Blog 19 Oct 2023
How Age Verification Technology Secures Online Businesses Across Sectors

Online Age Verification: Role of Age Verification Across Industries

Author: Luke Oliver | 19 Oct 2023

Online age verification is a crucial approach that is rapidly gaining prominence across various industries, ensuring the protection of minors and compliance with global regulations. With widespread internet usage, monitoring online activities has become essential for businesses ranging from e-commerce platforms to gaming sites.

Integrating advanced online age verification systems signifies a brand’s dedication to offering secure user experiences, boosting consumer trust and confidence. In a competitive online marketplace, adopting such solutions stands as a testament to a business’s reliability and commitment to maintaining integrity and upholding essential regulations and safeguards.

Key Takeaways

  • Online age verification safeguards minors from accessing age-restricted content or services.
  • Ensures industries adhere to legal regulations and guidelines for age-restricted products.
  • Age verification Enhances consumer trust through authenticated and secure user interactions.
  • Online age verification finds diverse applicability across various sectors like e-commerce and gaming.
  • Facial recognition solutions such as Facia stand out as a top choice for reliable age verification.

In this blog post, we will explore how online age verification benefits various industries, and spotlight the sectors where it’s an absolute necessity. Join us as we delve deeper into its expansive impact and importance.

Online Age Verification: Quick Overview

What is Online Age Verification?

Online age verification is a process used by websites and online services to confirm that users are old enough to access age-restricted content or services, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and safeguarding minors.

How Does Online Age Verification Work?

Age verification systems typically involve checking user-provided information against various databases or documents to ensure the user is of the required age. Advanced systems might use biometric data, AI, or blockchain technology to enhance accuracy and security.

Methods for Proving Your Age Online

Users can prove their age online through various methods such as providing credit card details, uploading a copy of a government-issued ID, or utilizing third-party verification services that confirm a user’s age without sharing sensitive information.

How to Verify Someone’s Age Online?

To verify someone’s age online, ask for necessary documents like a government-issued ID, utilize third-party age verification services, or employ robust software that ensures the accuracy and authenticity of the user’s provided information.

Why Age Verification Systems Are Crucial in the Digital Age?

Why Age Verification is Essential for Online Businesses?

The digital revolution has dramatically reshaped business operations, opening doors to global markets and diversifying customer bases. Age verification emerges as a crucial pillar in safeguarding online businesses and maintaining a reputable and compliant enterprise.

For enterprises, particularly those dealing in age-restricted goods and services, the challenge is twofold. They must prevent underage users from accessing inappropriate content or purchasing restricted products, and ensure compliance with varying regional and global regulations. 

Lack of stringent age verification could lead to unauthorized access, posing significant legal, financial, and reputational risks. Real-world cases, like fines imposed on businesses for selling age-restricted products to minors online, highlight the critical nature of robust age verification systems.

To uphold integrity, ensure regulatory compliance, and foster trust amongst consumers, the integration of robust age verification systems is indispensable for businesses.

Online Age Verification Across Industries

Age Verification in E-Commerce

Problems in the Industry:

The e-commerce industry is booming, but it also faces significant challenges concerning the sale of age-restricted products. Ensuring that consumers meet the necessary age requirements when purchasing items such as alcohol, tobacco, or knives is crucial. These platforms are generally accessible to a wide array of users, including minors.

There have been cases where underage individuals successfully purchased age-restricted items online 

  • According to a study by the CDC, in 2021, nearly 19.5% of high school students reported purchasing alcohol online.
  • Another study found that under-18s were able to buy knives from popular e-commerce platforms in 80% of attempts.

Solution:

Implementing a robust age verification solution is essential. These systems can range from basic age checks, like entering a date of birth, to more sophisticated methods like uploading identity documents for verification.

  • Websites like Amazon have implemented stricter age verification processes, requiring users to provide proof of age at the point of delivery for certain products.
  • Online vape shops have adopted advanced age verification software to ensure that buyers are of legal smoking age.

