Smart Age enables digital credentials for identity, access, and qualifications to be verified at point-of-sale payment terminals using the same globally-accessible platform as financial, debit and credit card transactions.
TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / January 20, 2022 / Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (CSE:LQID)(OTCQB:LQAVF)(FRA:4T51) Liquid Avatar Technologies, a global blockchain, digital identity and fintech solutions company today, with its partner, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), a nonprofit organization that represents convenience stores across Ontario, announced the successful completion of an end-to-end, live working test of the Smart Age program. The Smart Age program provides digital age verification, supported with biometric authentication for restricted product sales like lottery tickets, tobacco, alcohol and other goods and services through a mobile device using verifiable digital credentials and biometrics without a user divulging any personally identifiable information to the store clerk. The system will next be deployed at in-store pilot programs before becoming available to over 8,000 store locations in Ontario. This first-of-its-kind technology solution will also be extended to other business sectors that require age verification and other kinds of critical information verified as authentic, such as vaccination, healthcare, membership and enrollment, and other online and offline verification. All these use cases and many more can be supported with the high level of assurance, safety, security, and privacy of verifiable digital credentials. Smart Age can also be used online and the metaverse to support verification of digital identity and manage age-gating for access to age-restricted content, eCommerce and websites.
The system is supported through the Liquid Avatar Verifiable Credential Ecosystem ('LAVCE') and was completed using the electronic point-of-sale technology generally found in every convenience store and almost every retail, restaurant and venue locations where financial transactions are accepted, and age-restricted products are sold. This breakthrough technology will solve the age verification problem using blockchain technology and the payments infrastructure that merchants and businesses already use and provides high assurance of authentic identity with the privacy preserving features of decentralized identity. The platform can support government issued credentials and work with existing payment processors and other parties, creating an open, holistic environment to support all parties in the marketplace.
With daily foot traffic of over 3 million people in convenience stores and over 96% positive verification of age by individual convenience stores according to the OCSA, the opportunity to use digital verification tools and services to improve the customer and vendor experience and the quality of verification is critical to the industry as it looks to expand current age-restricted product sales. These include single sport betting and other lottery products, future opportunities with alcohol-based beverages, and other emerging categories.
Smart Age consists of in-store and out-of-home awareness campaigns and a Liquid Avatar Technologies' proprietary service called Passmate™, a transformative technology that makes secure data sharing and proof of identity easily available to consumers and businesses through existing Point of Sale (POS) and payment terminals. It uses verified digital credentials to confirm that the customer is of legal age to purchase restricted products. The program is expected to be available as both a Software as a Service monthly subscription and as a pay-as-you-go verification model with minimum requirements; there are current discussions underway to initiate program sponsorship.
The OCSA State of the Industry report, last published in December 2020 showed that in Ontario alone, there are over 72,000 full- and part-time employees selling almost $3 billion in lottery sales, representing 17% of all convenience store purchases. Over 75% of all lottery sales in Ontario are purchased at convenience stores. In 2019, convenience store operators earned approximately $218 Million in commissions for the sale of lottery tickets.
While lottery tickets sales represent only one of several age-restricted categories available in convenience stores, given the range of products sold, age verification is a critical issue. The failure to always comply with verification can lead to enforcement violations for the sale of future age-restricted products and include fines and loss of the ability to sell certain product, both of which may result in potential loss of income or business. Smart Age, based on the best practices developed with the OSCA and their working group over the past month, will be further piloted across the OCSA membership, many of which are independent, and family owned, to enhance the training and practices already in place at all convenience store locations.
'Today marks an important milestone for the OCSA and the Smart Age program as our channel works to reach a success rate of 100% when restricting access to age restricted products across our more than 8,000 convenience store locations in the province. Working with our partner, Liquid Avatar Technologies, we have been able to create an easy-to-use, first of its kind, technology to support operators and their respective communities to increase safety and security while maintaining privacy for the individual,' said Dave Bryans, CEO of the OCSA. 'The OCSA is proud to be partnered with Liquid Avatar and feel that this digitally enabled solution will go a long way to providing increased confidence to Ontario families that our channel is the most responsible when selling some of the most sensitive age restricted products in today's ever-changing market place.
Smart Age will turn a government ID into a verifiable digital age verification credential that is anchored to a blockchain, issued to a digital wallet, and together with biometric identification, like facial recognition, verified over standard merchant payment rails in a single transaction without having to collect or store Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Other types of information such as financial credentials, health status, and Covid-19 test results can also be turned into verifiable credentials held using this system, thereby reducing fake documents and identity theft.
Both Smart Age and Passmate™ are parts of a broad range of decentralized identity products offered by Liquid Avatar and co-developed with U.S.-based payments company Dynamics Inc. and Indicio, a global leader in designing decentralized trusted data ecosystems that enable data to be authenticated in ways that prevent fraud, provide privacy, and enhance security through verified credentials. Liquid Avatar products run on the Indicio Network, a globally available blockchain-based distributed ledger on five continents, of which Liquid Avatar Technologies is a member. As healthcare applications are considered in the ecosystem, Indicio has contributed Cardea to the Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) project as a complete open-source ecosystem for the sharing privacy-preserving digital health credentials.Indicio recently won British Columbia's Code With Us challenge to develop critical infrastructure for decentralized digital identity. Liquid Avatar is also partnered with Indicio on the use of verifiable credentials for health data and travel.
