Airport ID Checks will be Safer, More Secure and Faster with Mobile ID

Air travel requires ID verification at airport check-in and security checkpoints. While airlines have taken the step to implement digital boarding passes, travelers still juggle their carry-on bags, wallets, phones, and must dig out their driver’s licenses or passports to hand them over for verification. Wouldn’t it be great if their IDs could be scanned like the boarding pass can?

COVID-19 has added extra concern for air travelers: transmission in public spaces where people congregate (like in a line to get through security). Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents wear gloves to mitigate transfer of germs, but they handle thousands of ID cards a day – so that is not a perfect solution and it risks the agents’ own health[i].

Mobile IDs (mID) and driver’s licenses (mDL) are part of the solution. Issued by state DMVs, mDLs are housed on individuals’ mobile phones and scanned electronically for verification, eliminating the need for others to handle the credential to verify identity. States are adopting[ii] contactless technology, and mobile IDs will become commonplace this year. The benefits are greatest when many who rely on identity documents, like TSA, accept the mDL and digitally verify it as signed by the issuing authority.

The result is safer, faster, easier, and more secure check-in at the airport.

Why is it Safer?

Contactless transactions are surfacing across multiple use cases to help limit disease transmission.  Consumers have figured out that contactless payment can limit their own risk of exposure and that of the store clerk. QR-code based restaurant menus and payment also provide self-service without contact.

Adoption of contactless payment options has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 80 percent of consumers in a 2020 Visa survey said they were concerned about touching payment readers; 54% said they would switch to a new store that accepts contactless payments. In April 2020, just a few months into the pandemic, MasterCard reported that more than half (51%) of Americans had begun using some form of contactless payment. There is unanimous agreement in the industry that the trend is here to stay.

Mobile Driver’s Licenses provide the same opportunity for contactless transactions because the ID document never has to leave your hands. You can tap, scan, or share your identity data under their own control. NFC, QR codes, Bluetooth, and online lookups are all possible.

Why is it More Secure?

Like a physical ID card, GET Mobile ID is used for age and identity verification. Unlike physical cards, mobile phone screens do not have “linked and layered” security features, and data displayed on a mobile phone screen cannot be verified or trusted. It takes just a few minutes to photoshop a new ID.

To combat acceptance of falsified ID documents, the ISO 18013-5 mDL standard was created for easily obtaining secure and reliable data from a mobile ID on a phone. An ISO 18013-5 compliant mobile ID is actually less prone to counterfeit than a physical card, which can be stolen, altered or faked.

ISO 18013-5-compliant mDLs are trustworthy, official, government-issued driver’s licenses or IDs on a smart phone. The government issuer e-signs the data and puts it under the control of the mDL holder (the citizen), to be used via electronic transfer. Verifiers can authenticate eSignatures to immediately ensure the data is accurate and has not been tampered with.

Why is it Faster?

Mobile driver’s licenses provide a contactless “Tap & Go” ID transaction comparable to making a payment with the tap of smartphone.

TSA is leading the way by requiring ISO 18013-5 for accepting mobile IDs, and American Airlines is implementing mobile ID verification at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). American can roll the program out to more locations in the future. The airline is working with TSA to explore broader use of mobile ID verification in airports.

GET Mobile ID

Leave your wallet at home. GET Mobile ID provides a high-assurance ID on a user’s mobile device that can be accepted everywhere. It implements the full ISO 18013-5 standard. Cryptographic proof of ID helps combat identity fraud with a more convenient, secure and instant alternative to traditional physical ID documents.

GET Mobile ID fully supports ISO 18013-5 so that citizens can use their ID everywhere, from point of sale at the supermarket to the airport. The options for contactless ID are endless. GET Mobile ID utilizes formidable data encryption algorithms and communication security to combat fraud, reduce identity theft, and allow interoperability while putting the citizen in control of their ID. ISO 18013-5 does not require a specific card reader for acceptance; it can interface through Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi Aware, or barcode readers. ISO 18013-5 can be built into existing point of service devices.

Using Mobile ID for airport check-in is an upgrade to the travel experience for passengers, with the peace of mind knowing their data is safe and their COVID exposure is limited. Together we can limit transmission.




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