What is digital ID app Yoti and what could it mean for pubs?

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Yoti launch: the digital ID app aims to help both sides of the bar
Yoti launch: the digital ID app aims to help both sides of the bar

Related tags Identity document Driver's license

New app Yoti - Your Own Trusted Identity - which hosted a launch party at London’s Victoria House on Thursday (9 November), allows customers to leave their passports and driving licenses at home by uploading ID documents to a secure app on their phone.

Founded in 2014, Yoti is a London-based app that has already had more than 140,000 downloads. The free app creates a secure digital identity by asking users to take a selfie which it then links to identification documents, such as a passport or driving license, using facial recognition software.

Its promise to consumers is that by using their face as a password, they’ll be able to prove their age on nights out without fear of losing crucial documents - Government statistics from 2011 showed 10,000 passports had been lost in bars and clubs that year - confirm their identity to people they meet, and request that new acquaintances do the same, and log into websites securely using biometrics instead of passwords.

Robin Tombs, founder and CEO of Yoti, said: “As we increasingly live more of our lives online, the way we prove who we are is outdated. It’s too easy for people to pretend they’re someone else, or gain access to all of our personal details. This is shown by the continued rise of identity-related fraud and issues that cost time, money and inconvenience to many people every day.”

“Yoti makes it faster, simpler and safer for people and businesses to prove identities and know who they’re dealing with. We want to build trust and transparency in the personal information people share - making it safer to get stuff done and do the things we love, via a secure platform”

What does it mean for the pub industry?

In terms of managing venue entry, venues are given a QR code which customers asked to prove their age have to scan with their Yoti app. They’re then asked to take a selfie in order for the app’s facial recognition software to verify that they are who they claim to be by matching their selfie with the photo on ID documents.

Tim Howard, marketing director at the Deltic Group, the UK’s largest club chain, said: “Yoti will not only make checking ID quicker and therefore reduce queues, but will also provide improved security against fraud. We are pleased to be one of the first companies to trial Yoti and put it through its paces, as with all new tech.”

While the app is free for customers, Yoti software costs just shy of £50 per mobile for a venue to install.

Yoti is also already working with self-service beer tech company Drink Command, with their machines’ self-service function locked until age has been proven by a customer via Yoti. This means that bar staff can focus on serving other drinks such as wine and cocktails and playing a role as hosts rather than pint-pouring.

For more information on Yoti, check out their website here

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