'We're really excited to be working with OCSA to enhance the Smart Age program in Ontario convenience stores with a view to look together to expand this program to other business and community sectors both offline and online,' said David Lucatch, CEO of Liquid Avatar Technologies, 'We have achieved a real breakthrough in decentralized identity by being able to issue and verify over payment rails technology. Our collaborators in this-Indicio and Dynamics-have opened the door to the mass adoption of verifiable digital credentials through ease of integration and use. The synergies we're creating through providing verifiable credential technology for c-stores, retailers, services operators, educators, eCommerce, health care, Covid tests, travel-along with our provision of identity in the metaverse will transform business and consumer behavior for the benefit of both.'
'Liquid Avatar is leading the way on using verifiable credentials to solve real world and future world problems,' says Heather Dahl, CEO of Indicio. 'Age verification may sound simple, but it's an endless fake-ID challenge for store clerks who may have to do hundreds a day. Having a verifiable digital credential of a government issued ID that can be verified at the point of sale and through the point-of-sale technology is simple and elegant solution. But it also sets up a framework for using verifiable credentials to solve all kinds of issues that need data that can be trusted. The magic is in the creation of the digital credential-which allows the owner to hold personal information and to be able to prove that it is authentic without a third party accessing it or it needing to be stored somewhere where it can be misused or stolen.'
For more information, or to book a demonstration of the technology and how Smart Age can assist your organization to support your reopening and health care objectives, please contact Liquid Avatar Technologies.
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About OCSA www.ontariocstores.ca
The OCSA is a not-for-profit provincial association that is entirely funded by its members. Since our inception, we have grown steadily and today our membership includes the majority of regional chainstore operators, oil companies and other key suppliers in the industry.
The Mission of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association is to represent the economic interests of convenience store retailers in Ontario. Representing over 6,000 stores located in Ontario, the OCSA is engaged on many issues affecting convenience store retailers, most of which are independent family stores.
The members are committed to compliance with significant government regulations which include age verification for tobacco and lottery products. Nothing short of 100% is the goal of the association in being responsible community retailers and seeking identification from those individuals seeking to purchase age restricted products that appear to be 25 years old or younger.
It is our objective not only to strengthen OCSA as a strong voice and lobby for both retailers and suppliers, but one that provides an effective forum for all participants to meet and discuss common issues, concerns, and opportunities.
We act as an advocate for the best interests of our Members and our Industry. We provide a strong, coherent venue for their concerns through public forums and act as the industry voice in Ontario.
We work with other professional associations in Canada and the USA to represent our industry on relevant issues with all levels of government.
The Association works to promote and foster the establishment and maintenance of professional business standards and ethics throughout the convenience store industry.
About Indicio - https://indicio.tech/
Indicio provides companies the ability to create and manage Trusted Data Ecosystems for the exchange of high-value information, data assets, the creation of marketplaces, and the development of new business models around trusted data. Specializing in financial, healthcare, and travel markets, Indicio's global decentralized network, software, and information management products enable customers all over the world to issue, hold, and verify data through encrypted digital credentials. This technology and infrastructure allow companies to repeatedly and efficiently confirm data authenticity from its source without the expense or risk of direct integrations. TDEs simplify data compliance through privacy-by-design architecture and continuous Zero-Trust security. Indicio TDEs boost bottom-line profit, mitigate costly risks, and enhance a company's reputation for information privacy.
About Cardea - https://cardea.app
Cardea is a complete ecosystem for the exchange of privacy-preserving digital credentials, open sourced as a project in Linux Foundation Public Health. Launched by Indicio.Tech, Cardea provides an easily verifiable, trustworthy, unalterable proof of health tests or vaccination that can be shared in a privacy-preserving way. Cardea easily integrates with existing health systems to ensure trusted data sources for credentials and uses decentralized identity technology to enable better control of data for individuals. Cardea recently announced its first reference implementation in partnership with SITA for the Aruba government.
About Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. - www.liquidavatartechnologies.com
Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. focuses on the verification, management and monetization of Self Sovereign Identity, empowering users to control and benefit from the use of their online identity.
The Liquid Avatar Mobile App, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play is a verified Self Sovereign Identity platform that empowers users to create high quality digital icons representing their online personas. These icons allow users to manage and control their digital identity and Verifiable Access and Identity Credentials, and to use Liquid Avatars to share public and permission based private data when they want and with whom they want.
The Liquid Avatar Verifiable Credentials Ecosystem (LAVCE) has been developed to support all participants in a digital credential ecosystem, including the Holder, Issuer and Verifier, using state-of-the-art blockchain and open standards technologies initially as a node on the Indicio Network. The Company is a voting and steering committee member of the Trust over IP Foundation, founding and steering committee member of Cardea, a Linux Foundation Public Health project, member of the Good Health Pass collaborative, DIACC, the Covid Credentials Initiative ('CCI'), The Linux Foundation and a founding member of the Lumedic Exchange.
The Company has a suite of early-stage revenue generating programs that support the Liquid Avatar Mobile App program, including KABN KASH, a cash back and reward program that has over 500 leading online merchants and is working to release its own branded network payment card.
The Company's subsidiary, Oasis Digital Studios, is a creative and development agency that supports a wide range of artists, talent, and enterprises with Non-Fungible Token (NFT) solutions and has acquired 50% of the Aftermath Islands Metaverse program.
Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. is publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol 'LQID' (CSE:LQID).
The Company also trades in the United States, on the OTCQB under the symbol 'LQAVF' and in Frankfurt under the symbol '4T51'.
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Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This press release contains certain 'forward-looking information' within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only the Company's beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company's control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as 'plans', 'expects' or 'does not expect', 'is expected', 'budget', 'scheduled', 'estimates', 'forecasts', 'intends', 'anticipates' or 'does not anticipate', or 'believes', or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results 'may', 'could', 'would', 'might' or 'will be taken', 'will continue', 'will occur' or 'will be achieved'.
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SOURCE: Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.
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