April 18, 2018

1776 Challenge Cup 2018 Fan Favorite: How Mobile Passport is Innovating Air Travel & Digital Identification

On this episode of The Innovation Engine, we welcome Airside Mobile’s Hans Miller to the studio to talk about his company’s experience at the recent 1776 Challenge Cup, where Airside Mobile was voted the Challenge Cup’s fan favorite. We talk with Hans about his successful entrepreneurship journey, how Airside Mobile can help you breeze through customs today, and areas where it could soon be used to manage digital identification on a much broader scale.

3Pillar Client Partner Jesse Vizcaino co-hosts this episode. Jesse works with a wide range of software and security companies to help them bring new products and concepts to market. He has a keen interest in digital ID and joins to discuss with Hans.

Airside Mobile works with leaders in the travel industry to create innovative mobile apps that make travel faster, easier, and more efficient. Airside Mobile’s collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HMSHost, MasterCard, and others have generated numerous awards and international press coverage from outlets like Wired, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Huffington Post, CNN, and many others.

Listen to the Episode

Interested in hearing more? Tune in to the full episode below:


What is Mobile Passport, Airside Mobile’s iOS and Android app?

  • Mobile Passport is a free app that helps you go through U.S. customs very quickly and efficiently.
  • The app allows you to scan in your passport, so when you take a trip internationally and you’re returning to the United States, as soon as you land, you select your own passport and any family members’ passports who might be traveling with you. You answer five questions about any items you might have to declare, and then you hit send as soon as the wheels touch down in the U.S.
  • Within five seconds, you get an encrypted receipt that looks a lot like a mobile boarding pass. And with that receipt, you can go to a mobile passport express line that will lead you directly to a customs officer.
  • You will scan your receipt, you’ll show your photo, and then you’re done. The whole process takes, officially, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 17 seconds on average, which is about five times faster than going through the normal process.

Where does Hans see this mobile identity technology being applied in the future, outside of the customs line?

  • Even when we look at travel, there are other lines: When you’re waiting to check into a hotel, why do you stop at the front desk? Usually it’s because they want to check your ID. A lot of hotel chains are already experimenting with mobile check in, and Mobile Passport can make that process more robust.
  • Part of what they are doing with the platform is creating a very secure way to allow passengers or travelers to store their information and share it in a way that Airside Mobile can’t see it. “We don’t have the keys to that data, it’s all encrypted on our platform. The only people who have the keys are the actual travelers themselves. As a result, when you start looking at things in finance such as Know Your Customer, anti-money laundering applications, the potential to take this platform and apply it into those areas is extremely high, and we’re really excited about the idea that, someday, you’ll be able to rely on your Mobile Passport account and facial recognition as your ID across almost any ID transaction, whether it’s buying a case of beer or checking into a hotel or opening a bank account.”

Hans’ advice for entrepreneurs:

  • Having a really great co-founder or set of co-founders is really critical.
  • You need to be mentally tough. It takes a long time, and very few of these startups are overnight successes, “so being able to stick it out and endure is pretty important.”


About The Innovation Engine

Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on Apple Podcasts. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Spotify to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.