Hertz Upgrades Car Rental Apps with Biometric Features

Hertz Fast Lane

Facial and fingerprint recognition designed to increase speed and security

A new feature that was until recently the stuff of science fiction is being added to Hertz apps available to users of Apple and Android smartphones. The feature aims to speed up and simplify booking through the adaptation of facial and biometric recognition technology. This will enable customers to log in via showing their faces or providing a fingerprint to access their Hertz accounts.

“When redesigning the Hertz app, we listened to customers and what they wanted most,” said Hertz Senior Vice President, Brand Jayesh Patel. “Our customers told us they wanted faster reservations, better visibility to their loyalty program rewards and easy access to their rental history and receipts. The updated Hertz app offers those solutions and many more, representing our continued effort to advance our capabilities for a great customer experience.”

The modifications were made possible by Hertz’s partnership with New York-based biometric innovation company CLEAR, which already services Delta Airlines and Major League Baseball. Besides bookings, customers can use the upgraded app to check their transaction history, manage their accounts and even get roadside assistance.

While facial and biometric recognition technology might still seem like a novelty that surfaced on such sci-fi blockbusters like Total Recall and Minority Report, the feature is especially in heavy demand from users of smartphones. Most companies, including those in the car rental industry love the speed of biometric technology to handle tasks ranging from booking vehicles to handling customer service issues.

But its need is far more fundamental to those wanting to guard their privacy. With cyberattacks becoming more the norm, facial and biometric recognition has been proven to be far more secure than passwords, since everyone’s organic features, from facial appearances to fingerprints, are totally unique.

According to CLEAR, the technology works when customers first supply images of their face and fingerprints, which allows the software to convert that material into an encrypted code. Subsequent access to the app involves supplying facial images or fingerprints, which will be cross-referenced to that code. If there’s a match, the users are logged in.

Hertz has already taken the biometric leap earlier this year when it launched the Fast Lane program, a convenience designed to speed up service. The initiative was launched earlier in 2019, once the company installed facial recognition terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, enabling users to book a vehicle in as little as 30 seconds. With plans to add more at 40 other U.S. airports before the year is out, and available only to customers with Hertz Gold Plus cards, the company hasn’t reported any issues surrounding the technology.

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