UK Cinema Association to accept digital ID apps for age verification

David Murphy

The UK Cinema Association has announced a partnership with digital identity provider Yoti that will see participating sites accept Yoti and its partner’s Post Office EasyID apps as proof of age.

From today, participating cinemas will accept the digital ID apps as a way of enabling young people aged from 13 upwards to prove their age using their smartphone, rather than a passport or driving licence. Yoti said the solution will also reduce the challenges many cinemas face in checking ages as required by the current film classification system. 

Of the 165m to 170m admissions per year UK cinemas were seeing pre-pandemic, around 30 per cent fall within the 15-24 year old bracket (and around 20 per cent within the 9-14 year old age group,” said Phil Clapp, CEO of the UK Cinema Association. “Since cinemas re-opened last May, those proportions are likely to be even higher. 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 when they are turned away from the cinema. This new partnership offers a straightforward and modern way to alleviate many of those issues.”

To obtain and use the digital ID apps is simple, the applicant needs to download the free Yoti (or partner’s Post Office EasyID app) app from Android Play or the Apple App Store, and add a photo ID and a current photo to verify their identity. When they need to prove their age, they open the ID app, then tap to show the ID card and select age – no other personal details are shared – and present the ID card to cinema staff. The Digital ID card will show the verified photo of the individual and their verified ‘Age Over…’ There is a hologram on the Digital ID card that moves when the phone is tilted, for anti-spoofing purposes. For further confidence, cinema staff can scan the QR code on the card with a freely available web app scan.yoti.com

Yoti’s apps (including Post Office EasyID) have been downloaded over 11m times globally and are already accepted by a wide range of organisations, including the Jersey Government, Scottish Improvement Service, The NHS, Virgin Atlantic, NSPCC, convenience stores and many more.

“With an increase in recent years in the number of films classified at ‘15’ but with a broader youth appeal, the issue of proving age is getting increasingly challenging,” said Kelly Drew, Operations Director at Cineworld. “The introduction of digital ID is a trusted and robust way of checking ID and will support our staff, who are often on the frontline of any resulting customer frustration.”