Online sales continue to dominate with an expected sale of $547 billion until the end of 2019, only in the United States. However, taking advantage of this tremendous growth appears to be more challenging for retailers selling age-restricted products. Retailers of these types of goods require age verification criteria to comply with strict rules and regulations from governments.
Before diving deep into the significance of age verification, it will be worthy to know what are age-restricted products. People do not have a clear concept of age-restricted products. Some think only porn or vulgar content is age-restricted, others think that only drugs come under this category.
Age Restricted Products
No, it’s not the case. Age-restricted products include goods and services that are only allowed after a minimum legal age. This age could be different in different parts of the world. You just need to have a sound knowledge of the jurisdictional laws concerned with our products. If you are not following laws you may find your self in trouble.
It is important to follow laws and regulations by the regulatory authorities, to keep children safe from harmful products. Be it in any form of service or goods these products have serious physical and mental impacts on children.
To reap the rewards from online selling, retailers in all industries should adopt online age verification and identity verification solutions. Industries such as Tobacco, online gaming, gambling, alcohol, entertainment, and others must ensure that the consumer is legally entitled to buy the products.
What are the Challenges?
In a digitally oriented world, age verification concepts can be very challenging in terms of effectiveness. No system is fool-proof and chances of errors are very high. However, if certain checks are placed they will reduce if not eliminate the illegal sale of age-restricted products.
- The self-verification strategy does not work out and is easily bypassed. Users can simply input false details and use credit cards or payment on delivery methods to purchase restricted items. And this is alarming since most of these age-restricted products could have a harmful effect. For instance, e-cigarettes, tobacco, and even violent games could cause harm to children under prohibited age.
- Another crucial challenge for retailers selling age-restricted products is to comply with stringent rules. Not following these rules could result in hefty fines and a ban in some severe situations. The simplest way these companies can avoid fines and ban is to prevent selling age-restricted products to underage people.
While it seems quite simple. But how do the retailers know they are not selling to someone underage? Brick and Mortar stores like Wal-Mart check customer ID before selling age-restricted items. But online retailers do not even know who they are selling to.
How can Online Merchants takeout these challenges?
To solve this problem, online retailers should adopt online age verification solutions.
Identity verification solutions assist online retailers to verify their customers. These systems are Artifical Intelligence-based, which makes them quite effective to process big data efficiently.
Online Age verification solutions
The process of age verification is simple. By using the mobile phone camera, the consumer can upload proof of their age. The most popular is using a government-issued ID card. The technology solution will scan this ID document to fetch required details such as age and name of the consumer and verify if the person meets the age requirement for the product. These identity verification solutions also check whether the uploaded document is original or not.
Some ID verification solutions also provide additional ways such as facial recognition for verification. In facial verification, the end-user will upload a government-issued document and a picture of themselves. The system will match the picture on the document with the user’s picture.
The procedure is quick and real-time so, buyers who are of legal age will not be driven away by the system designed to catch a few bad apples. Digital merchants of age-restricted goods should investigate ID verification solutions to ensure their buyers are legitimate and protect themselves from fraud and prosecution.
These types of solutions will be something we see more in the future and will continue to expand due to fraud prevention ability and accuracy of customer’s data in the portable medium.
Most importantly, incorporating mobile ID verification technology will allow more retailers to expand into the mobile marketplace, where 38% of online transactions are expected to occur by the end of this year.