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Have you ever wanted to buy alcohol or another over-18’s item on a supermarket self-service till and lost precious time calling for a supermarket employee to come over and confirm your identification to the till?

Well, you might not have to much longer! Supermarkets are set to trial a facial recognition software which could replace age checks altogether, thanks to a pilot run by a British identity app.

The technology will remove the need for in-person age checks when customers wish to buy alcohol, knives and other age-restricted items at self-service tills.

It is hoped that this trial will remove a bottleneck at self-service tills where assistants are still required to check identification of individuals when they buy certain items. This will be actioned via an app called ‘Yoti’ on user’s smartphones.

To use the app, the user takes a photo and scans their driving license or passport so that the two combine together. Once at a self-service till, a QR code will be shown on the checkout screen which can then be scanned using the app. The app then confirms that the person at the till is the person’s identity via a simple selfie.

Yoti was founded by two entrepreneurs, Robin Tombs and Noel Hayden, who previously sold their online gambling company to Intertain for £426 million. So far they’ve invested £23 million into Yoti to get it off the ground and they’ve employed 180 staff to work on the app.

Yoti has joined forces with NCR, which make self-service supermarket tills, and they’ve already received the go ahead from two of the four big players in the UK supermarket industry. However, Yoti has said that they believe there are many other uses for the app, including tackling online fraud and ticket touts.

Yoti have announced that nearly 100,000 people in the UK have already downloaded the app during a beta test. Would you download it too?

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