Benefits:

  • Enhanced Regulatory Compliance: Ensures that the business operates within the bounds of the law, reducing the risk of fines or sanctions.
  • Improved Customer Trust: Customers, aware of the secure verification process, may feel more confident making purchases.
  • Reduced Risk of Illegal Sales: The chances of selling age-restricted products to minors decrease significantly.
  • Streamlined User Experience: A seamless age verification process makes the purchasing journey smoother for legitimate customers.

Age Verification in Online Gambling

statistics related to age verification for minors, highlighting risks and challenges.

Problems in the Industry:

Gambling platforms operate with stringent legal constraints due to the high risks associated with addiction and financial loss. Ensuring that participants are of legal gambling age is paramount. Underage individuals participating in gambling activities is a severe issue that platforms must rigorously guard against.

  • A UK study found that 450,000 children aged between 11 and 16 bet regularly.
  • In various jurisdictions, legal penalties for allowing underage gambling can be massive, including hefty fines and revocation of licenses.

Solution:

Effective age verification processes, such as requiring users to upload identity documents or using third-party verification services, are crucial in this industry.

  • Platforms like DraftKings utilize multi-step verification processes, including third-party databases to ensure user age authenticity.
  • In the UK, online gambling sites have tightened age verification rules, requiring operators to verify customer ages before they can deposit funds or gamble.

Benefits:

  • Ensures Compliance with Legal Age Requirements: Avoid legal repercussions and maintain operational integrity.
  • Reduces Risk of Underage Gambling: Actively prevent minors from engaging in gambling activities.
  • Enhances Reputation: Build a responsible and trustworthy brand image in the industry.

Age Verification for Subscription Services

Problems in the Industry:

Subscription services, like those offering streaming of movies, series, and other forms of entertainment, often include content that is not suitable for all ages. Protecting minors from accessing inappropriate content is a constant challenge.

  • According to PRC, over 20% of parents in the US are concerned about the content their kids access on subscription platforms.
  • With the proliferation of such platforms, unsupervised access by minors has grown, increasing exposure to age-restricted content.

Solution:

Implementing robust age verification methods ensures that content is appropriately categorized and accessible only to the right age groups.

  • Platforms like Netflix have introduced more stringent access controls and verification processes to restrict underage viewers from accessing adult content.
  • Patreon, a popular subscription service, uses age verification to ensure that content meant for adults is not accessible to minors.

Benefits:

  • Ensures Content Appropriateness: Age verification guarantees that users access content suitable for their age group.
  • Enhances User Trust: Parents and guardians can trust the platform to safeguard minors against inappropriate content.
  • Complies with Regulatory Requirements: Adhering to laws and regulations governing content accessibility.

Age Verification for Social Media

A kid with mobile phone releted to Age Verification for Social Media

Problems in the Industry:

Social media platforms are a playground for diverse user interactions, content sharing, and networking. However, they are also rife with issues like cyberbullying, exposure to harmful content, and privacy breaches, particularly concerning minors.

  • A study has shown that 59% of teens have experienced cyberbullying on social media.
  • There are concerns regarding data privacy, with minors often unaware of the implications of sharing personal information.

Solution:

Implementing stringent age verification processes helps ensure that underage users are not exposed to harmful content and interactions.

  • Platforms like TikTok and Instagram have been enhancing their age verification processes to protect minors.
  • Age verification gates prevent minors from creating accounts, limiting their exposure to potentially harmful content and interactions.

Benefits:

  • Promotes a Safer Online Environment: Protects minors from cyberbullying and inappropriate content.
  • Ensures Data Privacy: Helps in safeguarding the personal information of underage users.
  • Supports Legal Compliance: Aids platforms in adhering to laws and regulations like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Learn How to Protect Minors from Online Scams and Ensure Compliance

Age Verification in Cannabis Sales

Problems in the Industry:

The sale of cannabis, where legal, requires meticulous verification processes to prevent minors from accessing it, ensuring sales are compliant with legal age restrictions.

  • Incidents have been reported where a lack of stringent age verification led to sales to underage individuals.
  • Regulatory bodies emphasize robust age verification to prevent unauthorized access.

Solution:

Implementing rigorous age verification systems ensures only eligible customers can purchase cannabis, promoting compliance with legal age requirements.

