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Mar 23

Facial Recognition Biometrics Making Waves in Car Rental Industry

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Image Credit: Deposit Photos

At least 40 U.S. airports to adopt technology this year

With facial recognition technology in the throes of being implemented at airports around the world, car rental agencies at terminals stand to gain a great deal of efficiency by being able to process bookings a lot faster. According to journalist Wendy Stokes, the innovation may go a long ways towards cutting down on fraudulent transactions related to identity theft.

Currently in the car rental industry, staff responsible for booking still have to take the word of the consumer about that person’s identity. And while Stokes lamented that current screen processes are time-consuming, fraud can still take place.

“The present system of recognizing and confirming the customer’s identity has its flows and tends to be questioned for its oversights,” she wrote. “Pointing out that mistakes start from that point on, and evolve to lost incomes due to the false presentation of people all around the world.”

Stokes applauds one recent installation of facial recognition, which she hopes will cut down on those instances, if not eliminate them altogether. Recently, car rental corporation Hertz trotted out its technology at an office at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The company plans to install more facial recognition units at airports in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco as well as up to 40 other terminals across the U.S.

Stokes added that a similar setup exists at Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest Romania, where consumers are using the new service. Others not quite sold on the technology opt for using a car rental agency’s membership card that comes with an individual code number.

So far, Hertz hasn’t reported any issues with using the technology, but they anticipate transactions will be much faster and easier to make. Biometrics firm Clear created the software, which already has security technology at several stadiums across the country. The facial recognition system enables customers to use the installation and upon confirmation head directly to the booked vehicle at the airport.

The company is pushing its convenience, claiming that a booking takes only 30 seconds, roughly 75 percent faster than other car rental transactions. So far, it’s available only to clientele with Hertz Gold Plus cards.

Despite some obstacles such as privacy issues, facial recognition is likely to be implemented worldwide in additional fields. “Understanding its benefits,” writes Stokes, “shortly we can expect them to make a “boom” on the market and find their ways in other areas of industry.

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