Craft beer store Beer Cartel say an age verification trial they took part in alongside eftpos and Retail Drinks Australia was a success as NSW online alcohol retailers prepare for new laws to take effect next year.

By July 2022, under new state government legislation, NSW retailers will need to provide some method of proving a person’s age for same-day alcohol delivery purchases.

To help the industry ready for that eftpos and Retail Drinks conducted a trial with Beer Cartel and global identity service provider (ISP) Yoti to demonstrate end-to-end transactions with auditable age verification. Yesterday, due to the success of the initial trial, eftpos and Retail Drinks announced they would be extending it further to involve additional online liquor merchants and further ISPs, including Australia Post.

Beer Cartel director Richard Kelsey told Beer & Brewer that their role in the initial trial involved integrating the technology from Yoti and eftpos on their testing website and conducting a number of “mystery shops”.

“It was really interesting to see the technology in action and how it can be applied to ecommerce sites in the future,” Richard said. “The NSW legislation around age verification for same day deliveries coming into effect in 2022 means retailers will need to have some method of confirming this.

“It is great that Retail Drinks are taking the lead, helping retailers with this and working with technology partners to develop a solution going into next year.”

Richard said online age verification technology was evolving but felt eftpos’ digital identity solution connectID “definitely has potential”.

“Going into the future I see digital IDs being a really important age verification tool, and a great piece of technology to assist with age verified purchases.”

The NSW Government’s new laws for same-day alcohol deliveries were announced in June last year. They came about after VicHealth said in May 2020 that research it had conducted found a third of people canvassed, who use on-demand services, said they were given alcohol without their ID being checked, including around a quarter of people aged 18-24.

eftpos’ Rob Allen said the trial demonstrated how digital identity technology can lead to the creation of easy to implement solutions that are simple for customers.

“connectID is collaboratively working with state governments, industry associations, businesses and online merchants to simplify and manage a range of customer identity needs and requirements, helping solve compliance requirements for many different sorts of businesses,” he said.

Retail Drinks Australia CEO Michael Waters said: “We’re pleased to be working collaboratively with partners like eftpos and other stakeholders on this industry-first age verification pilot for same day online alcohol sale and delivery that seeks to strike the right balance between good regulation and the freedom to retail responsibly.”

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