Digital identity solutions have become increasingly widespread in recent years as alternatives or supplements to old-fashioned authentication methods like passwords. Businesses of all types are rapidly implementing digital authentication solutions to verify their customers more quickly and securely than ever before, especially for self-service kiosks and vending machines that take payment cards.
Identity verification is essential with sales of age-restricted items such as tobacco, alcohol or marijuana. Several solutions are being developed to ensure that customers are the right age to purchase these products. The most promising relies on biometrics to verify the correct holder is using the government-issued identity cards being used.
In the November Digital Identity Tracker®, PYMNTS explores the latest developments in the world of digital identification, including the growing trend of self-service vending machines for goods and sundries, the legal complications that arise for age-gated products and how digital identity solutions can verify identity and eligibility to buy these products.
Developments From Around the World of Digital ID
Singapore has taken the lead when it comes to digital identity-enabled kiosks, with alcohol retailer Cellarbration recently launching the city-state’s first alcohol vending machines that digitally confirm a purchaser’s age. The system uses technology developed with artificial intelligence (AI) firm Auresys, also based in Singapore, that verifies age by interfacing with Singpass, the country’s digital ID app. Buyers can then complete their purchases using contactless payments.
Various companies in the U.S. are also launching digital ID-enabled vending machines. Cannabidiol (CBD) specialist Cultiva Wellness recently began operating its first CBD smart vending machine — the Wellness Pantry — in Doral, a suburb of Miami, Florida. The machine requires buyers to scan their driver’s licenses or other IDs as proof of age and then verifies them using facial recognition technology to confirm that the IDs match the customers.
The education field is also getting on board with digital ID tools to verify their students’ identities in partnership with Apple. The company is partnering with more colleges and universities for the 2021-22 school year to provide digital student IDs through the Apple Wallet. The University of Alabama will be the first U.S. school to switch to digital IDs exclusively, though it will also make them available through other platforms. Participating students can use iPhones and Apple Watches to access their student IDs to enter buildings and make purchases on campus, including from vending machines.
For more on these stories and other digital identity news items, download this month’s Tracker.
How Digital ID Can Ease Marijuana Vending Machines’ Legal Challenges
Automated vending solutions are everywhere, from simple machines that dispense candy to kiosks that can make a fresh pizza from scratch. Many entrepreneurs are looking to expand this concept to legal marijuana, but this product carries with it a host of legal and compliance-related challenges that they must meet to avoid potentially unlawful sales.
In this month’s Feature Story, PYMNTS talks with Zane Gilmer, an attorney for Stinson LLP, which represents many marijuana-related businesses, about how digital ID solutions can ensure that these vending machines sell only to legally authorized customers.
Deep Dive: Enabling Digital Identity at Age-gated Vending Machines
Marijuana legalization is quickly spreading across the U.S., and many entrepreneurs are looking for ways to sell marijuana without the need for a brick-and-mortar storefront. But this desire can run afoul of age limits for marijuana sales, meaning that unattended kiosks will need some way of verifying users’ identities.
In this month’s Deep Dive, PYMNTS explores how self-service vending machines leverage facial recognition biometrics to deduce if customers are of legal age for purchases.
About the Tracker