A Personal Verification Platform Underpinned by Blockchain Technology

John Speight, Head of Advisory at Coforge asks Gary McKay, Founder and CEO of APPII

Abstract

APPII is an online personal verification platform founded in 2016 by Gary McKay, Brian McNulty and Adi Ben-Ari.

APPII verifies identities, background checks (e.g. criminal record history) and career history (resumes) for job seekers providing organisations quick access to this pre-verified information.

The APPII platform provides customers with a configurable “software-as-a-service” platform that automates the pre-employment checking processes, reducing the time for background checks from weeks to minutes.

APPII has been working with companies in the Staffing and Recruitment industry such as the Impellam Group Plc and Techno-jobs, in the Education Industry with the likes of the Open University, NCFE and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, as well as collaboration with other large multinationals in the Oil & Energy and Financial Services industries.

Gary, can you give me some background on the partnership with Coforge?

Coforge has been the primary strategic partner of APPII since 2019, together we have been developing the APPII platform to enhance its personal verification and pre-employment screening capabilities and services.

APPII leverages the industry expertise of Coforge, as well as their software engineering capabilities, to accelerate the digital transformation of our clients’ HR, Talent Acquisition and Pre-Employment Screening services across heavily regulated markets (e.g. Travel, Health, Banking, Financial Services, Insurance).

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What is your view on the current COVID-19 situation?

As at 1st April almost a third of the global population is on coronavirus lockdown with no definitive timeline as to when restrictions on citizens movement will be lifted. However, transition from this lockdown will need to occur for citizens and economies to return to business as usual.

The transition from the coronavirus lockdown will require careful management to stop, or at least minimise, the possibility of a further outbreak (2nd Wave) of the virus.

The question arises, how will governments facilitate an orderly transition out of lockdown, that enables employees, citizens and businesses to safely return to business as usual (BAU)?

How can governing bodies and employees mitigate the risks as lockdowns are relaxed?

It is suggested that employers and authorities will need a method of determining an individual’s health risk for employees and citizens to be permitted to move freely and therefore not pose a risk to themselves, their colleagues or the wider community.

Employers will need to determine which employees can resume normal working activities, based on their health status, in order to transition back to BAU. We see health status being determined in two ways.

  • Self-Declaration
  • Authorised Verification of Health (AVH)

Can you explain what you mean here and what the issues employers with face?

Self-Declaration is problematic in that it does not provide definitive proof for employers or authorities that the individual a) does not have the virus and therefore b) of minimal risk to themselves or others. However, self-declaration would enable employers to understand the current situation with their workforce and provide the required data for them to make tactical and strategic decisions on returning the workforce to the workplace.

There is also the opportunity for employers to develop personalised messages for employees given their health status. That is, if all employees register for a single service.

Authorised verification of an individual’s health status would need to come from a Registered Doctor or Government Health Authority. The key steps in the process would be:

  • A robust identity verification process to ensure that the coronavirus status is issued to the correct individual.
  • The registered authority associating the verified health status to the individual.
  • Concise instructions from an employer or government authority as to what actions they can take (Permitted Post Lockdown Action) based on their health status

Can you explain what you mean here and what the issues employers with face?

The table below outlines the suggested categories of coronavirus status for an individual with examples of permitted post lockdown actions.

Coforge

Can you explain how APPII and NIITTechnologies are working on a solution that helps to determine the health status of an individual.

APPII and Coforge have been working together to determine a solution to assist employers and government authorities facilitate an orderly and managed transition from the coronavirus lockdown.

The solution assists both individuals and organisations (e.g. police, employers or healthcare professionals) in determining whether an intended action by an individual is prudent or not.

Employers will be seeking to manage the transition of employees from the position of working from home back to the workplace. The method by which this occurs will require a concise framework as well as defined processes and procedures.

The solution will be very simple for employers to implement and for employees to understand. With APPII:

  • Any building concierge will be able to install the APPII mobile app on their smartphone.
  • Employees will be asked to show their APPII QR code to the concierge who will be able to determine whether the employees are permitted to enter the workplace.

Equally, employers will be able to directly message employees in any given category to outline the actions they need to take given their health status. This will be important where they need the employees to remain in isolation and working from home.

Those in authority will also be able to download the APPII mobile app on their smartphones.

They can ask individuals if they have a verified profile on APPII and seek temporary access to the individuals profile using their APPII QR code. This will be especially useful for the likes of the Police, Healthcare Professionals, Security Services and others that have rigorous requirements to inhibit the transmission of the virus in any given context.

Can you explain how APPII will help Customer Service Representatives working in the travel, leisure and entertainment industries?

Domestic and international travel has been heavily restricted due the virus and, in some cases, shutdown entirely.

It is suggested that countries will be seeking reassurance for those planning to check-in to travel that they are not going to put other passengers at risk given that they will be sitting near to each other. We foresee these restrictions in international travel remaining in place for some time with regulations, not unlike security checks, being undertaken to determine a traveller’s health status.

Customer Service Representatives at check-in could be equipped with APPII, thereby enabling them to check the health status of travellers prior to travel. Equally, travellers would be able to show their status to border control officers on arrival at their destination.

Public and entertainment facilities such as cinemas, leisure centres, gyms, and conference centres are also locations where large volumes of people gather in confined spaces. Managing social distancing at these venues is particularly challenging and it is therefore likely that health checks will also need to be performed by members of staff of customer service representatives when they reopen to the public.

So how could individuals use APPII to provide confirmation that they are clear?

Using APPII, individuals could:

  • Biometrically verify themselves via the APPII mobile app
  • Have their coronavirus status catalogued through Self-Declaration or via an Authorised Verifier.
  • Thereby prove their health status using their APPII profile to those that require to see it.

Coforge

And how would organisations use APPII?

Using APPII, Organizations could:

  • Use the APPII mobile app to scan a QR code on the individual’s mobile app.
  • The QR code temporarily loads the individuals verified photo ID document and their health status onto the smartphone of the checker.
  • These Face-to-Face checks will catalogue
    • The date and time of the check
    • The individual that has performed the check
    • The location (Geo Long/Lat) of the check
    • Any notes taken by the party checking the individual’s status

Coforge

So, what are the next steps for APPII and Coforge?

The primary service on the APPII platform is providing employers with the capability to request individuals perform pre-employment checks.

Individuals are also provided the capability to pre-verify their personal information (e.g. Verified Health Status) and therefore expedite the hiring process.

The Coforge team have been instrumental in building out the pre-employment checking features for APPII and are currently focussed on delivering all the pre-employment checks required for the Banking and Financial Services industry - this should be complete in the upcoming weeks. APPII has received significant interest from organisations regarding the verified health status service. Regionalisation will almost certainly need to occur, and I expect that Coforge will play a pivotal role in building out regional capabilities as they are requested.