How To: Age Verification Process Optimization
How the Best Age Verification Software Can Optimize User Experience
Suppose your business offers age-restricted goods or content. In that case, age verification is critical to your transaction process. You are probably well aware of the delicate balance between maintaining your customers' online experience and adhering to compliance regulations.
Age verification can refer to a combination of actions, including requesting age verification documents, two-factor authentication procedures, fraud protection processes, behavior analytics, and biometric authentication, which can block underage purchases and create barriers to legitimate sales. Optimized age verification balances risk management with user retention using the best age verification software to streamline the age and identity verification process so that customers are verified quickly and efficiently.
Underage Purchases of Adult Products
Today's youth are more technologically sophisticated than previous generations and just as eager to get into mischief as their forbears. The CDC cites a 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey that surveyed high school students about their drinking behavior and found that 29% had drunk alcohol in the past 30 days.
A 2018 American Journal of Health study conducted a cross-sectional survey of teenagers on social media, asking how adolescents get e-cigarettes and other electronic vaping devices. Out of 1729 adolescents screened, qualified, and completed the survey, 78% admitted owning a vaping device, and 31% purchased them from a store or online.
Underage fireworks sales also pose risks to children and teenagers because they are vulnerable to serious injury from improper handling. According to Pediatric Annals, a peer-reviewed pediatric medicine journal, fireworks injuries impact thousands of kids annually, many of whom are permanently disabled.
Adolescents' willingness to pursue adult products online poses safety and company liability risks to minors. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill performed a study in 2012 which asked eight participants aged 18 to 20 to test buying beer, wine, and other beverages online. When completing order forms, study participants gave false ages per the study direction. However, they were, to be honest, admitted they were under 21 if a delivery person asked for proof of their age.
The purchases were from 100 online retailers, with most of their deliveries handled by FedEx or United Parcel Service because alcohol shipments cannot be sent by the U.S. Postal Service per legal requirements. Out of the 100 orders, 45 were successful, according to the survey. However, 28 purchases were declined because the customer was determined to be underage. The rest did not process due to technical difficulties or because no one was home when delivery efforts were made.
Incidences of this kind are distressing to business owners who understand that if illegal purchases lead to injury or death, responsibility can track back to their company.
Exposure Rates to Adult Content
Due to the prevalence of unsupervised internet activity among kids and teenagers, they will likely come into contact with inappropriate content online. To prevent contributing to this problem, businesses that offer sexually explicit products or content require stringent verification procedures to block minors and have much to gain from age verification process optimization. For example, a Minerva Pediatrics analysis of papers published between 2013 and 2019 found that the prevalence of boys exposed to sexually explicit content online ranged from 56% to 100%. For girls, exposure ranged from 7.6% to 82%.
Underage Online Gambling
According to studies conducted in Canada, the U.S., and other countries, almost 80% of teenagers have gambled at some point. 12- to 17-year-old teenagers make up between 4-8% of those with severe gambling problems and another 10-15% at risk of doing so.
It's believed that the line between gambling and gaming may be blurred for most teenagers due to the game-like experience of new gambling websites. Age verification that relies solely on credit card information has had minimal influence on this issue. Between 60% and 80% of high school students report having gambled for money in the previous year, and the proportion of high school students with a gambling problem is double that of adults, even though the legal gambling age in each state is between 18 to 21 years of age.
The Evolution of Age Verification
Gone are the days when all you needed for age verification was a simple pop-up box with a yes or no question. Instead, today's online businesses must comply with ever-increasing regulations to keep minors from accessing adult products and content to protect themselves from liability and preserve their brand integrity.
New technologies such as identity verification through consumer data, ID verification, and biometric authentication with AI are increasingly relied upon to validate and serve customers while protecting business interests quickly.
Age Verification Process Optimization
By utilizing consumer credit data and consumer utility and communication account information, businesses with the best age verification software can use programs that cross-reference user-inputted identifying information against the account information and credit data found online.
Optimized age verification also employs analytic processes to monitor device behaviors that alert businesses to unusual user behavior that may indicate fraudulent activity.
The Best Age Verification Software
With the best age verification software, the initial registration process becomes an opportunity to thoroughly verify customers' age verification documents while setting them up for quick and easy biometric logins when they return. Then, behind-the-scenes analytic processes protect the company and its customers from a fraudulent activity without interfering with the customer's user experience. As more businesses get on board with age verification process optimization, others will have to update their age verification processes or lose customers to clunky login procedures.
What can BlueCheck do?
BlueCheck achieves this balance by combining a sleek, field-tested user interface with a robust verification engine that connects to a network of authoritative databases and credit bureaus. In addition, we partner with companies in various industries and growth stages to provide affordable, reliable online age verification. Learn more about how BlueCheck can help you solve your ID verification challenges.
March 16, 2018. Identity verification in a digital age -- Expand your view to include more consumers and their devices. Courtney Grantham. Equifax. https://www.equifax.com/business/blog/-/insight/article/identity-verification-digital-age-expand-view-include-consumers-devices/
Sept. 2012. Internet Alcohol Sales to Minors. Williams RS, Ribisl KM. The Journal of the American Medical Association. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/1149402
Underage Drinking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm
August 1, 2018. How Do Adolescents Get Their E-Cigarettes and Other Electronic Vaping Devices? Pepper JK, Coats EM, Nonnemaker JM, Loomis BR. American Journal of Health
June 2018. Fireworks-related injury in children. M Denise Dowd. Pediatr Ann. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29898232/
February 15, 2022. The use of online pornography among minors: epidemiological analysis of the phenomenon. Carnevali D, Cavazzana L, Grimoldi L, Magnoni P, Principi N, Pellai A. Minerva Pediatrics. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35166482/
February 13, 2004. Gambling, youth, and the internet: should we be concerned? Messerlian C, Byrne AM, Derevensky JL. Can Child Adolesc Psychiatr Rev. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533814/
June 12, 2022. As Sports Betting Grows, States Tackle Teenage Problem Gambling. Marsha Mercer. PEW Trusts. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2022/07/12/as-sports-betting-grows-states-tackle-teenage-problem-gambling#:~:text=Although%20the%20legal%20age%20for,National%20Council%20on%20Problem%20Gambling.