An accelerator programme run by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Plug and Play has recently recruited IDnow, a KYC identity verification platform, to act as regulation advisors in the field of identity checks and digital identity verification.

Since its creation in 2019, the Accelerate@IATA programme has shifted its focus from nurturing start-ups in airline retailing to realigning with the recovery of the travel sector following the pandemic.

The start-up accelerator currently partners with several airlines including Copa Airlines, Korean Air, International Airlines Group, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, mainly within Asia’s air space. The extraordinary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic brought world and international travel to a virtual standstill and reportedly, a global loss of 75 million jobs and $2.1 trillion in revenue, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

It meant that Accelerate@IATA readjusted by exploring new technologies in digital health credentials, and start-ups looking for investment were also forced to adapt their solutions to meet the demand to increase passenger confidence and security more than normal by managing the virus.

IDnow works in the area of digitally verifying customers using video combined with e-signatures, which served as the first secure solution without relying on additional hardware. In May 2016, the EU obtained a patent for IDnow’s video identification process.

290 airlines belong to IATA, The International Air Transport Association, accounting for 83% of the total aviation ecosystem. The trade association’s main aims are to promote safety, security and sustainability in the air transport sector helping to inform policy and legal frameworks on critical issues.

As well as elevating IDnow to secure more funding and visibility, the startup is also collaborating with IATA One ID working group to increase the efficiency of biometric technology which is deployed by its partner airlines and introduced in airports. Moreover, the goal of organisations like IATA One ID is increasingly to set industry standards around ensuring a customer’s entire journey from when they arrive at check-in to boarding is seamless and digital, including personalising flight information using biometric systems.

IDNow joins the programme at a developing time for travel, with the provision of remote document checks, simple biometric recognition technologies, advanced data, improving the interoperability of different market solutions for multiple uses.

Announcing its participation in Accelerate@IATA, IDnow also acknowledged that it will work alongside members of IATA Think Tank, including airlines and technology providers, about the integration of digital identity across the consumer travel experience.

“We are very pleased to have IDnow participation in the heart of industry innovation conversations. IDnow brings their expertise on the secure decentralized digital identity to support the airline industry for the journey to customer-centricity.” – Kat R. Morse, Senior Manager Innovation, Partnerships and Events at IATA.

Michael A. Binner, Director of Digital Identity at IDnow said: “We understand that in the modern air travel industry, digital identities have a huge potential to shape a whole new traveler experience. From lowering the fraud risk for airlines, to creating a more seamless and low-touch experience for passengers and offering a GDPR compliant solution for storing and sharing of biometric pictures for airports and other players – Digital identity is the key. We are excited and proud to have been selected by IATA to work together and to partner with some of the most prestigious airlines of the world to shape the future of air travel”.