UK supermarkets to trial facial recognition at self-checkouts

Advanced facial recognition could soon be coming to self-checkouts in the UK, as British tech company Yoti announces a partnership with transaction firm NCR.

NCR is the provider of FastLane SelfServ Checkouts, which is used by UK retailer Tesco. NCR plans to integrate the Yoti digital identity platform with its checkout solution to help improve the shopping experience for customers buying age-restricted items.

Customers can verify their age in 2 ways:

  • Individuals face the self-checkout’s built-in camera. Yoti age detection technology will determine whether the person is over or under the required age limit for the product they wish to buy. This threshold is configurable by the retailer and is generally 10 years above the legal limit.
  • Alternatively, customers can use the free Yoti app, which combines their ID document and biometrics, to create a digital identity. People scan a QR code on the self-checkout screen using the Yoti app and share their verified age attribute in seconds.

Retailers in the US and UK are expected to trial the combined solution in the coming months. NCR has not confirmed which UK stores will take part in the trial.

Yoti Facial Recongnition Checkout

How will facial recognition aid retailers?

NCR says age verification can make up over 50% of interventions at self-checkouts, impacting checkout time for consumers. The Yoti age verification technology will be used to streamline the process by letting shoppers buy alcohol and other age restricted items without intervention.

This means faster checkouts for customers, and therefore a higher turnover for retailers. Facial recognition tech will also free up staff for other tasks around the store, offering improved efficiency.

Robin Tombs, CEO and co-founder Yoti, explained: “Waiting for age approval at self-checkouts is a source of frustration for many shoppers, who just want to get home as quickly as possible. Our integration with NCR delivers a frictionless and innovative way for customers to prove their age in seconds. It’s a simple process that helps retailers meet the requirements of regulators worldwide. Customers will spend less time at the self-checkout, and employees can assist with other tasks, improving the overall shopping experience.”

Dusty Lutz, vice president and general manager of the NCR Store Transformation Solutions Group, added: “Removing the friction of the shopping experience is a primary goal of all our innovations. Integrating the Yoti technology will help reduce the amount of interventions for retailers, and at the same time, help improve the customer experience of self-checkouts.”

Yoti Software

About Yoti

Yoti was founded in 2014 in London, and has had over 2.5m downloads of its free, trusted identity platform. As well as age checks, the identification platform offers verified document signing, such as property leases, and authorised building access.

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