Caryn Seidman-Becker had a vision to build a safer and more secure world to live, work and play in—which came to life in 2010 when she helped launch CLEAR.
CLEAR’s mission is to unlock frictionless experiences across the physical and digital worlds. The biometric identity company uses physical attributes—eyes, faces and fingerprints—to seamlessly verify identity without the need for multiple forms of identification or cumbersome documentation.
Today, CLEAR has 13 million customers and a presence in more than 40 airports—plus stadiums and other venues worldwide. Seidman-Becker, the Co-Founder and CEO of CLEAR, talks here about building and scaling a company, driving online trust and what she looks for in a banking partner.
Background music plays.
A woman with long blonde hair and hazel eyes, Caryn Seidman-Becker, speaks from her office. She wears a dark sweater and sits in a cushioned chair.
Text on screen:
Caryn Seidman-Becker, Founder and CEO, CLEAR.
My name is Caryn Seidman-Becker, and I'm the Co-Founder and CEO of CLEAR. CLEAR’s mission is to be a trusted, secure identity platform and drive frictionless experiences and journeys.
A montage shows people using CLEAR's digital security solutions: a woman enters an event by showing a security QR code on her mobile device, a woman uses a facial recognition device at an express check-in for her appointment, a woman pays for a coffee using a "Tap and Pay" app, powered by CLEAR, and a man uses a kiosk, displaying the "CLEAR" logo.
There are so many lessons to take from building a company and scaling it across the country. Business is hard and business is competitive and people matter. So I absolutely believe in being indefatigable, which means persistent and tireless. Right? You can't give up.
People walk along a crowded, bustling city avenue. A fast-motion video shows travelers moving through a busy transportation center.
It takes time and it takes persistence and a lot of passion for what you're doing. I'm incredibly passionate about the mission of CLEAR, making experiences safer and easier. Trusted and frictionless is so needed right now.
CLEAR Ambassador attendants show airport travelers how to use quick and convenient biometric kiosks. (Ambassadors and travelers wear protective face masks). A young man uses CLEAR's age verification app to order a beer at an airport food court.
And so the CLEAR platform really does have the opportunity to change the world. You can enroll once and use it for better travel experiences, for better office experiences, for better sports and entertainment experiences to drive online trust. It's such a broad and powerful platform.
At an airport, a man uses a CLEAR kiosk and then walks past a long screening line, smiling. A man uses his mobile device to display CLEAR's Health Pass app. This confirms COVID screening requirements so he can enter his office building. A woman uses her Health Pass app to visit a restaurant.
JPMorgan Chase has helped CLEAR build its future by sitting and listening to us and giving us advice and examples and connecting us to partners, to customers, to vendors. They've made us better every step of the way by bringing their vast resources and making them available to CLEAR. There's a lot of similarities and shared values between CLEAR and J.P. Morgan's teams. We saw early days, the heart mind and hustle coming out of leadership and going throughout the organization. An obsession with customers and the member experience. Leveraging innovation and always getting better. And we felt very aligned.
A montage shows men and women using the CLEAR facial recognition kiosks at an airport, with social distancing markers on the floor.
CLEAR went public on June 30th, 2021 and it was a great milestone for the company. Going public created optionality for CLEAR, both having more cash and the currency to really drive our leadership in identity and in driving frictionless experiences.
At airports and sports events, CLEAR Ambassadors welcome and assist kiosk users. (In some locations, the Ambassadors wear protective face masks). At the airport kiosks, a sign reads: “CLEAR. Stay safe. Keep your space. Thank you for caring by social distancing.” Then, at CLEAR kiosks, outside a sports event, a sign reads: “Five Minute Enrollment Center. Enroll for free and get into the game faster all season.”
But it was also a day that allowed us to live our values, to show who we are, what we stand for, and where we're going together.
The business concept of CLEAR had been around before; it was born out of 9/11 in a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to make travel in airports safer and easier using innovation.
We ended up buying the original company out of bankruptcy and relaunching it with the vision of building a secure identity platform—the concept of enroll once and use it everywhere because you are always you.
The need for knowing who you are and something about you. In this case, testing our vaccine was so obvious and our platform was so ready to be a difference maker. And so that's our mission. And we lived it.
Going public created optionality for CLEAR—both having more cash and a currency to really drive our leadership in identity, which is considered a new category.
It’s also allowed us to live our values. Going public allowed us to share publicly who we are, what we stand for and where we’re going together.
J.P. Morgan has been our choice for a banking partner since they walked through our office three years ago and believed in us. They’ve helped build CLEAR’s future by aligning with our values early on.
And they’ve been so generous in connecting us with their vast resources and infrastructure—it accelerated our growth and helped us become a bigger, stronger company.
My proudest moment at CLEAR is really watching customers use CLEAR's product and platform en masse. And I think it's hard every day to take a step back and see what you're building. But when you watch it in action and you hear how you're changing people's lives, both your team members and your members. You really know that you're living your mission and you're making a difference in the world.
We think there’s a lot of opportunity in the places where you have to take out the cards in your wallet to prove who you are. People are rethinking the customer journey, whether that’s in healthcare, sports or at your office. Making that easier—that’s where we come in.
"We see a world where digital innovation is transforming physical experiences, so we’re creating value for our consumers while keeping them moving." – Caryn Seidman-Becker, Co-Founder and CEO of CLEAR
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