Helping a leading digital identity company hit 1 million users in 6 months
We worked with a renowned digital identity company on creating a platform that validates travel papers and has 12 million members across more than 150 countries.
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For many years, the client has provided next-generation identity-proofing services. Powered by AI/ML, their biometric verification solutions allow companies to securely authenticate and manage customer identities throughout their entire journey.
The challenge: making travel rules easy
Travel visas. Passports. National ID cards. Health certificates. Those are just some of the numerous documents travelers need to prepare before setting out on a journey. In the era of Coronavirus, travel requirements have become even more stringent, bringing their own set of challenges.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, strict entry requirements have become our new normal. To visit almost any country in the world, passengers need to possess valid digital COVID certificates.
Taking care of a plentitude of travel papers when preparing for a journey can be highly frustrating. The client recognized the importance of this problem. They decided to create a travel app that would allow passengers to avoid long queues and have their documents validated before even leaving their homes.
Some of their key requirements were:
- Creating an app that requires minimum effort from a user’s side when uploading data to be processed
- Allowing users to submit travel documents upfront, thus minimizing passengers’ frustration and shortening user stay at the airport terminal or dock
- Letting users submit travel documents for their travel companions, keeping the process as simple as possible
- Ensuring user data safety, letting users be in charge of their travel data
The app is beneficial for many of their clients, including airline companies, cruise companies, and event organizers, on multiple levels. Using their travel data processing solution, their clients increase passenger satisfaction, reduce the employee-human error factor, and minimize pressure on customer support. Above all, the platform reduces the demand for the staff needed to process passenger credentials.
Ensuring users always have the right set of travel papers up their sleeves. That’s what the app we worked on is all about.
The team: a 12-people team formed to deliver spectacular results
The project required extensive domain experience and an understanding of health and travel regulations across different countries and airlines. Deep knowledge of processes on cruiser ships was also essential.
To support the client in its compliance obligations, we formed a team of 12 engineers – front-end developers, back-end developers, mobile developers, QAs, and DevOps. They were responsible for improving both Android and iOS apps. Considering that a large number of our team members were part of the server team and that both Android and iOS applications use that server, we can say that we worked on improving the client’s entire system.
The solution: a platform for validating travel papers
The application can process various document types and formats. For example, during Coronavirus, the focus was on COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and recovery certificates. Users upload their travel documents or certificates in the form of a photo or PDF document. The app later decided whether the document would be validated manually or automatically. We enabled that through integrations with health systems (endpoints). Through them, digital certificates were automatically reviewed. Once verified, a traveler receives a digital pass.
So, what does the process look like?
The user is guided through the mobile app, which consists of native and WebView parts. A bare minimum of personal information and documents or codes are necessary for a user to successfully complete the process. A variety of native functionalities (scanning codes and machine-readable data, capturing and cropping images, storing credentials) are leveraged to ensure the process is smooth for the user.
Documents are validated through the process that was predefined by a diagram in a workflow manager, which performs the online character recognition of the updated document and reads the data from it. Next, there are additional QR and AI validations. If the document is accepted by them and the arrival country allows documents to be processed by the machine, then automated verification is allowed. Otherwise, verifications by manual reviewers are required.
The platform also uses an in-house system based on artificial intelligence. Out of all documents that pass through the system, it creates reports that store the most important information for a specific document type, along with the review and OCR. That way, artificial intelligence systems are trained for document-type recognition. Namely, based on a given input, the system can determine the type of document that has been uploaded and whether its format is valid.
In addition to vaccines and tests, the application can also review other types of documents – visas, passports, driver's licenses, or any document that can identify a person:
- If a document contains a QR code, the QR code is recognized in the image and its content is read. The content of the QR code for the same document type always follows the same template. Based on the content of the QR code, it is determined whether that content matches any of the recognizers' templates. If it does, it means that the document is recognized by the system and can be processed using the corresponding processor, which is also selected based on the document type.
- We used a system for data extraction from documents (OCR) and reading MRZ (Machine-Readable Zone). Based on the response from the system, the application can determine if the document is valid. We used another ML service that automatically extracts text, handwriting, and data from scanned documents.
The results from all sources are compared. If there are any mismatches, the application detects them.
The results: hitting 1 million users in 6 months
The client collaborates with renowned corporations from all across the globe. Parallel with the rising need for digital identity solutions, the expectations of their B2B clients have also skyrocketed. Consequently, they aimed to create a platform that would quickly deliver what its clients expected and meet their highest expectations. That is where Vega IT stepped in.
We developed an easily scalable app infrastructure tailored to support the growing number of users. Results? They were impressive.
Since day one, it has won users’ hearts. Namely, the app hit 1 million users in 6 months. That’s pretty impressive, given that some of the world’s most popular platforms took much longer. Believe it or not, Netflix took 3.5 years to reach that figure, while Facebook waited 10 months.
The app has more than 12 million members across more than 150 countries. 17 million seamless travel journeys. 200,000 new travelers and 700 flights per week. Those are just some of the results the app achieved in such a short time.
Most importantly, the story does not end here. Our developers are taking part in various other projects under the client’s umbrella, continuing a years-long tradition built on mutual trust.
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