Age verification is an old problem, but it will remain so if performed using old-school methods. Today, in the age of digitization, children are exposed to extremely violent and inappropriate content. Therefore, verification of age is important and should preferably be done through AI-based automated verification solutions. Online age verification plays an essential role in preventing minors from consuming products and services not appropriate for their age. It is the moral responsibility of online platforms to adhere to age verification rules and regulations while providing their services.
Conventional Methods of Age Verification
Traditionally, age was verified when a consumer visited the place of verification, in-person. In this process, the verification expert asks for the government-issued identity document from the customer. Then, by casually looking at the document, they confirm whether it is an authentic or a forged ID document. The problem with checking the authenticity of a document through the human eye is that it is prone to errors. Online businesses might still sell the age-restricted product to minors if they knew the ID document is fake. They can take the position of plausible deniability and claim they did not know the document was fake.
The second method of age verification usually known as the “Are you over 18” check which is adopted by some websites is also not reliable. It depends totally on the user of that particular site if they want to disclose their real age. If a child wants to access age-restricted content, products, or services on these platforms, chances are they won’t be truthful about their age.
Moreover, some online businesses verify the age of customers upon the delivery of the product. They employ third-party courier services for this task. Upon delivery, the parcel is handed to the person after verifying their age and identity against the information provided by them during order placement. The reliability of these age verification checks depends upon the discretion of the delivery agent.
Consequences of Sticking to the Old Ways
If an online business does not properly check the ages of their customers, they can be assured of a variety of problems coming their way. Firstly, businesses are at the risk of being penalized if they do not comply with age-restriction laws. Moreover, if a minor makes a transaction using their parents’ credit or debit card, then the business is forced to issue a refund to the parents, known as a chargeback. More the chargebacks a business has to pay, the more financial pressure will be experienced by the business. Furthermore, if a business gets a reputation of not verifying the age of its customers, it tarnishes its image in the eyes of legitimate customers. Hence, it earns them a tag of an unsafe place to shop online.
Walkthrough of Online Age Verification
The steps of an automated online age verification process are described below:
- In the age verification process, the user enters their date of birth in the information form.
- The system then asks the user to show a government-issued identity document to the camera. The user can also upload an already taken picture of the document.
- After the authenticity of the identity document is verified by the system, the name and DOB are extracted from the document.
- Then, the extracted data is compared with textual data given by the user.
- After the age of the user is verified, it is checked against the age limit set by that business.
- Then, the results are checked by human experts and updated in the back office API. Also, they are shown to the user.
The Utility of Digital Age Verification
The remote age verification scanner is highly accurate and reliable if compared to the traditional age verification checks. As it minimizes the interference of humans, the chances of bribing the business or delivery agents are quelled. Moreover, with AI-based age check, the practice of lying about your age on the internet won’t deceive online platforms. Also, onboarding only the legitimate customers means the people on your website are the ones who are there to buy. Besides, by avoiding chargebacks and compliance penalties, businesses can focus their efforts on growing their market value.