Assured Advice for Yoti digital age assurance from Trading Standards

profile picture Robin Tombs 5 min read

Limit contact and contagion during COVID-19. Prove your age with Yoti’s contactless ID app and age estimation technology.

Yoti’s privacy preserving solutions are compatible with Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Assured Advice guidance for age-restricted goods including knives, lottery tickets and tobacco products. This is now reinforced by updated Assured Advice from the Primary Authority team for Yoti, based at Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards. 

This means that people can purchase these items with Yoti’s contactless ID app and age estimation solutions. The business and consumer are protected – legally and from the contagion risks that come with traditional ID checks.


The growing age verification challenge for retailers

Selling age-restricted items responsibly has never been easy but it’s getting harder. More needs to be done to protect retail staff working at the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis. Retailers are defying self containment to keep us supplied. Sadly, reports of attacks on people at the frontline of help have been reported and follow an unfortunate trend. 


More restricted items, more attacks

A recent British Retail Consortium report stated 115 shop employees are assaulted each day. The ACS Crime Report 2019 also highlighted that “enforcing age restricted sales” and preventing “alcohol sales” are among the top three reasons for rising attacks. 

There are over 150 items that require age verification in UK stores including alcohol, knives, nicotine, as well crackers, party poppers and deodorants. All fall under different laws that require retailers to show they try to prevent underage sales. 


AV checks for alcohol in the backdrop of social distancing

And then there’s alcohol which carries its own Mandatory Licencing Conditions (MLC). Written in 2014, it states that an ID must contain an individual’s photo, name, DOB and have a holographic mark or UV feature to be AV eligible for alcohol sales offline – all the features seen on fake IDs readily available online.

You can use a Yoti digital ID to buy alcohol online at But you can’t buy that same bottle of Jagermeister in the physical world using Yoti due to the MLC. Still, you could use Yoti to buy a knife, cigarettes, medicines, crossbows or hazardous acids. 


Removing friction 

Age checks make up for 50% of all interventions at the self-checkout and the average waiting time for staff to reach and review a customer idea is  63 seconds, bringing delays for everyone. 

Traditional ID checks are near impossible to handle safely and securely if we want to avoid the risk of contact and contagion during social distancing. With this in mind, it’s time for the government to move to review the MLCs in this time in order to make supermarkets a safer place for consumers and staff. 

Following assessment of Yoti’s identity verification processes, their Assured Advice includes a number of key factors that should give retailers high confidence in Yoti’s ability to help them meet their legal obligations. These include:

  • Yoti is ISO/IEC 27001 certified and has been since 2015.
  • Yoti has received a ‘clean’ SOC 2 Type 2 report from a leading professional services firm.
  • The Yoti App was certified under the ‘Age Check Certification Scheme’, to provide Electronic Identification Verification Technology (e-IDVT) to issuers of ‘PASS’ (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) cards in the UK;
  • Age Scan and the Yoti App were certified to the BBFC’s Age Verification Certification standards.
  • The Yoti App and Yoti Age Check Cards use a number of specialist and qualified staff in face comparison and document authenticity examination. This is undertaken in a ‘Security Centre’.
  • The Yoti App and Yoti Age Check Cards authenticates data cryptographically on the document chip where that is possible.
  • The Yoti App and Yoti Age Check Cards verify identity documents with the issuing authority where that is possible.
  • Yoti deploys the use of biometric technology for secure verification and authentication of users.

Yoti’s Age Verification Methods in more detail

Age Scan

Yoti Age Scan is a mature technology that uses advanced AI to estimate people’s age. It deletes the image and returns an estimated age to the retailer. Given the accuracy of Yoti Age Scan, we recommend 25 as a buffer to prevent underage sales. The mean absolute error across ages, genders and skin tones is ± 2.67 years. In addition, under 0.15% of 14 to 17 year olds are estimated to be over 25 by Yoti Age Scan as shown in our whitepaper.

Yoti ID app

The Yoti app is a free app that lets businesses securely verify and authenticate their customers in seconds. Yoti verifies the identity of individuals using a combination of leading AI technology and our expert security staff. An individual with a Yoti can then digitally identify themselves online and in-person in a way that is simple, safe and secure.

Yoti is a global, trusted identity platform that accepts over 240 forms of identification, including passports, driving licences and national IDs, from over 180 countries. Yoti promotes data minimisation and user privacy – with Yoti unable to access, mine or sell their data for marketing purposes.

For age checks. A shopper is presented with a QR code on an ePOS screen or via a Yoti Age Check card, which they scan using the Yoti app. This prompts an age check request which the consumer accepts to share their age. 

Our integrated ePOS solution tells the retailer the customer is 18+. Or Yoti Age Check cards prompts their Yoti app to display a digital ‘passport quality’ image of the consumer along with an animating security symbol and timestamp for the retailer to observe. 

It’s a modern solution that fights the age old AV problems for both retailers and consumers. Boosting speed and security while limiting contact and contagion. 

For more information contact