Onfido will be providing identity verification and immunity credentials to people booking hotel rooms through Sidehide. The two companies are hoping that the partnership will help to once again make it safe for people to travel, and serve as an example of the kinds of precautions that businesses will need to take to reopen the economy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sidehide is a hotel booking app that had the misfortune to launch in early 2020. Based in Berlin, the company is trying to restore people’s confidence in the travel industry and make the check-in process safer for those who do decide to take a trip.
Onfido will support that goal with simple customer onboarding and discreet immunity passports. In that regard, the onboarding and identity verification process is much the same as it was before the pandemic, and leverages Onfido’s face and document recognition tech to compare a selfie to the photo on an official government ID. The immunity passport, on the other hand, is delivered through a QR code that will serve as proof that the user is free of COVID-19. The solution offers a degree of privacy since users would not have to share any additional personal or medical information to demonstrate their immunization status.
“Through our partnership with Onfido, we will be able to allow guests to prove their immunity status directly from our app in seconds, avoiding contact touchpoints, thus keeping both guests and hotel staff safe,” said Sidehide Co-founder and CEO Joakim Hultin.
“The safety of our guests and staff is our ultimate priority,” said Setai Miami Beach General Manager Alex Furrer. “This is exactly what the hotel industry needs to safely return to normal.”
While the process of sending a QR code to a hotel is relatively straightforward, it’s as yet unclear how users would be able to obtain an immunity passport. Onfido indicated that it is collaborating with governments and other authorities to develop such a system, which would presumably require an official COVID-19 test result and clean bill of health from a medical professional.
Users who book through Sidehide would be able to skip the check-in desk and go straight to their room. The solution reduces the potential number of physical contact points during the visit and makes the experience safer for guests and hotel staff alike. Onfido noted that the system could be deployed in offices and other venues in addition to hotels.
May 12, 2020 – by Eric Weiss