How UK’s PASS approved Digital Proof of Age Card will help mitigate fraud and prevent retailer prosecution

October 17, 2023

Luciditi, a digital identity platform, is gearing up to launch the first proof of age credentials accredited by UK’s regulatory scheme in the near future The digital proof of age cards are meant to be trailed at convenience stores as a part of live testing phase.

Digital Proof of Age Card accredited by Proof of Age Standard Scheme (PASS) has been designed to safeguard young people accessing services that require age verification. The PASS Scheme is a program in the UK that grants accreditation to the organizations primarily issuing Proof of Age Cards among young people permitting restricted access to goods and services.

While countries are showing an inclination to adopt digital identity, apparently the general public also prefers it over physical ID.

According to a Serve legal survey, 94% of surveyed people expressed preference of using digital ID that they can access on their phones while 90% individuals believed it would be a favorable option rather than carrying physical ID cards like driver’s license or passport.

Ian Moody, co-founder and CEO for Luciditi mentioned “We’re very excited at the prospect of launching 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. Age Proof provides enhanced data security and convenience for young people, whilst eliminating the current threat of prosecution caused by retailers accepting fraudulent physical cards”.

Luciditi Age proof digital cards can be accessed via smart phones and utilize QR codes to provide real-time verification. The digital ID cards cater into two aged groups. The 16+ digital card allows the age group to legally purchase energy drinks and over-the-counter medication whereas the 18+ version allows users to purchase cigarettes or vapes.

Limitations to Use of Digital Cards for Proof of Age

According to the Licensing Act governing alcohol sales, physical cards displaying PASS hologram and logo are considered as valid proof of age for alcohol purchase. However, changes to the law are expected in 2024 which will allow the use of digital PASS to purchase alcohol using age proof ID.

Proponents of digital identity often present it as a solution to ensure financial inclusion and provide easy access to the services. However, there are substantial concerns on whether various digital identity technologies are able to verify users accurately, across different demographics while preserving their technology. Getting accreditation of standards like PASS implies that respective verification of age tools may be satisfying all these parameters. Tony Allen, an executive director for Age Check Certification Scheme added: “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.”

Before the official launch of Age Proof, Luciditi is looking forward to offering one thousand individuals aged 16-25 a free digital card in exchange for providing their experience. The company is also collaborating with Serve legal to implement a testing scheme on products, including energy drinks, vapes and gambling scratch cards in a variety of retailers, from supermarkets to convenience stores.

The Digital verification of age is a hot topic that has gained significant attention in several countries and states considering age verification needs particularly for internet users. The challenge lies in finding a solution to verify the user’s age without jeopardizing their privacy and disclosing intimate information. Few states in the US have already passed laws outlining rules for underage users on social networks. Moreover, various federal bills dealing with digital proof of age are under scrutiny both in the US and other countries like the UK.

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