Clear to roll out new facial identity verification process, eliminating the need to stop at a Clear Pod

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published on Nov. 8, 2023.

In the next iteration of Clear, the expedited security program, Clear Plus users and verified members will be able to identify themselves via their face, eliminating the need to provide additional biometrics or stop at a Clear Pod, a Clear spokesperson confirmed to TPG.

The announcement came Wednesday from Clear CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker during an earnings call.

“Starting later this month, we will be upgrading Clear Plus Members to our NextGen Identity+, the highest fidelity digital identity, unlocking physical and digital experiences for our Members in the airport and beyond,” a Clear spokesperson said via email. 

Over the next year, Clear will roll out its NextGen Identity+ technology to enable face as the primary biometric for membership identification, removing the current process of biometrically confirming a person’s identity via fingerprint or iris scans at a Clear Pod before being escorted to the Transportation Security Administration lane. 

In theory, this should allow for a faster Clear experience. Currently, Clear automates most users’ identity verification steps in the TSA screening process. As a secure identity platform, Clear members go through a separate security lane with dedicated kiosks rather than waiting in line for a TSA agent to review their license or passport.

“[This] will allow Clear Plus members to verify their identity with their face (instead of iris or fingerprints), eliminating the need for members to stop at a Clear Pod and seamlessly integrating into TSA equipment for friction-free entry into physical screening,” a Clear spokesperson said. “Our vision is to keep you moving through the Clear Lane where you don’t break your stride.”

Later this month, Clear will begin upgrading Clear Plus members to use this NextGen Identity+ technology by sending an email in which users will be prompted to create a one-time password to verify their phone number. They’ll receive instructions to bring a valid form of identification, such as an unexpired driver’s license, state ID or passport, to the airport the next time they fly; passports will allow for the quickest upgrade experience, according to Clear. Once an updated photo is provided, Clear members can use this new technology when available and promoted.

As of November, Clear is available at 54 U.S. airports, as well as various stadiums and other large venues, and there are nearly 19 million members nationwide. Reserve powered by Clear, which allows travelers to book timed entry through TSA security based on flight departure time, is currently available at 20 airports across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

An annual membership to Clear costs $189 annually, but some credit cards cover the cost.

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