Store owners will be made responsible for verifying the age of customers who wish to view adult material online.

The Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) confirmed to RN that it is soon to announce the start date for its twice-postponed age-verification scheme, which it expects to begin this year.

PayPoint-partnered stores will be able to issue voucher codes over the counter, which allow users future access to adult sites. 

The codes expire after 24 hours if not activated on the official app.

A spokesperson from the DCMS said: “We’ll announce the start date shortly; the advice for shops would be to contact the verification providers, who should be able to provide guidance.”

The major providers are OCL’s PortesCard – on behalf of AgeID – and AV Secure’s AV Card.

James Clark, director of communications at AgeID, said the PortesCard vouchers would cost customers £4.99 for use on a single device, or £8.99 for use across multiple devices.

A PayPoint spokesperson told RN: “Once selected, the terminal will prompt retailers to check that the customer is over 18,” adding that more information would be provided once a start date is announced. 

When asked about remuneration, the spokesperson said: “Retailers will be remunerated at the standard rate [1% capped at 10p].”

Commenting on contentious products and services, one retailer said: “We removed adult magazines because they were damaging our reputation. It’s a factor for each retailer to weigh up when considering items like this.”

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