001 Age Proof digital proof of age card from Luciditi

Identification provider Luciditi has launched Age Proof - the first digital ID card to be accredited by the Home Office-endorsed Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) - and c-store retailers will be some of the first businesses to use it as part of a trial with age-verification auditor Serve Legal. 

Available in 16+ and 18+ formats, which can be accessed via a smartphone app, product developer Luciditi believes the card will eventually eradicate the threat of retailers being prosecuted for accepting false ID from young people at point of purchase. The cards harness QR technology to provide real-time verification and offer greater data protection to young people, claims the firm. 

The company is working with Serve Legal to roll-out a testing programme on products such as vapes, energy drinks and gambling scratch cards across retailers ranging from supermarkets to convenience stores.

The 16+ digital cards allow users to prove they are legally old enough to purchase energy drinks and over-the-counter medication, such as paracetamol.

The 18+ card enables users to show they old enough to legally purchase cigarettes, vapes and scratch cards.

The only current restriction on the card is that the Licensing Act for the sale of alcohol only allows physical cards bearing the PASS hologram and logo as acceptable proof of age. Luciditi claims that changes to the law are anticipated in 2024 which will add digital PASS and make it permittable to buy alcohol using Age Proof as ID.

The move towards digital is set to be well received by young people, with 94% of respondents in favour of a digital form of ID that they can use on their phone, according to an auditor community survey by Serve Legal. A further 90% felt it would be more desirable than carrying a physical ID card such as a driving license or passport. What’s more, Luciditi states that the digital Age Proof cards offer much greater security from fraud, unlike physical ID cards which are routinely forged.

Company co-founder and CEO Ian Moody said: “We’re very excited to launch the UK’s first PASS digital proof of age card as it will completely transform the way age is verified at the point of purchase. It provides enhanced data security and convenience for young people, whilst eliminating the current threat of prosecution caused by retailers accepting fraudulent physical cards.”

He added: “Fake ID cards, whether they be forged physical identity cards, driving licenses or even passports, have become more and more sophisticated in recent years and have proven a major headache for retailers. We’ve developed a standards-based digital solution which brings the UK a giant step closer to eradicating the problem completely.”

Tony Allen is executive director for Age Check Certification Scheme, the world’s first dedicated conformity assessment body on age assurance and the PASS-appointed independent auditors. He said: “The Luciditi Age Proof system has been subject to a rigorous audit to the published PASS standards, including ensuring security, privacy, accuracy and the inclusion of anti-fraud measures.

“It’s also a significant boost to the retail sector and is a precursor to enhanced automation, with work already underway to establish a universal transaction method across all retailers that avoids consumers needing multiple apps to verify their age. The implementation of digital verification technology across all self-checkouts and electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems will be key to this and is expected to be rolled out as soon as the Home Office complete its forthcoming consultation on digitally enhanced transactions for alcohol.”