Today we announced our acquisition of Airside, Inc., the first company to make user-controlled digital identity a reality in the travel industry.
It’s a historic day as our companies come together to transform trust and digital identity.
So why are Onfido and Airside joining forces?
Revolutionizing identity verification for individuals and businesses
The way you prove your identity on a daily basis was not built for our increasingly digital world. To date, digital identity has evolved by simply digitizing the process of identity verification in the physical world. And as a result, you currently have to verify your identity over and over again for each digital app and site you work with - and each time you need to share your entire identity. This approach is both frustrating and provides more opportunities for fraudsters to gain access to your personal information.
What would a true privacy-first digital solution look like? Simply put: it is a more secure and trustworthy digital experience where you can confidently verify once and share your personal information when and where you want, without fear of it being misused.
By combining Airside’s trusted and secure digital identity sharing technology with Onfido’s market-leading identity verification platform, we are making it simple for you to prove who you say you are, to anyone, at any time — online and offline. Together we will offer a new level of ownership and peace-of-mind over your digital identity that has never been possible before.
Onfido combined with Airside builds trust through user-controlled, shareable digital identity that saves businesses time and reduces customer frustration — because data privacy is built at its core.
Looking to the future
Onfido has always known that trust is paramount for companies who want to avoid fraud in high-stakes situations where robust identity verification is required. At the same time, it’s become clear that digital identity services and wallets will play a major role in transforming companies’ interactions with their customers.
These customers, however, are becoming more uneasy about handing over critical identity information to every business with whom they interact. This doesn’t build trust. According to Javelin Research, identity theft cost a staggering $43B in 2022, with little sign of it slowing down. Hacks, leaks, and breaches continue to pose major threats to consumers worldwide who want to keep their personal information safe and not worry about companies or fraudsters profiting off their highly sensitive identity data.
It’s this environment that prompted the leadership team at Onfido to take a critical look at the digital identity landscape, and at Airside in particular, to see how we could revolutionize the space together.
About Airside, a leader in travel
Adam Tsao founded Airside in 2009. Formerly Chief of Staff for the Technology Office for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Adam is one of the most respected names in the travel and security industry. After working to immediately redefine airline security post-9/11, Adam and his team built the Mobile Passport App and most recently the Airside Digital Identity App: two of the only private digital identity apps trusted by TSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Airside’s technology has been used by more than 12 million people and has saved over two million cumulative hours for passengers and security officials. With more than 800 million individuals flying in the U.S. every year, the ability for Airside’s technology to transform air travel by helping all passengers travel through the airport up to 15 times faster is immense. Imagine this effect applied to the cruise, hospitality, and online industries such as financial services.
Combining Onfido and Airside
As we engaged in conversations with the Airside team we quickly recognized the world of possibilities that came with combining our services. We could provide a verification system that was not only more convenient for individuals — no more reaching for your physical ID — with enhanced security and privacy, but we could also provide businesses with more highly-trusted identities from individuals across offline and online worlds.
Unlike any other provider today, Airside’s digital identity solution is already available to the vast majority of people in the world — regardless of where they live and what device they use (U.S. or global; iOS or Android). Whether or not your country or state has adopted a mobile ID framework, you can enroll and create a verified ID on Airside’s Digital Identity App. It’s a global solution with the potential to transform how we all interact with goods and services, certainly when traveling, but also in the world of finance, payments, and hospitality.
Verify once, share anywhere
Instead of checking off the list, “phone, passport, wallet” as you leave your house on your next trip, it’s possible that with only your phone, you will have everything you need. At home, you check-in for your trip, arrive at the airport or cruise port, and head to security, where Airside allows you to breeze through every ID check without ever having to open your wallet or stand in lengthy lines. Instead, your verified identity provides all checkpoints with next-generation biometric verification. When you land, your verified identity unlocks your rental car, and checks you into your hotel — again, all without having to show your physical ID to a concierge or receptionist.
But that’s only the beginning.
User-controlled digital identity: verify once, share anywhere
By combining forces with Airside, we have the possibility to give you even more control than ever over how your IDs and personal information are used. At Onfido, we work to help companies ensure trusted interactions with their customers. When operating online, it’s hard to know who is on the other side of the screen. Until now, a physical identity document, combined with a tool like Motion to prove user liveness, has been the best way to verify that you are who you claim to be.
And while that may still be best for some cases, Onfido and Airside will enable companies to give customers even more privacy and control with the ability to only share what's required, and not what's unnecessary. A user can stop sharing their information, revoking access when the transaction is complete — giving them power they don’t have with traditional physical IDs. Their data also remains secure and not stored in any centralized database that is ripe for hackers.
Onfido and Airside will empower you to go a step further, and determine exactly what is shared, for how long, and with whom. You could buy alcohol, or place a bet, for example, without ever having to hand over unnecessary data, like your home address or ID number. And we’re a better fit for businesses looking for high assurance, since the more an individual interacts with Onfido’s network of businesses using Airside, the more robust their identity becomes over time.
We’re in the middle of a rapidly changing environment, and the future of digital trust and identity is about to change. Along with Airside, we’re ushering in a simpler future for all users of digital identity.