Asda has announced it will be the first supermarket to trial automated age verification at self-checkouts which aims to make it easier and quicker for customers to buy alcohol.
From this week, customers in Asda’s Pudsey and Stevenage stores can use privacy preserving age estimation technology when purchasing alcohol, which works via a camera in the self-checkout screen to accurately estimate a customer’s age.
The initiative is part of a Home Office test to allow the trial of technologies that can assist in the requirement for age verification in the retail sale of alcohol.
Shoppers at the Owlcotes Centre store can simply look at a camera to verify their age before completing their purchase. If the system detects a customer looks younger than 25, they can prove their age through the Yoti and Post Office EasyID apps.
Those who do not wish to use the digital system at the self-checkouts have the option to show their ID to an Asda colleague, who will be on hand to help.
It will run until the end of May and the technology will only be used for the purchase of alcohol products during the trial.
Geri Hebberd, senior director of retail innovation at Asda, said customers would be able to prove their age ‘in seconds’:
“We know how time pressed some of our customers are, so we always want to make things quicker and easier for them when they shop with us.
“We are excited to be the first retailer in the UK to test this new technology and are looking forward to seeing what our customers think of the trial. The use of this software will enable colleagues to focus on serving customers and make sure they have an excellent experience whilst in store.”
I like the bit where it says it “accurately estimates the persons age”. I was talking to one of the staff on Saturday and when she showed a customer how to use it by standing in front of it herself, it estimated her age at 104! And she is only in her 50’s.