The COVID-19 pandemic is changing daily routines for consumers around the world, leading companies of all kinds to navigate how to reach them remotely as they follow stay-at-home orders. This has spurred the acceleration of digital identity and biometric innovations, from securely verifying a customer opening a bank account through a mobile app to detecting febrile passengers who are looking to board airplanes or public buses.
In the April Digital Identity Tracker®, PYMNTS explores how the pandemic is driving new demand for online ID verification tools and biometric products to help facilitate a new touchless society.
COVID-19 is creating a spike in demand for telehealth appointments and the need to remotely authenticate patients before they are connected with doctors virtually. France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are seeing demand for remote consultations spike by 240 percent, according to Sweden-based doctor-by-video startup KRY. Demand is also rising in the U.S., where several providers are working to enable access to online healthcare services.
National telehealth firm TelaCare is one such provider with a recently announced rollout of a COVID-19 assessment tool. The solution requires patients to complete online questionnaires, after which those with symptoms of COVID-19 can connect with a TelaCare network physician for additional assessment via phone or video call.
A landmark bill passed in Washington state is requiring more stringent regulation of facial recognition software. The bill will be vetted and tested for fairness since studies have raised concerns about the technology’s ability to accurately identify women and people of color. Law enforcement agencies would need to secure a court order or warrant before using the technology. Microsoft President Brad Smith called the bill “early and important” and “a significant breakthrough.”
For more on these and other digital identity news items, download this month’s Tracker.
Royal Bank Of Canada Accelerates Digital ID Rollout Due To COVID-19
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) recently rolled out digital government identity verification capabilities, allowing customers to verify their identifies for account opening using its RBC mobile app. For this month’s feature story, PYMNTS spoke with RBC’s senior vice president Peter Tilton about how it accelerated plans for secure account opening through the bank’s mobile app as fewer consumers want to venture to banks due to the COVID-19 crisis, and how the artificial intelligence system protects sensitive data from fraudsters.
Concerns around the world over contamination from COVID-19 have spurred development of an array of innovative biometric products that could assist in an emerging touchless society. As organizations including the New York City Policy Department stop using its fingerprint ID entry for employees, there has been a spike in demand for facial recognition technology alternatives. In China, there are already reports of city buses installing facial recognition to detect COVID-19 on buses. This month’s Deep Dive examines the demand for facial recognition technology for contactless ID verification, sensor technology for fever screening to prevent the spread of coronavirus and privacy concerns surrounding these emerging technologies.
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