As more countries across the globe look to ramp up their vaccination efforts while also trying to return to some level of normalcy, the use of digital vaccination cards is an idea we’ve seen crop up now and again. The latest platform to do so is Samsung Pay, with smart health cards now capable of being stored on the mobile solution.
Unfortunately, this feature is limited to those users in the United States, with the Commons Project Foundation collaborating with Samsung on its rollout.
“This new feature allows U.S. consumers to download a verifiable digital version of their Covid-19 vaccine record received from leading pharmacies, providers, or health systems and securely store it in Samsung Pay via the CommonHealth app on supported Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The feature will roll out over the next two weeks to all addressable devices,” explains the South Korean firm in a blog post.
Given that vaccination cards in the US are paper-based and can quite easily get damaged, creating a digital version makes a lot of sense.
It also looks like you don’t even have to make use of the payment portion of Samsung Pay in order to access the feature.
“Once the user’s health information is verified through secure authentication measures, users can download their Covid-19 vaccination record in the CommonHealth app and add it to Samsung Pay for convenient access and use, such as when Covid-19 vaccination verification may be required for travel and entry to venues. Once downloaded, the Covid-19 vaccine credential can also be securely shared as a QR code with any trusted party such as a school, workplace, while traveling, or with a healthcare provider,” the blog post unpacks.
For now, Samsung is staying mum on whether this feature will be rolled out to other parts of the world.
Given that Samsung Pay is available in South Africa, making it available here to local consumers would be welcome, especially as we suffer from the same issues as the US does when it comes to the fragility of the vaccination cards.
With Google recently announcing a similar solution via its Passes platform in the US, hopefully the big tech firms are thinking about countries that are not in North America too.