The partnership will create Smart Age program utilizing Liquid Avatar’s LAVCE platform to provide the capability for the OCSA and all convenience stores in Ontario to implement digital verification solution for age-restricted sales.
Toronto, Canada – TheNewswire – October 6, 2021 –Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (CSE:LQID) / (CNSX:LQUID.CN) / (OTC:LQAVF) / (FRA:4T51) a global blockchain, digital identity and fintech solutions company,together with the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), announce that they have signed an initial agreement, effective September 27, 2021, to support digital innovation in the c-store industry and develop Smart Age, a digital age verification program to help Ontario-based local, regional, and national convenience retailers verify the age of their patrons, as these operators dispense age-restricted products.
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.
The Smart Age program will consist of in-store and out-of-home awareness campaigns, digital verification review at the point of purchase and, where applicable, integration into existing point-of-sale and payment terminals that will use verified credentials to confirm that the customer is of legal age to purchase restricted products.
No personally identifiable information will be exchanged with the vendor.
The OCSA and Liquid Avatar Technologies are establishing a working group to develop best practices to bring the product to c-stores, and it is expected that the program will be available as both a Software as a Service monthly subscription and as a pay-as-you-go verification model with minimum requirements.
Published December 2020, The OCSA State of the Industry report 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 sales are only one of several age-restricted sales categories available in convenience stores today, 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.
As the industry looks to the future opportunities to increase sales of age-restricted products, transparency and enhanced verification tools will become increasingly important to c-store business.
“The OCSA wholly supports the need for verification for the sale of age-restricted products and is working with the industry to achieve a 100% success rate. Together with Liquid Avatar, our goal is to implement the Smart Age solution in over 8,000 c-stores across the province and leverage easy-to-use technology to better protect families in their respective communities,” said Dave Bryans, CEO of the OCSA. “We believe this digital solution will help our sector modernize and further enhance the trust that c-stores have already established in their own neighbourhoods.”
Liquid Avatar Technologies has developed the Liquid Avatar Verifiable Credential Ecosystem (LAVCE) and a digital wallet that supports digital credentials for age verification. As this program becomes available in Canada, Liquid Avatar Technologies will be one of the first to provide true blockchain-enabled, W3C compliant, digital identity-verified age verification solutions for all parts of the digital identity ecosystem, including individuals or Holders, issuers like governments, and verifiers like convenience stores and other businesses. The LAVCE platform allows users to leverage government issued digital ID to verify who they are at healthcare facilities, testing labs, government agencies, schools, sports arenas, transportation, trade shows, age-restriction programs, and workplaces.
Recently the Ontario government announced its intention to move forward with issuing digital government ID credentials through interoperable digital wallets that conformed to certain guidelines such as providing self-sovereign identity and open standards models and Liquid Avatar Technologies believes that it aligns with the current requirements and the projected roadmap technologies and standards of Ontario’s programs.
“We are very excited to have formalized this partnership with the OCSA,” said David Lucatch, CEO Liquid Avatar Technologies. “The LAVCE platform together with the Liquid Avatar digital wallet is perfect for age-verification functions for small businesses. C-stores sell more age-restricted products than any other retail setting and are provided with the least number of resources. We know that our modern and cost-efficient tool will give confidence to these operators that not only is the patron who they claim to be, but that they are, indeed, of age.”
The agreement between Liquid Avatar Technologies and the OCSA will allow the two organizations to work together on providing a customized digital age-verification solution that conforms to the unique needs of all convenience stores across Ontario. The organizations have agreed to create the Smart Age program utilizing Liquid Avatar’s LAVCE platform to provide the capability for the OCSA and all convenience stores in Ontario to have a digital verification solution for age verification functions and, where applicable, other verifiable credentials. Once in market, this program may expand to other regions both in Canada and elsewhere and to other business verticals including hospitality, such as restaurants, bars, hotels, and events.
As part of the Company’s efforts to support Ontario communities, Liquid Avatar Technologies has become a partner in the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s We’re Ready Toronto initiative to support and ensure a safe and sustainable reopening and recovery in the region. The company recently conducted a member only workshop on September 23, 2021, entitled, “Vaccine Passports and Future Digital Credentials – How to protect employees, customers, and businesses.” A recording of the presentation is available upon request.
About The Ontario Convenience Store Association
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 Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.
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 with technical assistance from Indicio.tech, a global leader in decentralized digital identity development, and it supports 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, a member of the Good Health Pass collaborative, ID2020, DIACC, the Covid Credentials Initiative (“CCI”), The Linux Foundation and a founding member of the Lumedic Exchange. The Company is also a Node Operator for the Indicio Network, a global network for Trusted Data Ecosystems.
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 600 leading online merchants. In Canada, the Company also has the KABN Visa Card, a “challenger financial” platform that allows users to manage and control a range of financial services for traditional and digital currencies. The Company is currently exploring expansion of the KABN Visa Card program to other geographic regions, including the USA.
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.
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”.