accredify on LinkedIn @Accredify