What is age verification? It’s the confirmation of a person’s age to ensure you’re engaging with a person of a specific age limit. In business, it helps to determine clients of age-oriented products. That’s because some products are only meant for a specific set of an audience.
This helps to protect minors from products not suitable for their age. That’s because the use of age-limited products can have a negative impact on the minor’s health. This is why age verification on online stores is so important.
It ensures that e-commerce stores prevent certain products from reaching children. Age verification enables businesses to be compliant with modern online safety regulations. It also provides better opportunities for parental control.
Age verification is also important in online browsing. That’s because some websites have explicit articles or materials. It’s also required when creating dating or social media profiles. And when accessing online stores that carry products not meant for minors.
How Businesses Integrate Age Verification in Their Operations?
If you sell age-restricted products such as alcohol, you have to verify your clients’ age. That’s because it’s easy for children to buy alcohol or drugs using an adult’s identity card. Integrating age verification in your business is important because:
- It protects industry standards
- It helps to guard your reputation
- It prevents many restrictions on your industry
- It helps you to meet the strict federal and state regulations
A lot of businesses need to use an age verification system to gain these benefits. Some business people think that gaming, gambling, and online alcohol stores are the only ones that need age verification. That isn’t true, and here is a list of some businesses that need age verification:
- The legal sector
- E-commerce spaces
- Online lottery websites
- Drug stores and hospitals
- NGOs and government pension funds
Now let’s find out how businesses integrate age verification into their operations.
1. Use an Online Age Verification Software
The integration of age verification software is the most efficient way to verify a client’s age. The software works by asking the client for some personally identifiable information (PII). The information includes their name, address, and birthday.
This information is then compared to databases like the electoral register. That’s where the system confirms the buyer’s identity and age.
Some age verification asks the client for a photo of their ID and a selfie. They then use biometrics and facial matching to verify age and identity. The following are factors to look out for when choosing age verification software:
- It must take data security seriously
- It should have the ability to verify users for specific products
- It should let you customize minimum ages if you have different restricted products
- It ensures that you don’t prevent younger clients from purchasing non-restricted products
2. Use of Biometric Analysis
Keep in mind that certain features and characteristics of people change with time. Thus, facial features can be analyzed to estimate a client’s age. Artificial intelligence can be used to analyze a client’s age using their video image. An existing profile picture can also be used.
AI learns how to verify a user’s age by reviewing thousands of anonymous images of people. The verification gets done by a known age. That means that technology keeps getting better.
To be sure that a client is below or above 18 years, the system is set with a narrow buffer of 2-5 years. This gets done depending on the level of accuracy required. Other biometric features that are considered are voiceprints, keystrokes, and gestures.
3. Use of Credit cards
Credit cards are strictly issued to adults. Thus, the possession of a credit card and the ability to use it is an indicator that the person is an adult.
Providing a valid credit card number is sufficient. However, a payment authorization can be requested, just to add to the confidence. For the highest level of assurance with age verification, a micro-payment can be charged.
The latter option has the impact of appearing on the statement. Thus, if the card gets used without the card holder’s knowledge, it would be obvious from the inspection of online statements.
4. Governments Databases
Approved private sector organizations are given access to government databases. This enables them to check the details and whether you’ve provided the right information.
This kind of age verification is referred to as a one-way blind check. As a buyer, you’re required to enter your name, address, and date of birth. The age verification provider then checks the database if your details are correct.
If the details are wrong, the check will fail. Note that the AV provider will not receive any details about you from the database concerning the missing information.
5. Account Holder Confirmation
This age verification factor is whereby a verified adult provides information confirming that a child is of a certain age. For instance, you can open an account for watching video content online. You’ll then create a profile for your kids to use the same account in a limited age-appropriate manner.
This method is dependent on the honesty and involvement of a parent or legal guardian. The issue is that you can’t confirm that the user creating the child’s profile has the legal powers to do so.
There are other independent methods of age assurance that are well-developed. But this one can be pragmatically integrated as a proxy for verification.
6. Use of Government Identity Documents
A reliable physical identification document can be used for age verification. For some e-commerce stores, you’ll need to submit an image of your identity documents.
The optical character recognition is then used to read the data on the documents. The information is then validated based on known security features. The submitted image of the document can also be used to make comparisons with a freshly taken photo of the user.
For an additional level of assurance, the Near Field Communication technology is used to read the microchip in the document. The data on the microchip is then compared with the image on the documents. This includes a fresh video or photo of the user.
Each of these methods is integrated for age verification, either alone or in combination. Regulators can help businesses in determining the level of assurance required.
To watch an 18-year rated video, it might be okay that a business relies on a credit reference agency-based check. But you might only be required to have an identification certificate to buy some kitchenware.