The industrial landscape has been revolutionized in recent years, all thanks to rapid digitization. From e-commerce to social media and gaming, every sector is evolving very quickly, creating new opportunities for the consumers across the globe. According to a research, it is estimated that 27.34% of the global population now buy products and services online. But this high-demand has given birth to some unforeseen challenges; one of them includes minor protection through proper age verification.

What is age verification?

Age verification is subdomain of the identity verification that ensures that the onboarded customer is not a minor and belongs to a client-defined age group only. It is done to prevent customers from accessing age-restricted products and services. 

Technological advancements have resulted in business growth, undoubtedly. However, businesses are realising the necessity of ensuring first-class digital experience to customers with enhanced security, and compliance with changing regulatory landscape. Age verification is now a legal obligation for many online businesses including e-commerce, alcohol, e-cigarette, gaming and gambling, social media and dating sites. 

Increased digitization and challenges for industries

With the world going digital, many of physical interactions have shifted to online channels. Customers looking to sign up for services or purchase the age-restricted services won’t have to visit the local branches to get their identity verified before proceeding further. In addition, the global pandemic has reduced human interaction to a new low. It means the customer onboarding and verification now have to be done remotely in order to stay compliant to KYC and AML regulations.

Though digitisation has provided convenience to customers by making the services and products easily accessible to individuals over the internet, it has raised some serious concerns as well. Previously, individuals had to physically present their identity cards while shopping from ‘underserved’ shops such as alcohol, cigarettes, adult-only prescribed drugs, etc. But now, individuals can access all these digitally which means even minors can easily acquire things online without any friction.

According to studies, almost one-third of the global population purchases products and services online, while 86% of Millennials prefer mobile phones to buy items. This penetration of smartphones and atypical access to online services and products makes it challenging for age-restricted merchants and sites to regulate their products and services. In case of access to these platforms by underage customers, these sites can be subject to serious legal consequences and otherwise.

Apart from this, online platforms have opened new doors for imposters and cybercriminals to exploit the users having online presence. Due to inadequate identity checks in place, cybercriminals can create fake profiles and commit various identity frauds such as account takeover, identity theft and card-not-present fraud, making it challenging for the merchants to maintain brand loyalty.

Online age verification to the rescue

The hurdles in the digital world are due to inefficient or zero identity checks in place. Mere binary authentication requiring username and password to allow access to online platforms is not enough. Also, “I agree” checkboxes don’t guarantee if the user is above 18 years old. So how can merchants secure online businesses and avoid hefty fines due to non-compliance? Online age verification is the answer.

Age verification online is a double-edged sword that not only confirms the age of the user but also verifies the identity in a go. Based on AI principles, digital age checks can verify a user’s age in real-time while confirming the remote presence of the user. The intelligent solution allows online businesses to prevent identity frauds and fulfill the compliance requirements efficiently.

How digital age verification works?

Online age verification solution calculates the age of the user by extracting the date of birth from the government-issued identity documents and matches it against the client-defined age threshold to confirm if the user is above a particular age or not. The intelligent system authenticates the identity document first to check for any forged or tampered information. Moreover, before confirming the age, the user’s identity is verified through face verification. The user’s live selfie is matched against the picture on the identity document to ensure the document belongs to the authorized person only. In addition, the remote presence of the user at time of verification is checked through liveness detection, leaving no room for spoof attacks. 


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