Cinemas now accept digital IDs

Cinemas now accept digital IDs

Turning away from a 15 or 18 rated movie for not having the right ID with you can be a thing of the past.

The UK Film Association, which includes Cineworld, Odeon, Showcase Cinemas and Vue, is teaming up with digital ID company Yoti.

The free app will be accepted as proof of age, providing a safe and convenient way to show identity.

The measure should also tackle abuse against cinema staff.
Yoti takes advantage of the same technology you see at the airport, where you scan your passport and take a picture of your face.

To use Yoti ID, children must have a smartphone on which they can download the free app, adding their passport details and a current photo.

The digital ID card will display an age verified image that may be accepted by theater staff.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Film Association, said: “Of the 165-170 million admissions a year UK cinemas were watching before the pandemic, around 30% fell to 15-24+ year olds. around 20% in the 9 to 14 year age group.

“For many who want to participate in a film certified as 15 or even 18, proving their age, without a passport or driver’s license, can be very difficult and an obvious source of frustration if they are rejected at the cinema…”

Yoti apps have been downloaded over 11 million times worldwide and are already accepted by a wide range of organisations, including the NHS, Virgin Atlantic and the NSPCC.

Robin Tombs, CEO and co-founder of Yoti, said: “We are delighted that many members of the UK Film Association are joining the 30,000 high street venues in the UK that accept our reusable digital ID applications.

“Young people expect to be able to do everything with their phone, and using it to prove their age will come naturally to them. This is a win for cinemas and young viewers.”

Abuse of cinema staff

Having a digital ID should help reduce pressure on staff when verifying age.

Shaun Jones, vice president of operations at Cineworld, told the BBC: “Unfortunately, abuse of our staff happens more often than you might think, by young people, but often also by parents.

“Asked about the identity of the young people, the parents express their frustration and their anger because they demand their children’s passports and do not want to expel them from their homes.

“We’re hoping Yoti’s digital ID technology will really help deny some of the staff abuse.”

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