Age verification technology at Co-op hero

Age verification technology at Co-op

To make age restricted sales simpler and safer, we trialled a new scheme as part of the Home Office Digital ID Sandbox called Age Scan. The technology was used at self-checkouts across Manchester, securely verifying if a customer was over 25.

What is Age Scan?

Age Scan is provided by Diebold Nixdorf and powered by Yoti. When buying age restricted products at a self-checkout, the automated age assurance process takes just seconds to verify your age.

Learn more about Age Scan

How it works

The technology ensures age verification is as robust and effective as possible. Thanks to our trials, we can be confident it’s accurate and fair to all of our customers and works as follows:

  • If you’re happy for us to do so, a camera will take an image of your face and in real time use an algorithm to estimate your age.
  • If the system estimates you to be old enough to purchase age restricted products (such as alcohol) then you’ll be able to proceed with the purchase without a Co-op colleague needing to come and verify the transaction.
  • If the technology thinks you are under 25, you will be asked to provide ID to prove your age.
  • You can always opt out of using the camera and a colleague will be asked to approve in the usual way.

How is your data used?

As the system uses facial analysis, we will always ask all our customers for consent before using the system. We understand it’s our responsibility to handle your personal data fairly, lawfully and securely. Below we’ve provided further information you may find helpful:

  • The system doesn’t retain your image because once the transaction has completed it is deleted. As the image isn’t retained, your image won’t be used to improve the algorithm.
  • The system isn’t the same as Facial Recognition, which typically tries to map an image against a database of known images.
  • The camera is different to our existing CCTV and handles the image securely.
  • We won’t be using it for any other purpose than Age Verification.

If you have any specific questions that are not answered above about the system please contact:

Co-op’s Privacy Notice

Participating stores

We worked closely with Manchester City Council’s Trading Standards and Licensing teams, and Greater Manchester Police Licensing team and our technology suppliers Diebold and Yoti to build our proposal to take part in the sandbox scheme in some of our Manchester stores. The trial ran until the end of June 2022 and has been independently evaluated with the results of the trial being shared with the Home Office.

Standards and accreditations


The Age Verification Providers Association (AVPA), maintaining high standards in age verification.


The internationally recognised Age Check Certification Scheme (ACCS).


Founding members of the Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA).


The German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media.


The German regulator for the protection of minors on online media.

Point de Contact

Member of France’s internet hotline and internet safety forum.

BSI PAS1296:2018

In compliance with the British Standards Institution’s PAS 1296:2018 code of practice.