plane wind over London
plane wind over London

Digital Modernization 3 MIN Read

Global Citizen Services: Facilitating Safe, Seamless and Secure Travel in the Covid Era

February 7th, 2022

Global travel brings countries tremendous economic value, but also comes with inherent risk. Any time an individual crosses a border, there are national security interests and, as the last nearly two years have shown, public health interests at play.

GDIT is facilitating a new kind of cross-border travel that benefits consumers, businesses, and governments alike. Our scale, breadth and depth of experience, modernization capabilities and a secure environment enables us to deliver GCS enhancements and evolutions that are long overdue.

Prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic, cross-border travel was at an all-time high. At the same time, the explosion of mobile devices and capabilities evolved travelers’ expectations about what their experience should look and feel like when crossing borders. Even before the pandemic, things like mobile biometrics and contactless engagement were the goal. All of this together drove a need for modernization of the systems in place to ensure a safe and secure experience for travelers. The pandemic only accelerated it.

Services for a Smarter Return to Travel

The dramatic halt of cross-border travel at the start of the pandemic resulted in an unparalleled decline worldwide in the demand for services like identity and security management operations required for cross border travel.

GDIT’s Global Citizen Services (GCS) team reassessed when and how people travel to plan for a smarter return to travel – one that would be more efficient and more secure for what the new normal should be.

  • Understanding why travelers cross borders. The composition of the traveling public has changed, as has their purposes to travel as Covid brings greater scrutiny to plans and destinations. While virtual meetings have been and will continue to be the norm for a long time, there will be pent-up demand for other types of travel following months and months of restrictions.

  • Delivering remote, self-service, and contactless services. Pre-pandemic, many GCS services were only available in person. But now, many are available remotely, and consumers will demand that this remains to be the case. While check-in kiosks have been a travel fixture for years, we must also envision how to create similar self-service options for things like biometrics collection, identity management, declarations and more. And as contactless solutions – for everything from grocery pick up to deliveries – have become commonplace, it is reasonable to expect a demand for contactless services as people travel across borders as well.

  • Modernizing government approaches to Global Citizen Services. With our experience performing GCS work for more than 20 years and operating in 50 countries globally, we recognize the role that governments and their support partners have in evolving next-generation GCS. Governments must develop a similar understanding of consumer demand, and how “security” now encompasses public health. There are also new information-sharing requirements and the resulting data security considerations associated with handling the sensitive personal health information of travelers.

Without question, Covid brought about an openness to change, and simultaneously provided the required downtime to work thoughtfully and intentionally toward that change. And GDIT’s GCS team is ready.