UK cinemas roll out support for contactless IDs

AGE VERIFICATION: Users create their digital ID by adding a government-approved ID document to an app

UK cinema-goers who need to verify their age in order to purchase tickets for age-restricted films can now do so using a digital ID card stored on their Android or iOS smartphone that can be authenticated using a QR code.

The service is being rolled out at participating cinemas owned by members of the UK Cinema Association including the Cineworld, Odeon, Showcase Cinemas and Vue chains. It enables customers aged from 13 upwards to prove they meet the age requirements of the UK film classification system without needing to show their physical passport or other ID document.

Users can create their digital ID by downloading the Yoti or Post Office EasyID app to their Android or iOS device, uploading a government-approved ID document such as a passport or driving licence and adding a current selfie to verify their identity.

At the cinema, users can then opt to show their ‘age card’ containing only their authenticated photo and the verification that they are aged over the age limit for the film they wish to purchase tickets for.

“There is a hologram on the digital ID card that moves when the phone is tilted — for anti-spoofing purposes,” Yoti explains.

“For further confidence, the cinema staff can scan the QR code on the card with a freely available web app to prove it’s valid.”

“Of the 165m to 170m admissions per year UK cinemas were seeing pre-pandemic, around 30% fall within the 15-24 year old bracket (and around 20% within the 9-14 year old age group). Since cinemas re-opened last May, those proportions are likely to be even higher,” UKCA CEO Phil Clapp says.

“For many wanting to get into a ‘15’ or even ‘18’ certificate film, proving their age — without a passport or driving licence to hand — can be incredibly difficult and an understandable source of frustration should they be turned away from the cinema. This new partnership offers a straightforward and modern way to reduce the likelihood of that happening.”

UK cinemas roll out support for contactless IDs was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.