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Customers prefer facial age estimation for self-checkouts: Yoti global retail report

Customers prefer facial age estimation for self-checkouts: Yoti global retail report

Facial estimation technology for age-restricted purchases in retail settings is gaining more appeal among customers, according to a global retail report shared by digital identity and age verification firm Yoti.

Yoti says it has been nearly four years since it deployed the technology analyzing face biometric data for self-checkout purposes, and it has been trialed by businesses in the United States, Estonia, Germany Poland, and Czech Republic.

Some supermarkets in the United Kingdom, last year, also piloted the use of the technology and a report on that pilot is due to be released by the UK Home Office and the businesses which took part in the trial.

However, Yoti says insights already obtained from the report indicate that a vast majority of customers who used the technology prefer it, with 70 percent of them saying they would like to use it again to prove their age when buying age-restricted products.

They users interviewed also say they had no problem having their facial images taken.

Yoti adds that other key highlights in the global retail report reveal that its technology gives customers a more private way to prove their age and is inclusive for those who do not own or have access to an ID document.

Also, the trials proved that digital age verification has the potential to improve retail staff safety and reduce friction between staff and customers, that retail staff have more time to focus on other tasks including spotting proxy sales and ‘walkaways’ and that anti-spoofing is key to the success of digital age verification.

“Our age verification technology can help make retail stores safer and give customers privacy-preserving ways to prove their age, without needing to show physical ID to staff. During the Home Office trials, I was particularly happy to see that some of the self-checkouts could successfully estimate over 90 percent of shoppers at the first attempt,” says Yoti CEO Robin Tombs in reaction to the report.

“This will be a game changer for retailers both here in the UK and abroad, who can use our technology to improve compliance rates and enhance the checkout experience for shoppers.”

Meanwhile, digital ID advisory firm Liminal has listed Yoti among the ten technology companies to watch out for in 2023.

The listing procedure looks at companies with huge potential to impact their respective markets. They are chosen based on how well their products fit the market, their company momentum, and the current state of the ecosystem, says Yoti in an announcement.

Yoti was selected because of its age verification technology and its ability to help protect children from online harms.

“The outstanding group of businesses that make up this year’s ‘companies to watch’ list are pioneers in their respective solution segments within Liminal’s Digital Identity Landscape. As strategists, we believe that these businesses provide us with the most insightful information about what the future holds for innovation, strategy, and teamwork,” says Liminal CEO Travis Jarae.

Tombs also remarked: “Given the high esteem of Liminal in the digital identity market, we are delighted to feature on their list of Companies to Watch in 2023. This recognition demonstrates the growing importance of digital identity and the role Yoti’s technologies play in reducing fraud and improving online safety.”

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