Biometrics company Clear brings scanners to retail stores


Secure Clear Inc.,

an identification services company known for its expedited screening product for air travelers, is bringing its biometric enrollment scanners to locations beyond airports.

The company temporarily installed the biometric machines this month at a Showfields Inc. interactive mall and Rimowa Distribution Inc. luggage store in New York City as well as a Rimowa in San Francisco.

Clear’s main product, Clear Plus, verifies the identity of travelers at airport security using biometric data such as iris scans, and allows them to bypass agents waiting to verify their photo ID. Registration usually starts online, but customers usually need to go to a clear airport to scan their biometrics. Annual memberships cost $ 179.

Clear created the temporary facilities to showcase its technology more widely and to expose consumers to its products beyond travel, said Caryn Seidman Becker, chief executive of the company. Other products include Clear Stadium Access, a product that helps people avoid long lines at sports and entertainment venues. The pop-ups also offer Clear gift cards, a first for the company.

The company was also keen to meet pent-up demand from consumers who traveled less during the pandemic, Ms. Seidman Becker said.

But the effort comes as the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 is once again making consumers wary of travel.

And the airline industry still has not fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic. The Transportation Security Administration screened 20.9 million travelers during Thanksgiving week this year, for example, up from 9.5 million passengers in 2020, but even fewer than the 26 million passengers it screened in 2019.

Clear has nonetheless continued to grow. Cumulative registrations increased 58% in the third quarter to 8.1 million from 5.1 million in the same quarter of 2020 and from 4.2 million in the period in 2019.

Total bookings, a measure that represents Clear’s total sales from new and renewed Clear Plus subscribers and accumulated partner billings, increased 89% to $ 99.3 million for the quarter, from 52.5 million. million dollars the year before. Total bookings in the third quarter of 2019 were $ 65.2 million.

The Clear pop-up in Showfields, which occupies 240 square feet, is open until December 31, while the company’s scanning machines will remain inside Rimowa stores until December 23. Clear has already set up pop-ups at conferences, as well as at New York’s Grand Central Station in 2017, but on a smaller scale, the company said.

The new pop-ups inside stores could help people familiarize themselves with Clear’s biometric scanning and see Clear’s value beyond travel, said Gabriel Cheung, global executive creative director at R / GA, a digital agency owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.

“People are still a little afraid of biometrics, and they don’t know how people are going to use this data,” Mr. Cheung said. “If they appear slowly in places where people understand how it’s going to be used, even in a pop-up, that’s actually a good way to start fitting in.”

Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at [email protected]

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