Need to Know
- Mastercard and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have partnered to create an environment that ensures governments have digital health pass solutions that will make travel safe again.
- The two companies will establish digital standards for sharing vital health information, such as COVID-19 testing and vaccination status.
- Mastercard is one of the companies currently building the Good Health Pass, a digital “health passport” that individuals can carry wherever they go.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues globally, Mastercard has partnered with the International Chamber of Commerce to establish digital solutions for the sharing of vital health information.
In a press release issued on March 11, Mastercard said that it will be working with the ICC to create an environment ensuring that governments have access to digital health pass solutions, in order to make travel and commerce safe again. This will involve establishing digital standards for sharing health information such as COVID-19 vaccination and testing status. Currently, governments are relying on paper documents to determine and communicate COVID-19 test results and vaccination status; the new standards established by Mastercard and the ICC will result in impenetrable digital solutions that enforce trust, and are not as susceptible to falsification as paper documents, resulting in increased safety.
“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,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard. “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 organizations 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 said that the digital health passes would “ensure that business leaders and policymakers are equipped with as many tools as possible to mitigate disruption and safely reopen our global economy.”
Mastercard and the ICC had already signed on, in February, for the creation of a Good Health Pass, which is a digital “health passport” that individuals can carry with them. These digital health credentials could be displayed as a QR code on a user’s phone, and easily scanned at airports or other public spaces in order to securely verify COVID-19 testing status and ensure overall safety.
The Good Health Pass is just one digital health passport solution currently in development, as tech companies have recognized the need for secure, easily shareable vaccination and testing status. In January, Microsoft and Salesforce announced they had teamed up for the development of a vaccine passport which, similar to the Mastercard-ICC initiative, would allow individuals to store their vaccination status in their smartphone wallet, for easy display at airports and other public spaces. IBM is also working on a digital health pass, which is currently piloting in New York State.