NACS Debuts Digital Age Verification With Live Demo

NACS Debuts Digital Age Verification With Live Demo

July 2021   minute read

Henry Armour, NACS president and CEO, and Kevin Smartt, CEO of Texas Born (TXB) and 2020-21 NACS chairman, demonstrated the groundbreaking NACS TruAge universal digital age-verification system for Leadership Forum attendees in May.

“Society is demanding more accountability from business,” said Armour. “Age verification for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, vape and in the future, cannabis, is more important than ever. It’s something that our customers and communities care deeply about, and we can do it better than ever.”

The ability to responsibly sell legal, age-restricted products—today and in the future—is critically important to the convenience retailing industry. For store clerks, checking IDs should be simple, safe and reliable. It should also speed up the checkout process, shut down sales to minors and protect people’s privacy.

Of the many learnings that have emerged from the pandemic, convenience retailers have seen accelerated demand for frictionless shopping experiences, along with extra services like curbside pickup, drive-thru solutions and delivery.

“We’ve seen that contactless payment has increased,” Smartt said of his TXB stores (formerly KwikChek). “We want to have a frictionless environment that allows the customer to shop in whatever way they want and give them the option of receiving their purchases in-store, at the curb or at their house,” he said.

With regulators crafting policies for how alcohol and vaping products—including a future that includes CBD products and legal cannabis—are sold and who sells them, Armour said it’s the right time “to go from analog to digital in the age-restricted space.”

TruAge is supported by more than 133 retail companies that represent 22,000-plus convenience store locations in the United States, plus four industry point-of-sale (POS) providers. Molson Coors Beverage Company is the first major global beer company to support TruAge.

The technology isn’t just for convenience stores. Any retailer of age-restricted products can use TruAge to securely verify a customer’s age at all points of sale. It is free to retailers, consumers and POS providers, and its relevant intellectual property will be placed in the public domain—removing significant barriers to adoption.

In the future, retailers can incorporate TruAge into their own apps, so customers can seamlessly transact purchases no matter where they go, whether a convenience store, a restaurant or a bar, as well as online.

The digital system verifies a purchaser’s age, not identity. A buyer presents his or her driver’s license, which is scanned, and the TruAge system creates an encrypted, single-use identity token in the cloud that verifies the purchaser’s age, date of birth and driver’s license issuer state, and that information goes into the store’s T-log.

In the future, using the TruAge app, consumers will onboard their government-issued picture ID or driver’s license, Conexxus Executive Director Gray Taylor explained. The first transaction will take about 15 seconds longer than normal, but after that, the age-verification process is seamless and customers won’t have to show their driver’s licenses again, just the app.

“Using the TruAge mobile system, no personal information is captured or stored. That’s super important,” Armour said. “We’re just verifying age; we’re not verifying identity.”

Learn more about the TruAge program and opportunities to participate at

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