Age Verification
Age Verification for Websites: Benefits, Challenges, and Solutions
Learn why age verification is critical for many types of websites, and how to implement an effective online age verification program.
October 30, 2023
min read

What Is Age Verification for a Website?

Age verification is a process whereby an identity document is checked to verify whether the age information provided is accurate. For owners of websites providing age-sensitive products or services, manual age verification is challenging, requires a large effort, and has a high chance of human error. 

Many websites and eCommerce businesses use online age verification to address this issue. Automated age verification systems can perform remote age verification of users worldwide, with special measures to prevent minors from illicitly gaining access to products or services not appropriate for their age.

Related content: Read our guide to age verification online 

In this article:

Which Websites Need to Verify The Age of Their Customers?

Many types of businesses require age verification, and in many countries, this is subject to regulation. You should obtain local legal advice to understand the legal requirements in your website's countries. Here are two types of websites that require age verification in many territories.

Online Gaming and Gambling Websites

Online gambling and gaming websites are subject to the scrutiny of regulatory authorities. Before onboarding them, they must run in-depth Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures on the gamers. Age verification is an essential component of this regulation. The primary purpose is to minimize gaming addiction amongst young people. In addition, the majority of these sites are not suitable for underage children. 

Online age verification assists online gaming organizations, helping them minimize the risk of non-compliance penalties by offering global coverage of age verification. It lessens the inconvenience of regulatory compliance by producing fast results. It helps organizations retain legitimate customers and helps deter minors.  

eCommerce Websites

eCommerce is a vast market, with platforms that typically include a huge range of products. Some of these are suitable only for adults, while others are also appropriate for minors. These platforms often struggle to manage their audience, as they are subject to regulations regarding age verification. 

For instance, if an online store sells liquor and grocery items as part of its product range, it will have to introduce roadblocks in its website design to reduce sales to minors. In this situation, online age verification software is an effective tool for smooth risk prevention.  


Why Should Online Businesses Use Age Verification Software?

There are several reasons online businesses can leverage age verification software, most notably the following.

Avoid Legal Exposure and Fines

The regulatory authorities in many developed countries require age-restricted service or product providers to have information about the customer’s age, including for sales made online. For example: 

Due to these and other regulations, if they don’t use trusted age verification software, eCommerce organizations could face damage to their reputation or legal exposure.

Age verification goes together with the need for KYC—a protocol all organizations should follow to evaluate the risk of illegal activities. 

Provide a Better User Experience

High-functionality age verification software could provide a seamless verification process for your consumers. Therefore, organizations are seeking age verification software that is quick, simple to use, and efficient. 

With a solid age-verification system, legitimate consumers can purchase products easily without facing interface issues or processing problems. This will likely result in better customer conversion rates, higher satisfaction rates, and more revenue. 

Website Age Verification Challenges

The following are some of the main challenges for online age verification.

Age Gates are No Longer Enough

Concerning age verification laws, organizations are putting age gates on their sites to stop minors from accessing age-restricted goods or adult content. However, they may not be effective enough to stop underage users from advancing further.

The reason for this is that age gates are dependent on the user's honesty when checking a box to verify their age or enter their date of birth. You can never be certain if the users are honest or not, and there is nothing else to validate the information they provide. 

Minors May Use Their Parents’ ID Documents 

When onboarding customers for online dating sites and gaming platforms, organizations should always verify the age of the end-user. Although identity verification checks tend to include validation of government-issued ID documents, underage web users often use their parent’s ID documents to trick the system.  

Checkboxes and Captcha 

Children check this box without thinking to purchase products such as alcohol and e-cigarettes. Another mistake organizations make is adding a captcha with several attempts as an age verification tool. It often only takes several tries for a minor to solve the puzzle and create social media accounts or make a purchase.

To stop minors, there is a great need for AI-powered age verification checks that inspect the date of birth against an ID document and verify the end-user's live presence. Only then can online platforms enforce minor protection and compliance with the age restrictions throughout the world.

Age Authentication with Online ID verification

Irrespective of whether you own an online alcohol store, an online casino for gambling or sell e-cigarettes, it is your moral (and legal) obligation to make sure the services or products you offer do not negatively impact minors. Age-restricted platforms and service providers often face how to develop an effective way to verify age. 

With rapidly developing technologies entering the market, online organizations can effectively verify their clients’ age to offer appropriate services and content. Online ID verification incorporates biometric verification and authentic documents to help these platforms continue with their operations. An ID verification system for confirming age can instantly verify users with legal age and minimize the risk and cost of conventional verification procedures.

Related content: Read our guide to biometric verification 

Online Age Verification with BlueCheck

BlueCheck’s industry-leading identity verification infrastructure enables merchants to grow their businesses faster. Serving a wide variety of industries, our solutions are custom-tailored to the unique needs of our customers, including PACT Act and eCommerce-compliant offerings. 

Schedule a call today with a BlueCheck specialist to learn more about our Age & ID Verification solutions.