Age verification tech company 1account has launched its new vape vending machines. A trial in one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains is set to begin this spring, with one machine already installed in a Leicester branch of Ecigwizard.
The vending machines use 1account’s mobile app, which customers will need to download. Users simply upload a valid form of ID and a selfie, which is then cross-referenced and verified with various data points. When using the vending machine, customers select the product they’d like before scanning a QR code in the 1account app to unlock the machine. All that’s left to do is pay and the vape is dispensed.
“The use of vending machines for the sale of consumable products has grown significantly in recent years as retailers better understand the demands of modern consumers,” Ben Keirle, founder and CEO of 1account, said. “This pilot with Ecigwizard, and future trial partners, aims to evaluate if the sale of age-restricted goods can form part of the continued expansion of this new generation of ‘smart’ vending machines, which ensure children are not able to access age-restricted products”.
The trial, approved by Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards, covers high-street retail, pubs and NHS locations. The 1account software has been integrated into the vending machines produced by London-based manufacturer Aeguana. It’s hoped that the digital ID technology could be rolled out across shops selling alcohol, knives and medication. They could also be implemented into pubs, nightclubs and other such places that ban under 18’s.
It’s been a decade since cigarette vending machines were banned in the UK, before which it was estimated that 35 million cigarettes were being illegally sold to children via the machines each year. This was due to a lack of age verification and the machines often being left unattended.
The impressive integration of 1account’s age verification software also helps to continue the fall in smoking rates, whilst maintaining the low uptake of vaping by under 18s. John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, welcomed the news. “The advent of the vape vending machine is another example of the innovative spirit within the sector, which will support more smokers in making a successful transition from conventional cigarettes to considerably less harmful vape products and at the same time boosting the retail economy,” he said.
Vape vending machines are perfect for the sale of disposable vapes in a wide range of venues, such as stadiums, shops, clubs and bars. It’s hoped that they will help prevent people from buying a pack of cigarettes should their vape run out of charge or e-liquid whilst out and about.