  • Certain cannabis dispensaries employ advanced ID verification, ensuring only customers of legal age can complete a purchase.
  • Effective systems have streamlined the purchase process while maintaining high verification accuracy.

Benefits:

  • Ensures Compliance: Maintains adherence to legal age restrictions for cannabis sales.
  • Promotes Responsible Sales: Prevents unauthorized access to cannabis by minors.
  • Boosts Business Credibility: Enhances the reliability and legality of business operations.

Age Verification in Online Dating Websites

Problems in the Industry:

Online dating platforms must ensure user safety, prevent fraudulent activities, and protect minors from potentially harmful interactions.

  • Online platforms sometimes encounter issues like romance scams and fraudulent activities due to inadequate verification processes.
  • The safety of minors remains a pressing concern in online dating communities.

Solutions:

Age verification tools can help dating platforms maintain a secure environment, enhancing user trust and safety.

  • Real-World Examples:
    • Some dating platforms have fortified their user verification processes, leading to improved user safety and reduced incidences of scams.
    • Rigorous verification mechanisms have helped maintain the integrity of user interactions on these platforms.

Benefits:

  • Enhances User Safety: Provides a secure environment for genuine users seeking connections.
  • Reduces Scams: Mitigates the risks associated with fraudulent activities and romance scams.
  • Protects Minors: Prevents underage individuals from accessing dating platforms, safeguarding them from potential risks.

Age Verification in Tobacco, E-cigarettes & Vaping Sales

Problems in the Industry:

This industry faces the challenge of ensuring that tobacco products and e-cigarettes are not sold to minors, maintaining compliance with legal age restrictions.

  • Non-compliance in age verification has led to instances where minors had access to these products.
  • Legal frameworks mandate strict adherence to age verification processes to prevent sales to underage customers.

Solutions such as Age Verification:

Effective age verification processes, such as online age checks and identity document verification, ensure that these products are sold responsibly.

  • Retailers and online platforms selling these products have incorporated rigorous age verification systems to ensure customers meet the minimum age requirements.
  • Through effective verification, these businesses have managed to uphold legal standards and prevent unauthorized sales.

Benefits:

  • Promotes Legal Compliance: Ensures sales processes align with legal age restrictions.
  • Prevents Sales to Minors: Helps in upholding industry standards and social responsibility.
  • Enhances Business Integrity: Contributes to building a credible and responsible industry image.

Age Verification in Pension Services

Problems in the Industry:

In pension services, ensuring that only the rightful beneficiaries access the pension funds is crucial. Misallocation or fraudulent access to these funds is a significant issue.

  • Cases of pension funds being accessed fraudulently due to a lack of proper verification mechanisms have been reported.
  • Robust age verification processes are crucial for preventing such issues and ensuring that funds are disbursed to the rightful beneficiaries.

Solutions such as Age Verification:

Implementing stringent age verification processes such as document verification ensures that pension funds are accessed only by eligible beneficiaries.

  • Pension services that have implemented comprehensive age verification systems have seen a reduction in fraudulent access to funds.
  • These systems ensure that only those who meet the necessary age criteria can access pension funds, bringing reliability to the disbursement processes.

Benefits:

  • Ensures Rightful Access: Verification processes prevent fraudulent access, ensuring funds reach the rightful beneficiaries.
  • Enhances System Integrity: Builds trust in pension disbursement systems, ensuring they operate reliably and accurately.
  • Promotes Legal Compliance: Helps in adhering to legal and regulatory mandates, ensuring compliant operations.

Age Verification in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Problems in the Industry:

The pharmaceutical industry faces significant challenges in preventing unauthorized access to prescription medications. The misuse of prescription drugs, particularly by underage individuals, has been a growing concern.

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2020, 5.4% of adolescents used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

Solutions such as Age Verification:

Age verification tools, like document verification, can help ensure that prescription medications are not sold to underage individuals online.

  • Online pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens employ robust age verification processes to ensure that prescription medications are dispensed only to authorized individuals.

Benefits:

  • Enhanced Safety: Ensures that prescription medications are accessed only by authorized users.
  • Improved Compliance: Helps in adhering to regulatory standards, avoiding legal complications.

