3 smart ways artificial intelligence (AI) age verification technology may assist retailers

Retailers are struggling with the rise of fake IDs. It’s getting harder to tell who is old enough to buy certain products. Artificial Intelligence could be the solution! 

AI age verification is designed to help retailers identify customers who are underage or trying to make purchases using borrowed IDs. It uses a variety of facial recognition methods to determine if someone is under the legally mandated age for a product. With this information, businesses are better able to manage the sale of products to underage customers.

AI age verification technology
How does AI age verification work?

How does AI age verification work?

As the name suggests, this technology uses artificial intelligence to determine whether a customer meets legal age requirements to purchase a specific product. There are three AI age verification techniques:

1. Face Mapping

Face Mapping: In this technique, AI age verification analyses a customer’s facial features and physical characteristics to confirm their date of birth. By using the most up-to-date technology, retailers can determine a customer’s age with an accuracy level of 98%.

2. Photo Matching

Photo Matching: In this technique, AI age verification analyses a customer’s image and compares it with a photo on their ID card. If there is a match and the DOB on the ID allows, they are authorized for purchase.

3. Facial Thermography

Facial Thermography: Age detection via heat radiation measures the thermal light emission of the human body at various wavelengths to obtain information about someone’s physical appearance and compares it with known results from different age groups.

AI age verification in action

Many major UK supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, and Tesco) have begun trailing AI age verification technology in their self-checkout machines. Though UK legislation currently prevents them from adopting AI age verification as their primary verification protocol, the technology has demonstrated an ability to estimate the age of a 16-17-year-old within one year of accuracy.

Source: UK supermarkets to trial facial recognition at self-checkouts, PlaceTech

The Benefits of AI Age Verification

As a result, retailers have been able to limit the number of fake IDs being used in their stores. Fortunately, there are several ways that this new technology can help businesses:

1) Cost-effective 

Businesses can save money by implementing AI age verification solutions by decreasing the need for human age verification. In larger retail locations there are typically multiple employees assigned to the task of verifying age at self-checkout. In smaller locations, staff from manned checkout stations are typically required to leave their post to attend to age verification. In both cases, AI age verification solutions reduce the required manpower of the location.

2) Improves customer experience 

AI age verification promises to improve the experiences of retail customers by reducing the amount of time they spend waiting for retail staff to follow age verification procedures. There is a well-documented link between the amount of time a retail customer spends in motion (i.e., performing tasks related to purchasing and check-out) and how highly they rate their shopping experience.

AI age verification increases the sensation of motion for retail shoppers in the same way the self-checkout machines do. Customers appreciate not needing to wait for employees to verify their age.

3) Promotes responsible consumption 

With the help of AI age verification, businesses can dramatically reduce the number of underage transactions that are successful. This helps to ensure that legal products aren’t being sold to minors and encourages individuals to make responsible decisions.

The fact is, humans are good at estimating the age of others, but AI is better. Research suggests that humans are typically able to visually predict age with an accuracy of +/- 4 years. That means human age verifiers are unable to accurately distinguish between a 16-year-old (below the legal drinking age) and an 18-year-old (above the legal drinking age). On the other hand, AI is able to visually predict age with an accuracy of +/- 1 year. That is a significant difference that promises to vastly improve the rate of underage purchases in retail.

With everyone from politicians to parents calling for a solution, retailers have been looking for a way to improve their security and reduce the ability of underage customers to buy certain products. AI age verification solutions like Alertiee Mind can help monitor transactions by analysing facial features and other physical characteristics that are linked with age. This promises to improve customer service while promoting responsible consumption among teenagers. With this software in place, businesses will be able to prevent unverified purchases without the need for additional employees! 

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this post: 3 Ways to better understand your retail shoppers, be sure to check out our recent IoT and AI pilot with Adnams here: AI and IoT for retailers how physical stores can enhance customer experience

Proven benefits of Alertiee technology

Alertiee will help you realise missing sales opportunities, stores’ performance based on conversion rate, and stores’ sales hotspots areas.

We support and guide you through how you best convert both inside and outside traffic opportunities by supplying you with options around service risks and how to serve your existing and potential new customers best.

Alertiee will help you to provide a harmonious customer experience across your omnichannel business. Our technology enables customer experience, marketing and retail teams to close the gap between customers’ digital experience and their physical experience.

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Sahand Malek