COVID 19 has led a redefining turn for the digital era. There is an increase in the accessibility of the products and services online. But, the majority of the products available online are mainly age-restricted. It drives the need for businesses to adopt robust age verification solutions. Many online business platforms utilize “I am above 18” checkboxes or date of birth details which are easily deceived by minors by filling in fake information. Through this, they can easily gain access to online gaming and alcohol selling platforms. With stringent regulations in place for the alcohol, drugs, and the pharmaceutical industry not verifying customers below 18 can lead to legal penalties, heavy fines, and reputational damage.
What is Age Verification Online?
Age verification is a process of scanning customers’ identity documents to check if their age is within the age limit or not. This process is executed by automated or manual methods. Manual verification is not performed as it requires more time and is exposed to errors. Therefore, online age verification solutions are widely used by businesses to resolve these issues. It aids in verifying the age of users around the world remotely.
How Online Age Verification Is Executed?
Age verification is a secure and swift process that delivers results in real-time saving plenty of time and effort of relevant authorities.
- The user is required to submit his date of birth information and display his Identity document (ID card, passport, or driving license)
- The software scans the document and extracts the date of birth details through OCR technology
- The DOB details on the ID document are matched with the information provided by the user
- After a successful match, the customer is verified and results are saved in the back office
Why Is Online Age Verification Significant For Businesses?
The important reasons why businesses want to verify the age of their clients are provided below:
Achieving Regulatory Compliance
Fulfilling the requirements of global regulatory frameworks is the primary reason why many financial organizations require age verification of their customers. Laws in different countries such as the US and UK have made age checks compulsory for businesses and in case of non-compliance, hefty fines are imposed. Regulatory compliance assists the business in establishing a credible brand reputation and market worth.
It involves the duties and activities of businesses not for gaining financial benefits but for the betterment of the masses. It is the responsibility of businesses that sell adult-oriented products to employ age verification checks for the benefit of the people.
Consequences of Fake Identities
More often, minors use the ID documents of their parents to purchase products online. In that case, if a business lacks effective identity verification measures it might lose its credibility and will face legal penalties. Another threat that businesses are suffering from is Identity theft. Fraudsters tend to use the stolen identities of other people to avail free benefits and services. These benefits include pension or old age funds specified for needy people. Fraudsters can use false identities to access these services illegally.
Businesses That Require Age Verification of Customers
Drug and Alcohol selling stores are exposed to higher risk as no physical interaction is needed for verifying the age and identity of customers. It becomes easier for the children to purchase drugs and alcoholic products by utilizing the ID cards of their parents. Following are types the businesses that must verify the age of their customers:
Online Gaming and Gambling Sites
E-Gaming and gambling platforms are under the strict supervision of the regulatory bodies. They have to perform in-depth due diligence or KYCC analysis of players before onboarding them and age verification is a compulsory requirement for achieving regulatory compliance. It plays a vital role in reducing gaming addiction among minors. Moreover, the majority of these sites are not appropriate for youngsters. Age verification assists e-gaming and gambling businesses in onboarding legitimate customers while restricting underage access.
The E-Commerce market has huge growth potential. These platforms provide a variety of products, in which some of which are appropriate for minors while some of them are catered for adult audiences. Online Ecommerce platforms are facing difficulty in managing their audience as rules related to age verification have become more stringent for the protection of minors. Therefore, employing an online age verification solution is an effective approach for delivering the right product to a legitimate audience and preventing sales to minors.
Criminals commonly use the stolen identities of minors for onboarding online platforms. They exploit lottery portals to launder their black money. If a lottery website fails to verify the age of its clients before onboarding them. They might face severe consequences if criminals perform illegal transactions through their platform using minors’ identities.
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