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Virtual APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)

Last page update:

Until further notice, all travellers holding a virtual ABTC will need to apply for a visa to enter the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. This notice does not apply to travellers who are still able to present a physical ABTC. If you have any further questions about this matter, please contact your home economy.

The APEC Business Mobility Group launched the virtual APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) during APEC Leader’s Week in November 2020.

The virtual ABTC is an innovative new method for travelling with the ABTC. It brings the existing scheme into the digital era, providing the much-valued service through cardholders’ smart devices. The virtual ABTC is a more secure, efficient, convenient and user-friendly service and importantly, it provides real-time updates, so that a cardholder can immediately benefit from using their virtual ABTC.

Travelling on the virtual ABTC allows for the same streamlined and VIP service existing cardholders have come to enjoy, but will provide an alternative method for producing and presenting their card when entering and exiting an APEC economy.


VABTC

Each Economy will determine its own timeline to transition its cardholders to the virtual ABTC; however, from 1 March 2021 economies can expect to see the first travellers using the virtual ABTC—with Australia being the first APEC economy to transition all their cardholders over to the virtual ABTC. The Business Mobility Group looks forward to seeing other economies transition to the virtual ABTC shortly thereafter.

The virtual ABTC employs security features to provide economies greater confidence to determine that a digital ABTC and cardholder are genuine. These features include:

  • Secure sign on – An approved ABTC applicant will be sent an email with a unique token (an individual application number) for their virtual ABTC and a link to download and log onto the virtual ABTC app.
  • User authentication – Users are required to ensure their user credentials are authenticated and verified when accessing the virtual ABTC app. Only approved ABTC cardholders who have been granted access to the virtual ABTC can log on—please refer below to the documents below for the step-by-step process.
  • Screenshots – On Android devices, users are prevented from taking screenshots of the virtual ABTC; and on iOS devices, users who attempt to take a screenshot of the virtual ABTC will be presented with a message reminding them that airport officials will not accept a screenshot of the virtual ABTC.
  • Watermarks – The card screen of the virtual ABTC will have APEC and other discrete security watermark features, making it difficult to fraudulently replicate.  The holographic overlay and card background pattern change colour and visibility in real-time in correlation with movement of the smart device, allowing airport officials to quickly confirm that they have been presented with the official virtual ABTC rather than a screenshot or video capture.

These additional security features for the virtual ABTC hinder fraudulent replication and misuse, and protect cardholders and their personal details.

For more information on the virtual ABTC take a look at our videos and information guides below.


Introduction to the Virtual APEC Business Travel Card for Cardholders


Introduction to the Virtual APEC Business Travel Card for Port Officials