The Indian government has introduced a new API called KYC-VS (Know Your Customer's/Client's Vaccination Status) to enable businesses make informed decisions. This API empowers businesses to check an individual's vaccination status through the CoWIN platform. Status of an individual's vaccination is important to know for ascertaining resumption of work, allowing travel, or confirming hotel reservations. This new API will enable businesses to know the status of vaccination of an individual through a simple OTP process. According to the details shared by the PIB, this check is only possible when a customer shares their CoWIN linked mobile number, and then gives an OTP, to preserve consent and privacy.
The new CoWIN KYC-VS API has been announced in a press note on the PIB website. This feature will enable an Aadhaar-like authentication service for the status of vaccination through the CoWIN platform. Once this API is integrated into a business' system, it can ask for an individual's vaccination status easily. The individual will need to enter their mobile number and name. Thereafter, they will receive an OTP, which they have to enter.
Once this process is complete, CoWIN will send a response to the business on the individual's status of vaccination. Responses will be offered in three ways – person not vaccination, person is partially vaccination, or person is fully vaccination. No other information will be shared with the business, the announcment says. It asserts that the API is both consent-based and privacy preserving.
According to the announcement, this new KYC-VS API from CoWIN will help as socio-economic activities are gradually being revived. The new platform will be useful to an enterprise that may need to know the vaccination status of its employees to resume functions in offices, workplaces etc. It will also be useful to the railways that may want to get the status of vaccination of the passengers who are getting their seats reserved in the trains.
Similarly, it may be useful to airlines that could use this feature to get the status of vaccination of a passengers while they are booking their flight tickets. Even airports may only want to allow vaccinated passengers to pass through, and this API could be a useful and seamless way to identify vaccination status. Hotels may also want to know the vaccination status of the residents at the time they are checking into the hotel, or at the time of making online bookings.
All of these use cases and many more are said to be fulfilled with this new KYC-VS API. The announcement adds, “In order to facilitate quick integration and faster adoption, the CoWIN team has prepared a webpage with the API, which may be embedded in any system. This will allow for a seamless integration with any system in no time.”
This CoWIN API can be utilised by any service provider, private or public, for whom verifying an individual's vaccination status is critical. CoWIN, in the past, has released several APIs, one of which enabled third party apps to register for COVID-19 vaccination and book slots. A set of guidelines have been introduced for CoWIN API usage, which can be read in this post.