Age Verification in the Video Game Industry

Problems in the Industry:

Video game platforms need to ensure that gamers access content suitable for their age group, protecting them from inappropriate or harmful material.

  • The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) found that 23% of games rated in 2020 were given an “E for Everyone” rating, showing a wide variety of content in games.

Solutions such as Age Verification:

Strong age verification services can ensure that users access games appropriate for their age group, maintaining a safe gaming environment.

  • Platforms like Steam and Xbox require users to enter their date of birth before accessing certain content.

Benefits:

  • Safeguarding Users: Protects gamers from accessing content that is not suitable for their age group.
  • Ensuring Suitable Content: Helps in maintaining the integrity of user experiences on gaming platforms.

Age Verification in Adult Content Platforms

Problems in the Industry:

Adult content platforms have a strict responsibility to prevent access by minors to age-restricted materials, ensuring ethical compliance and safeguarding young audiences.

  • A study by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) found that almost 65% of children aged 11-13 have seen adult content online.

Solutions such as Age Verification:

Implementing stringent age verification solutions, like ID document checks, is essential to ensure that only users of legal age access the adult content.

  • Websites have initiated the use of age verification systems to ensure that users are above the legal age.

Benefits:

  • Minimizing Unauthorized Access: Aids in the prevention of minors accessing inappropriate content.
  • Upholding Legal and Ethical Standards: Ensures adherence to laws and regulations regarding access to adult content.

Age Verification in the Financial Services Sector

Problems in the Industry:

The financial sector faces risks concerning identity theft and fraud, necessitating robust verification processes to safeguard users’ assets and personal information.

  • According to Javelin Strategy & Research, identity fraud losses amounted to $56 billion in 2020.

Solutions such as Age Verification:

Effective age and ID verification processes can bolster the security of financial transactions, protecting users against potential fraud.

  • Banks and financial institutions like Chase and Wells Fargo employ various verification methods, including age checks, to enhance user security during online transactions.

Benefits:

  • Enhanced Security: Helps protect users from identity theft and fraudulent activities.
  • Improved User Trust: Builds customer confidence in online financial transactions and services.

Choose Facia For Online Age Verification Solution.

Facia’s age verification software stands out due to its innovative application of facial recognition technology, enhancing the accuracy and reliability of age verification processes across various industries. 

Choosing Facia ensures a streamlined user experience without compromising security. It employs advanced algorithms to accurately estimate age, ensuring that users accessing age-restricted content meet the necessary legal age requirements. 

Facia not only prioritizes the security of user data but also remains committed to maintaining compliance with regulatory standards. It’s a comprehensive solution that fortifies the defences of online platforms against unauthorized access, making it an essential tool for businesses prioritizing both compliance and customer trust.

Conclusion

In conclusion, age verification remains a cornerstone in safeguarding the integrity of online platforms, ensuring that users interact with content appropriate for their age group and preventing unauthorized access to restricted products or services. Innovations, such as those presented by Facia’s age verification software, exemplify the future of secure, reliable, and user-friendly age verification solutions. 

Choosing advanced solutions like Facia is a strategic step towards reinforcing the security and reliability of age verification processes in the online domain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are age verifications safe?

Age verification systems are generally safe when they employ robust encryption and data protection measures. Facia ensures that sensitive personal data, such as ID scans or credit card information, are securely handled and stored.

How to prove your age online?

To prove your age online, you may be asked to upload official identification documents, enter credit card information, or use a third-party verification service such as Facia, that securely confirms your age without requiring you to share sensitive personal details.

What is the best age verification software?

Several age verification software are considered effective and secure, with Facia being a notable option. Facia’s technology is robust, offering secure, quick, and accurate age verification, making it a trusted choice for businesses needing reliable age verification solutions.

What websites require age verification?

Websites dealing with age-restricted goods and services like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and certain types of media content typically require age verification. Using systems like Facia helps these websites maintain compliance and integrity by ensuring that users meet the required age criteria.

What is the difference between age estimation and age verification?

Age estimation approximates a user's age using various methods such as facial analysis, while age verification definitively confirms a user's age using authoritative documents or data. Age verification, like the services provided by Facia, ensures a higher level of accuracy and compliance in confirming a user’s actual age.