With the technological upheaval, digital services are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. Online businesses are adapting to improved solutions to meet their customers’ needs. According to Forbes, 2.4 billion users will be using online services and products by the end of 2021. Since there exist a wide range of service providers manufacturing goods for a specific type of audiences, they have to follow certain constraints. Verifying the age and identity of the end-user is of prime importance for an online business particularly when it offers adult-oriented products and services. Identity verification of online users is necessary to make sure they are provided tailored services according to their age.
In recent years, age-restricted services and products have seen a surge in demand. Due to this reason, organizations and online businesses are taking relevant measures to protect minors from inappropriate content. Identity verification systems have become the need of the hour to provide foolproof defence against fraudsters and ensure the protection of minors.
Industries Which Need Age Verification
There are some major industries which require their users to be of a certain age in order to use their services and products. A few of them are listed below:
Alcohol and Tobacco
Consumption of alcohol and tobacco by underage consumers is restricted all over the globe. In the United States, the legal age for drinking and purchasing alcohol is 21 according to the National Minimum Drinking Age of 1984. Since minors are subjected to a higher risk of health and mental hazards, they should be properly protected by specific laws. Online platforms for purchasing alcohol and tobacco products are easily outwitted by smart minors since verification systems lack robust identity verification standards.
Today, online gaming or e-sports is a widely emerging industry among younger audiences and teenagers. With free-to-play platforms to in-app purchases and monthly subscriptions, the gaming industry is thriving. The total revenue generated by the gaming industry is almost $776.4 million US dollars while the number is expected to reach $1.6 billion by the year 2023. With the increase in e-gaming activities, criminals are on the move to steal the identity of users. With the imminent risk of identity theft, age-restricted content is another important concern. The crux of the matter is that user identity needs to be protected and validated using proper measures. Apart from this, children using their parent’s credit cards with consent results in chargeback costs which hurt the revenue of online businesses. Online identity authentication of customers helps overcome the problem of underage content consumption and online identity fraud by providing effortless solutions for identity and age authentication.
How often you visited a gambling website and it asked something other than your username or password to verify your identity? Gambling, just like drinking, is prohibited for minors by law in the States and all parts of the world. But when it comes to the digital pace, things seem a little different. Online casinos and gambling platforms are not properly regulated as physical sites for gambling since the user is not directly present in person. Lack of proper frameworks for online identity verification creates certain challenges for these platforms since user identity is at stake. Not only the user’s personally identifiable information is at risk but the fact that smart minors can easily bypass through ineffective ID verification systems by providing false age information is another loophole.
Online Identity Verification Services
Verification of user identity could be performed using either authentic documents or unique biometric attributes. Service providers of online identity verification ensure that with their solutions digital businesses can know their customers better using Know Your Customer (KYC) standards while at the same time comply with Anti Money Laundering (AML) obligations.
Since genuine user documents issued by the government or other certified departments serve as a good source of validating identity, document verification is a popular product of authenticating user identity. Document verification solutions extract relevant information like name, address and Date of Birth (DoB) using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology which saves the cost and time of investing in lengthy verification procedures and maintaining a human task force. This way identity verification systems using original identity documents can verify the age of all types of users which helps in age-oriented onboarding for providing tailored services to customers.
Biometric identification of online users is another increasingly popular application of ID verification systems which uses unique human characteristics like fingerprint patterns, facial attributes, and complex structures of the eye i.e. for retina and iris scanning. Today, since smartphone devices come with high-end cameras and fingerprint sensors, biometrics are becoming a quick and easy way to verify user age and create an identity profile.
To sum it all up, online ID verification systems provide realtime age verification solutions to protect minors by incorporating document verification and biometric authentication.