02 Nov 2021

Age verification: the solution to buying age-restricted products in supermarkets

Supermarkets as we know them today are vastly different from the ones we were used to twenty years ago. Doing the weekly shop is quicker and easier thanks to supermarkets implementing technological solutions like scan-as-you-shop and self-checkout terminals. Shoppers are becoming increasingly independent, but how can supermarkets assure that their customers are old enough to buy age-restricted products with minimal staff intervention and manual ID checks?

Across the UK, supermarkets are looking to adopt new ways to check that their customers are old enough to buy age-restricted products. By embedding our leading age verification technology into their self-checkout terminals, supermarkets could reduce the amount of time customers spend scanning and paying for their shopping. 

 

Digitise your age checks

Age estimation

Our age estimation tech can instantly estimate a customer’s age via facial analysis – no ID document or pre-registration needed.

How it works
  1. Customers simply look at the camera on the self-checkout and have their age estimated based on their facial biometrics.
  2. If the result of the estimation is above the threshold set by the supermarket, then the customer can continue to pay for their items.
  3. If the result of the estimation is below the threshold, the customer can use their Yoti digital ID to prove their age.

 

Yoti app 

The Yoti app could allow shoppers to prove they’re over a business’ age policy using a digital ID on their phone. This requires downloading the free Yoti app and verifying themselves with an ID document and a biometric selfie. They just need to do this once and can use their digital ID for life.

How it works
  1. Customers scan the QR code on the self-checkout screen using their Yoti app. 
  2. They consent to sharing a verified ‘Over Age’ in their Yoti app, which will tell the business they’re over the required threshold. 

See how it works

Make life easier…

… for staff:

  • Efficient: ID checks account for 50% of staff interventions at self-checkouts. Our innovative age verification technology would empower customers to prove their age independently of staff, who can focus on other tasks in the supermarket.
  • Safe: Year-on-year, age-restricted sales are an overwhelming trigger for abuse and violence towards supermarket staff. Age verification tech could reduce contact between staff and shoppers, removing some of the friction created by manual checks.
  • Accurate: Our age estimation technology is more accurate at detecting age than humans. There are several reasons why an employee might not accurately complete age checks. For example, tiredness, biases, or falling prey to fake IDs. This takes the pressure off human error and helps businesses avoid hefty fines for selling age-restricted goods to minors. For more information, read our white paper.

 

… and customers:

 

If you’re a retailer looking to make age checks more efficient, contact us today or click here for more information.

 

 

Katherine Holden

Katherine Holden

Head of Data Analytics, AI and Digital ID, techUK

Katherine joined techUK in May 2018 and currently leads the Data Analytics, AI and Digital ID programme. 

Prior to techUK, Katherine worked as a Policy Advisor at the Government Digital Service (GDS) supporting the digital transformation of UK Government.

Whilst working at the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) Katherine led AMRC’s policy work on patient data, consent and opt-out.    

Katherine has a BSc degree in Biology from the University of Nottingham.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
020 7331 2019

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Zoe Brockbank

Programme Coordinator, Policy, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Zoe is a Programme Assistant, supporting techUK's work across Policy, Technology and Innovation.

The team makes the tech case to government and policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and across the UK on the most pressing issues affecting this sector and supports the Technology and Innovation team in the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Zoe worked as a Business Development and Membership Coordinator at London First and prior to that Zoe worked in Partnerships at a number of Forex and CFD brokerage firms including Think Markets, ETX Capital and Central Markets.

Zoe has a degree (BA Hons) from the University of Westminster and in her spare time, Zoe enjoys travelling, painting, keeping fit and socialising with friends.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
020 7331 2174
Website:
www.techuk.org

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