Hertz and Clear promise new solution to car rental counter hell
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and New York-based Clear announced on Tuesday the debut of Hertz Fast Lane Powered by Clear, a service that uses biometrics to speed members through the rental car process.
The service is so fast, says the company, clients can get through the rental car exit gate and be on the road in 30 seconds or less.
Currently in operation only at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), a rollout to a further 40-plus Hertz locations, including John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), is scheduled for 2019.
“Prior to the use of Clear, we have an exit gate process that takes two minutes on average,” said Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer at Hertz, in a phone interview. “As a result of putting Clear in place we’re able to get our customers out the exit gate in 30 seconds or less, which is a 75 percent improvement. On Monday mornings in Atlanta where there are surge customers, making sure we can get people out significantly faster makes everybody’s experience better.”
The checkout system marks the first use of biometrics by a major rental car company, according to the release. Use of Hertz Fast Lane requires an active Clear account linked to a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account. Participating members may choose a car at a Hertz location, then proceed directly to any exit gate. After the driver follows prompts at an automated kiosk, Clear confirms the driver’s face to their license and reservation before the gate lifts to allow exit.
'Use it everywhere'
Hertz and Clear began the process of integrating biometric technology into the checkout experience last summer.
“The power of the Clear platform is enroll once, use it everywhere,” said Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of Clear, in an interview. “When you enroll you’re linking your identity to your fingerprint, your iris, your face. The ability to turn that on for Hertz in a plug and play way was simple.” Fingerprint identification is also available at the Hertz Fast Lane.
Instead of using traditional ID documents, Clear cloud-based technology uses biometrics—your eyes and fingertips— to speed the security process at 40 U.S. airports and sporting venues. At airports, Clear allows members to head straight to a designated kiosk where their boarding pass and iris are scanned instead of waiting in the queue for physical verification. Clear membership costs $179 per year with $50 per each additional family member (children under age 18 receive free access with members).
“We’re creating a future in which your fingerprints, eyes and face are your best and most secure ID,” Seidman-Becker says.
Hertz Corp. operates the Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly vehicle rental brands at more than 10,000 global corporate and franchisee locations. Recently, German car rental company Sixt SE denied speculation it was in advanced talks to buy smaller rival Hertz Global Holdings. Hertz shares had gained following circulation of the rumored approach. In November, Hertz reported its biggest quarterly profit in three years.
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