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Yoti age estimation, digital ID app positioned for UK regulatory updates

App deployed for NZ students
Yoti age estimation, digital ID app positioned for UK regulatory updates

A pair of regulatory developments in the UK open up opportunities for technology providers, notably Yoti, just as the company’s digital ID app is deployed for high school students in New Zealand.

Several large supermarket chains in the UK will trial biometrics-based age estimation technology as part of a Government’s ‘regulatory sandbox’ between January and May 2022.

The scheme was initially announced in March 2021 and saw Yoti discussing its age estimation technology with the UK’s top 10 largest retailers.

Now, inews has confirmed the Co-op, Tesco, Asda, Aldi, and Morrisons supermarket chains will trial age estimation technology in their stores in the coming months.

From a regulatory perspective, only companies who have passed the scrutiny of the UK Age Check Certification Scheme are allowed to take part in the regulatory sandbox.

One of such companies, Yoti will now see its solution deployed in-store via self-service terminals, which will take photos of customers’ faces to assess their age in order to approve the purchase of alcohol products.

Additional biometrics providers taking part in the regulatory sandbox include FinGo and its vein biometrics technology supplier Fujitsu, Innovative Technology, and Mitek.

According to the regulatory sandbox text, customers will have the option to opt out and instead prove their identity via traditional ID documents.

Yoti also confirmed the kiosks will simply analyze the images, then delete them immediately after the process is completed. No human will ever see the photos, and the only data shared with the retailer is the age check.

Aldi opens first checkout-free supermarket in London

Aldi was one of the first supermarkets to trial Yoti biometrics in a new checkout-free ‘trial’ store the company opened in Greenwich, London, the BBC reports.

The combination of Yoti’s age estimation solution and smart cameras technologies will now enable customers to complete their shopping and pay without using a till.

Instead, individuals will simply download the Aldi Shop&Go app, add a valid payment method, and then go about their shopping, with cameras automatically scanning products they pick up.

Once done, customers will leave the building and their shopping will be charged using their Shop&Go and associated payment method.

The trial shop follows similar efforts from British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s last November, amidst a steep growth in ‘frictionless’ retail applications around the world.

Digital identity apps for employment, rental eligibility

The UK government has announced its intention to enable employers and landlords to use certified digital identity service providers to carry out identity verification for Disclosure and Barring Service checks starting April 6th, 2022.

DBS checks are used to confirm applicants for employment or property rental are not barred by criminal records. The digital identity checks will enable UK and Irish citizens looking for a job to prove their Right to Work (RTW) and apply for their checks online via a dedicated digital ID app.

In an eventful week for the company, Yoti has announced that its digital identity app supports the DBS checks with ID document authentication and selfie biometrics, CityAM reports.

Checks can alternatively be performed with the Post Office’s EasyID app.

The move comes months after Lord Holmes and Idemia separately called for the adoption of a digital ID-focused screening process for potential and new employees.

The collaboration comes at a time of substantial growth in the adoption of digital ID solutions in the UK.

Yoti to provide digital ID cards for Auckland students

In New Zealand, Yoti has announced a partnership with Auckland Transport to produce digital ID cards for secondary school students in the city of Auckland in New Zealand as an alternative to the plastic cards currently in use.

According to a blog post from the company, the digital ID cards, which will be distributed to the students gratis, will be created using Yoti’s digital ID app in a simple and cost-effective manner. However, the plastic cards will remain in use by students who prefer to use them or by those who do not have a smartphone.

Apart from lessening the financial burden on school authorities, printing fewer cards will also mean reducing the effect of the use of plastics on the planet and the local environment, Yoti says.

Aine Conlan, Auckland Transport’s manager of Customer Care, welcomed the news, saying the agency is excited to be able to help provide cost effective easy ID options for the secondary school children of Tāmaki Makaurau.

“AT is excited to be partnering with Yoti to provide this new digital ID option for secondary school students. It was important for us to be able to work with an organisation that could offer our customers the security and flexibility that they need,” Conlan adds.

Yoti says the project will also address the issue of lost or stolen IDs as the Yoti account and digital ID of a student can be restored on another device in the event that a student’s phone is misplaced or stolen.

With the Yoti digital ID solution, users are in full control of their data as they can choose what to share, when and with whom, the company assures.

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