Out of all the eCommerce sales in the US, nearly 29% of them occur on mobile phones. Millennials are spearheading this trend, with 86% of them making online purchases through their cell phones. With this unprecedented amount of access to online products and services, it is becoming harder for age-restricted merchants to regulate their products and services. Verifying a person’s age online can be quite difficult, especially since purchasing items has become as simple as providing genuine credit card details. ID verification solutions offer a crucial and important barrier to purchase for age-restricted commerce vendors.
Regulation is increasing for companies to verify their customers before selling them age-restricted goods and services. Merely having a user provide a date of birth from their social profiles as a form of verification is not enough. Many underage individuals, especially resourceful teenagers, have been able to gain access to online gambling platforms or alcohol through these traditional methods of verification. It is critical to make the barrier to entry much higher for age-restricted goods and services because it can lead to legal ramifications, large fines and a ruined reputation.
How ID Verification Solutions Help Age-Restricted Commerce
In many countries around the world, legislation has passed where age verification is required for industries like online gaming, gambling, pharmaceuticals, tobacco & alcohol and online dating apps. This is also true in the US, where many states have implemented laws regulating age-restricted industries. Demand has arisen for ways to accurately verify user’s ages to comply with these laws. Digital identity verification solutions satisfy these needs.
A company can verify their user’s ages by performing digital identity verification. Digital identity verification verifies a user’s age by scanning the date of birth from their government-issued IDs—passport, driver’s license, government-issued ID, etc. IDMscan, an id verification solution offered by IDMERIT, goes a step further allowing companies to confirm the person using the app is the same person on the identity document using facial recognition technology.
Many companies realize that they need digital Identity Verification Services. They are worried about underage usage of their platforms and the sale of restricted goods to minors. Below we will explore specific industries that can benefit from ID verification solutions.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Both alcohol and tobacco are strictly regulated on a global level. The FDA specifically prohibits the sale of cigarettes to minors. On top of this, the sale of alcohol is restricted in the US to individuals over the age of 21. For online retailers that sell alcohol and tobacco, being able to verify their customers accurately before purchase is extremely important.
Children, adolescents and teens are all attracted to online gaming. If played excessively, they can develop problematic habits. Plus, in many online games, children have access to players of any age from all over the world. Children can easily fall for scams, be taken advantage of, experience offensive language or even bullying from uninhibited gaming interactions. For these reasons, many gaming companies should consider adding an age barrier to their game to ensure that the players on their platforms meet the required age to play.
In the US, online gambling is highly regulated. The same is true in other countries, such as the UK. Studies have shown that as many as 50,000 children under the age of 17 have used online gambling and developed a gambling problem. By verifying user’s age before entry into an online gambling system, subsequently gambling companies can help prevent children from being allowed to play. Platforms must do everything they to ensure that children remain out of their systems.
Online pharmacies have popped up as a convenient and easy way for patients to receive their medication. Nevertheless, underage users with drug issues pose a major risk for online pharmacies. Pharmaceuticals are highly regulated and regulatory bodies do exist to manage the records from online pharmacies. Nevertheless, age verification is not standard among online pharmacies. It is critical for online pharmacies to implement age verification processes because they create safer business practices for online pharmacies and help build trust with regulatory bodies.
Online dating websites and apps are online services with very low barriers to entry. Both the minor and the adult users are at risk with underage use of dating apps. Underage dating is illegal in most places and can cause a lot of damage to the minor and the adult involved. Adults involved in such cases can face legal action that lasts their whole lives and minors can face a trauma from potential underage assault and other disturbing problems. Dating apps must do their part to verify their user base with robust Identity Verification Services rather than just relying on social profile information.
A variety of industries can benefit from online identity verification to access age-restricted goods and services. Online retailers should hold some of the responsibility in regulating who can access their goods and services rather than relying on consumers to police themselves. Robust identity verification provides a way for companies to accurately determine the age of their customers, making it a bit easier for them to verify age online.
Fortunately, a KYC provider like IDMERIT offers robust age verification services for online businesses. Digital and automated identity verification is possible online. IDMscan allows businesses to validate their users by verifying their government-issued identity document. From there, it uses a facial recognition scan to confirm the person using the identity verification system matches the person on the identity document. IDMscan can verify users in real time, making it a simple and effective part of an online age-restricted commerce platform.