Onfido acquires Airside to boost identity verification for individuals and businesses

Onfido acquired Airside Mobile to deliver user-controlled, shareable digital identity designed with data privacy and time-saving convenience at its core.

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 passengers through U.S. airports.

Airside’s privacy-first identity management technology, combined with Onfido’s 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 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 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, GM for Airside at Onfido.

Millions of consumers from over 195 countries will soon be able to use their digital identities with Onfido’s network of 900+ 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.

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.

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.

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