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Robin Tombs, CEO and co-founder of identity verification service Yoti, has predicted that “in the next few years, humans (and regulators) will be able to rely on privacy-preserving AI to check effectively age offline and online”.

Making the prediction on social media, Mr Tombs reflected on the role played by humans in in-person age verification, pointing out that shops are required to estimate customers’ age before choosing to provide proof of age.

Digitally, he said, excluding in sectors such as iGaming, tech limitations have meant that regulators have allowed businesses to accept customers’ claims at their word, with social media generally simply requiring users to claim to be 13.

Regarding Yoti’s own AI age verification service, he stated that the company has received a large number of organisations interested in checking customer age effectively and that as such has invested in its age-verification services, to be able to handle 350 age checks per second or 30 million per day.

For context, this means the service would be able to verify Malta’s entire population of roughly 500,000 in just over 20 minutes.

Despite the promising technological developments, it seems likely that it will be a while before iGaming companies are able to try out the solution for their customers.

This is because, as part of mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) checks which are required in the vast majority of reputable regulated markets, a customer is required to verify their name and address as well as their name.

ID-less age verification would therefore likely be redundant, as customers would be providing documents anyway.

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