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CLEAR and Visa partner to offer expedited travel for select customers


On the back of a new relationship with CLEAR, Visa Signature account holders can now use their biometrics to move through selected U.S. airports, using CLEAR kiosks.

CLEAR is a program for expedited travel, which relies on pre-registered fingerprint and iris biometrics to verify users, to move through airports without standing in the usual lines.

Visa Signature account holders can enroll to receive discounted pricing on CLEAR membership with a six-month free trial and $60 off the annual renewal rate of $179.

“Visa understands how important it is for account holders to travel smartly and efficiently,” Caryn Seidman-Becker, Chairman and CEO of CLEAR said. “CLEAR’s secure identity platform accelerates travel in the same way that Visa has transformed payments, making it fast, seamless and secure. By working together with Visa to provide this membership, we are giving more travelers the opportunity to have a seamless travel experience. This relationship helps to further our goals of expanding our airport footprint and exploring additional opportunities for CLEAR’S platform in the future.”

Currently, CLEAR kiosks are available in San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando, Denver and Westchester County.

Reported last month, CLEAR announced that its kiosks had been used over 1 million times in airports and have saved members over 30 million minutes in wait times.

According to a report in Venturebeat, mismanagement, a bloated cost structure and high debt forced the company to shut down in 2009. After being bought by a group of investors in 2010, the company was re-launched in 2012.

Expedited travel programs like CLEAR are becoming more commonplace in today’s travel environment, though some suggest these new programs represent an unfair advantage to some travelers. BiometricUpdate.com lead researcher Rawlson King suggests the use of a fee levy to access expedited travel programs as a premium benefit is not egalitarian. “It would be preferable if biometric technology for the automation of passport control could be extended to all travelers at a lower cost, to speed travel for everybody,” King writes.

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