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Digital wallets and mobile ID to be taken at more TSA checkpoints

Digital wallets and mobile ID to be taken at more TSA checkpoints

Android customers in Maryland have a new option for identity verification at select U.S. airports, with the announcement that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will now accept state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards in Google Wallet for Android devices at select TSA security Precheck checkpoints.

“This launch represents the first mobile driver’s license in Google Wallet,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske, in a media release. “We continue to work closely with other states on deploying this capability across the country. TSA is committed to collaborating on international, open standards that provide enhanced security, privacy protections and offers airline passengers a more efficient and convenient travel experience.”

The main convenience is the elimination of a boarding pass. Users consent to provide mobile ID from Google Wallet by turning on Bluetooth and presenting their phone to a Credential Authentication Technology (CAT-2) reader device. Encrypted data from the driver’s license is matched against a real-time photograph of the passenger, and their reservation information. If the scanner confirms a match, a human officer will verify it, thereby eliminating a boarding pass from the verification process, or the need to hand a phone over to a TSA officer. Users will also be able to select which information they share.

The launch makes Maryland the first state in the U.S. to offer mobile ID and digital license authentication on two major mobile operating systems, Android and Apple. It has offered the service through Apple Wallet since 2022. The state’s mobile ID is the only digital ID issued by the Motor Vehicle Association.

“Our research shows that having a way to save an ID to Wallet is critical in adopting a fully digital wallet,” said Jenny Cheng, Vice President and General Manager for Google Wallet. By bringing IDs to Wallet, we are excited to provide yet another way for people to move seamlessly throughout their day, toward a future without the need for a physical wallet.”

Digital wallets gaining popularity among U.S. consumers

New research shows U.S. consumers and organizations increasingly shifting toward digital wallets. A report from the identity and access management company, Curity, found that 60 percent of consumers use a digital wallet, and that adoption of digital identity tools by organizations is happening at a much faster rate in the U.S. than in the UK. However, 60 percent of organizations in both regions said they expect digital identity to have a transformative effect on their industry.

Entitled “Plotting the Roadmap for Digital Identity,” the report is based on a survey of 200 IT professionals and 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and the UK.

“The recent drive to deliver large scale digital transformation projects and the rapid increase in online services has triggered a shift in how we think about digital identity,” reads the report. “Usernames and passwords will wane in popularity and methods such as biometric authenticators and passkeys will help deliver these new services and thwart hackers.”

Of consumers surveyed, 65 percent agreed that fraud and compromised data privacy remained significant risks of using digital wallets. Still, 80 percent used a digital wallet at least once a week. Financial services and shopping were the top consumer uses, at 62 and 61 percent, respectively. Travel was also popular, at 46 percent.

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