Selling certain goods to young people is illegal and could lead to violation of laws and regulations. Countries like UK and US have proper laws to protect children from harmful content and products on the internet. For instance, UK Age verification law requires online websites and retailers to ensure online age verification of their consumers.
If online merchants of age-restricted goods want to avoid indulging in illegal acts. They should have effective age verification systems to prevent sale to underage people.
All the products that have age-restriction on sales should be sold under compliance with regulations. Products such as tobacco, alcohol, fireworks, Adult content, violent video games, and corrosive products come under this restriction.
In a digitally oriented world, age verification concepts can be very challenging in terms of effectiveness. No system is fool-proof and chances of errors are very high. However, if certain checks are placed they will reduce if not eliminate the illegal sale of age-restricted products.
Here are four checks that retailers should know when selling age restricted products.
On delivery Age Verification Check
This is the most easiest check to verify age. Delivery drivers should be strictly instructed to confirm that customer is of legal age by asking for identity proof. However, this check could only be possible if online retailers have an in-house delivery system. Many third-party courier services do not accept the responsibility for age verification.
So, either the online retailers have in-house delivery service, which is not a feasible solution for SMBs and individual retailers. Although, they may contract the delivery to third party courier services that take responsibility. In countries like UK, courier services are obliged to ask for identity proof from the purchaser when delivering the product.
Online Age Verification Check:
Verifying user’s age at the time of sign-in and payment checkout is an efficient way to avoid illegal sales. In addition, online verification can prevent fraud activities such as identity theft and credit card fraud. There are third parties, which provide online identity verification software and APIs that can be integrated into your system. The system use various information to verify the age and identity of the user both during sign-in and checkout process.
Identity verification software also provides an extra layer of security. For example, document verification can also validate customer information like credit cards. In this verification, ID documents are photographed and sent electronically. These documents are then compared against the provided information to check if the person is who they claim to be. As online verification is quick and reliable, it will not be an extra burden on the user.
Facial verification is another prospective way of online verification. A user is required to provide a picture of them holding an ID document. The picture on the ID document is then compared with the user’s picture. In this way, additional security is added.
Follow-up offline check:
Although with capabilities online identity verification has, no other check is required but in some circumstances verifying users online is not feasible. In such scenarios, followup checks like asking users to email the identity proofs could be used.
Collect Product from Store
For some retailers, who also have physical stores this method might work. The customer can view and reserve an item online and collect it from the store. And the staff in the store will carry out manual verification.