Apple’s vax passport won’t fail to take off like its contact-tracing tool

The news: Apple is launching a COVID-19 vaccine credentialing tool for Apple Wallets later this year, enabling iPhone users to store and share proof of vaccination with third parties requesting the information, like airlines, event venues, workplaces, etc.

Plus, organizations like Walmart and Mayo Clinic that are issuing digital COVID-19 Vaccine records under the SMART Health Card framework (an industry-wide standard for vax apps) will soon have access to a new button that lets users knows they can download and store their vaccine information in their Apple Health app and present it via Apple Wallet.

The Wallet vaccine update could take off among Apple users: Apple users have been using Apple Wallet more thanks to the pandemic.

  • Many consumers tried contactless payments like Apple Pay for the first time last year to limit the spread of COVID-19 through physical cash or credit cards.
  • That means consumers are already familiar with the Wallet feature, and won’t have to spend extra time setting it up to make use of the new vax passport feature.
  • Plus, Insider Intelligence predicts there will be 6.5 million new mobile wallet users from 2021 to 2025 alone.

Why Big Tech cos like Apple, Google are betting on vax passports: Employers and businesses are increasingly mandating proof of vaccine to enter their facilities, which primes vax passports for widespread uptake (unlike Big Tech’s contact tracing tools).

Major companies like Amtrak, Citigroup, CVS Health and Delta Airlines have all announced employees need to be vaccinated to return to work this fall.

  • And more employers are likely to hop on the vaccine proof bandwagon as cases of the delta variant rise and employees voice their support of the mandate.
  • About 42% of employees say they “favor” or “strongly favor” vaccine mandates, per Gallup.

These mandates will make consumers more inclined to use vax passports than optional tech like Google and Apple’s contact tracing tool—which saw low levels of adoption last year.