Age Verification – Importance of Protecting Children in Digital Platforms

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Age Verification - Importance of Protecting Children in Digital Platforms

In today’s world, digital gaming and other online services are commonly used and easy to access. In 2020, over 2 billion people bought services online. The coronavirus pandemic has also added to this rise in online services because of social distancing measures being implemented.

Since people are now getting used to online payments where carrying cash is not an issue, the businesses in digital platforms are becoming well established. However, with this increase in customers and opportunities for businesses, there are also risks of online fraud. Children often become victims of online fraud and exposure to age-restricted content, which is why age verification solutions are emerging.

What is Age Verification Solution

In the offline world, children can easily be stopped from buying alcohol and tobacco because their age is usually obvious, or the sellers verify age. However, on online platforms, it’s a relatively different scenario. Children not only get access to age-restricted content but a large number of them are reported to have been the victims of online identity fraud.

Online age verification solutions provide the tool to protect individuals from getting access to age-restricted services that aren’t meant for them. Sellers of such services are also asked to sell only to those individuals that are of the appropriate age. It’s also equally important for digital business platforms to implement age verification measures.

Manual Verification vs. Online Age Verification

Age verification online has replaced manual verification because it provides much more efficiency and eases to both the customer and the online business. 

With adult-oriented services being offered through online platforms, children are at a greater risk. 

This is why age verification has become a necessary practice in online platforms. Considering actual tobacco and alcohol shops, children below the appropriate age (18 years old) aren’t even allowed to enter. This is because of restrictions to sell them to minors. In physical shops, this works well, but in online platforms, it’s a bigger challenge.

The restrictions are obviously the same in online shopping as well, but people easily fake their age and get access to age-restricted services because, unlike physical shops, online shops just require usernames and passwords. For this reason, age verification solutions are now being implemented.

How Age Verification Works

The use of technology makes age verification solutions much more sophisticated and useful for online businesses. Businesses can know their customers using technologies like biometric recognition and artificial intelligence. These smart techniques allow businesses to secure their online platforms as well as complying with KYC (know your customer). 

KYC has been around for quite some time now, but now a new KYCC (know your customer’s customer) compliance has also been introduced. The age verification process requires the user to submit details like their name and date of birth through the online platform. Also, the customer is asked to upload a photo of their identity documents, driving license, or passport for verification of details.

Information is then extracted using OCR (optical character recognition) technology. Required information is then verified with the help of machine learning algorithms to verify the customer’s age and identity.

Risks Without Age Verification Solutions

When businesses do not implement age verification solutions, their reputation is at risk because they often get involved in identity fraud unintentionally.

Stained Reputation

Businesses always strive to provide the best customer service as their satisfaction is what matters the most. When customers become loyal to a company they achieve a good reputation in the market, leading to added value.

Businesses save money by not implementing age verification solutions but end up losing a larger sum by exposing the wrong age group to age-restricted content.

Non-compliance Fines

As well as bad reputation, companies also face non-compliance fines when such unfortunate events occur. The rules of GDPR are the same for all kinds of businesses, including vendors and organizations regardless of the type of services. When businesses do not comply with the regulations, they have to pay large amounts in penalties.

Financial Losses

It often happens that children use the online payment credentials of their parents to purchase products that are not meant for them, or are just too expensive. This results in chargebacks and financial losses. If age verification is integrated within online shopping and online gaming platforms, this can be avoided.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, age verification solutions help businesses and parents in protecting minors from inappropriate content. These all-in-one solutions are much more efficient and authentic techniques for age verification compared to manual verification or online forms.

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