Onfido + Airside blog image
  • Global leaders in digital identity join forces to deliver user-controlled, shareable digital identity designed with data privacy and time-saving convenience at its core
  • Users will verify their identity once, get digital identity credentials on their device, and then share to unlock financial service offerings, travel access, and more

San Francisco, CA & Herndon, VA, London, UK; May 22 2023 - Onfido, the global leader in automated identity verification, today announced it has acquired Airside Mobile, Inc., the leader in private, digital identity sharing technology. The World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer is the first company to bring user-controlled digital identity to the travel industry.

Airside’s shareable digital identity technology has been used by over 10 million travelers and is trusted by major U.S. government agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Its customers include the world’s largest airlines, who allow passengers to use the innovative Airside Digital Identity App to fast-track their way through U.S. airports.

Airside’s privacy-first identity management technology, combined with Onfido’s industry-leading verification, enables a ‘verify once, use anywhere’ world, where customers can manage their own digital identity stored on their smartphone — using it to access new services without having to verify again. This will transform the user experiences across travel, financial services, e-commerce, internet platforms and much more, redefining the process of identity verification. The integration will enable businesses to create a seamless user experience that supports more effective onboarding and expanded customer relationships, while radically reducing fraud and minimizing the liability associated with handling sensitive data.

Airside was founded with a “Privacy First. Human Always.®” approach to digital identity, making Airside a natural fit with Onfido’s mission to simplify digital identity for everyone. Adam Tsao, founder of Airside, will lead the group within Onfido as General Manager.

“Until now identity verification has digitized physical processes, but those processes haven’t changed. We’re still handing our identity over to be checked every time we access a new service. This partnership will change that — giving users control and organizations greater confidence in who their customers are,” said Mike Tuchen, CEO of Onfido. “We plan to take Airside’s proven approach to the  airline industry and apply it to other sectors requiring high customer assurance, such as financial services — providing a single, trusted view of each customer’s identity.”

Verify Once and Use Anywhere

Onfido’s market-leading Real Identity Platform establishes trust between governments, businesses, and people ensuring proper onboarding, customer authentication, KYC, and fraud protection. Its robust identity verification solutions combine document and biometric verification, trusted data sources, and fraud detection signals. The Airside Digital Identity App puts digital identity in people’s hands, making their verified digital IDs secure on their device and easily accessible. There’s no longer a need to show identity documents (IDs) or share excessive amounts of personal information when trying to access services; users can now verify their identity once and only share what they need to, like a date of birth for age verification.

“By teaming up with Onfido and layering in their trusted verification technology with Airside’s Digital ID, we can take identity to the next level with the same ease and trust we have with online payments,” said Adam Tsao, General Manager for Airside at Onfido.

Millions of consumers from over 195 countries will soon be able to use their digital identities with Onfido’s 900+ network of business partners, giving them instant access to a vast range of products and services. For example, a traveler sharing their digital ID to gain expedited access through an airport security checkpoint will soon be able to re-use the same digital ID to access a rental car or hotel room without waiting in line. The whole identity — from date of birth, address, ID number, etc, or simply parts of it — could then also be used to open a trading account, apply for a mortgage or even, one day, vote.

According to Gartner, "by 2026, 50% of smartphone users will frequently use one or more verifiable claims stored in their decentralized identity wallet."1

With a single user-controlled digital identity applied across multiple products and services, businesses eliminate the cost of maintaining and securing multiple identity profiles. They can also simplify compliance and regulatory requirements by minimizing storage and processing of extensive sensitive data.

Airside’s digital identity platform is certified to the highest international standards for privacy, compliance and security, including the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-63-3 rev 3 Class of Approval at Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL2), FIDO2 (Fast Identity Online), and Kantara Initiative’s Trust Mark Status List. 

Special Publication (SP) 800-63-3 rev 3 Class of Approval at Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL2), FIDO2 (Fast Identity Online), and Kantara Initiative’s Trust Mark Status List.

The acquisition has already closed and the general availability of the Onfido products and services based on Airside’s technology will be available later this year.

1Gartner: Emerging Tech: Revenue Opportunity Projection of Decentralized Identity (Sept 2022)

Interested in learning more about our joint vision?

Read Mike Tuchen's (Onfido, CEO) thoughts on why digital identity needs to transform to meet society's evolving needs, and read Adam Tsao's (Founder, Airside) on why legacy systems are not privacy-centric.

You can join them both for a live webinar on June 21 / 22: 'Verify once, share anywhere: The future of digital identity'

Register now