Vending machine firms to use blockchain ID platform to automate sale of age-restricted items

Automated vending machine and smartphone
VENDING MAX: Civic Pay vending machines enable all-in-one ID and age verification, QR code mobile payments, loyalty and rewards

Twelve vending machine providers with an installed base of more than one million vending machines have signed up for Civic Pay, a blockchain-based platform that combines identity and age verification, QR code mobile payments, loyalty and rewards.

The Civic Pay app amalgamates the identity and age verification, payment and rewards process into a single transaction.

To use the vending machines, customers must first go through a one-time online identity verification check using a document providing proof of their date of birth.

This enables the Civic Pay app to interact with a QR code reader on the vending machines to confirm that the person holding the mobile phone is over the age necessary to purchase the product, such as being 18-plus to buy alcohol in the UK.

Payment is then taken via the app, any loyalty rewards are issued and the product is dispensed.

The technology was first shown in 2018 in a vending machine that dispensed a can of Budweiser beer once the person’s age had been verified. A video shows the system in action:

“The first step in making digital identity attainable is making it accessible for the everyday consumer,” says Civic’s CEO Vinny Lingham.

“Vending machines represent an introduction to the mass market, where people can see how digital identity functions in the real world, as well as opening up an entirely new market for automated retail.

“We’re thrilled to partner with leaders in the automated retail industry, and working together, we look forward to making digital identity available and usable.”

Vending machine operators backing the project include Aaeon, AR Systems, Fastcorp Vending, Greenbox, Global Vending Group, RAC Health & Wellness, Invenda, IVM, IVS, The-Venders, SandenVendo and Wemp.

“With over 800,000 vending machines, we’re always looking for innovative concepts to introduce,” says SandenVendo CEO and President Mike Weiser. “The vending machine market is flourishing and being the first to adopt industry-changing technology is critical to providing the best user experience.”