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Is Age Verification the Next Big Thing in E-Commerce?

Online shopping is certainly the new normal in retail. With technology growing at a rapid pace, customer needs are also taking a new turn. To survive the market competition and deliver a good customer experience, businesses need to adapt innovative solutions.

A study on consumer behavior shows that in 2021, around 2.14 billion users will shop online products through e-commerce. The number comes as no surprise since customers are drastically shifting to digital-only services.

Why is There a Need to Verify Age Online?

E-commerce businesses often differ based on what products they sell on online platforms. The nature of their services determines consumer verification standards. For instance, if an e-store deals in buying and selling tobacco-based products, it needs to make sure underage individuals are not able to consume them.

The merchants of age-restricted products have the corporate social responsibility (CSR) to prevent minors from consumption of age-limited commodities.

Risks for E-commerce – Lack of Age-based Checks

Age-oriented services are not suitable for children below legal age. This directly has an impact on what and how service providers operate in the e-commerce industry. Here are some of the drawbacks of not having an age verification system:

Frequent Chargebacks

86% of the chargebacks filed by customers are a possible case of friendly fraud. This is alarming for online shopping platforms since merchants are frequently being charged. When it comes to age-exclusive service providers, they need to create a better understanding of the age limit of their audience. Minors transacting on behalf of their parents without their consent can get a business in trouble since they have to fulfill many chargebacks.

Child Identity Theft

The whole discussion about age verification in e-commerce comes around child identity theft and its prevention. Since minors are less aware of which platform or service provider is authentic and secure, they are more likely to end up a victim of identity theft. Moreover, e-commerce sites are a favorite target of cybercriminals to carry out their illicit motives. Lack of a secure age verification mechanism will continue to affect the well-being of underage individuals over e-commerce and other online platforms.

Brand Credibility

Age-restricted merchants just like other e-commerce stores have to abide by age verification laws enforced by regulatory authorities. Non-compliance with these obligations has a direct impact on the brand reputation that ultimately tampers customer trust. A drop in brand reputation won’t be any suitable in market competition for that business. Moreover, non-compliance penalties from financial watchdogs can leave the business in a pool of lost resources.

What Goes Wrong with Self Verification?

The self-check web pages have become old, haven’t they? Minors can easily bypass self-verification at age-restricted online stores and websites with the single click of a button. Then, why does this check even exist? To make sure they are making the customer aware of the products and services they offer so that appropriate action could be taken.

This is not enough to stop minors from entering age-exclusive e-stores and consuming products inappropriate for their age. A robust age verification tool is the need of the hour, where the consumer is identified and verified against certain age parameters.

How can Online Age Verification Help?

Minor Protection

A business offering age-limited services online can significantly reduce the number of minors engaging on their platform. This is possible with an age verification tool that checks for the consumer’s age using identity documents and facial recognition technology.

Preventing Account Takeover

Imposter e-commerce websites set up to steal user identity are surfacing the internet these days. The stolen information from these platforms is used to conduct a series of other cybercrime. Digital age verification can prevent minors from using their parent’s credit cards to authorize payments and using them on an unsecured website.

Achieving Regulatory Compliance

A solution built-in light of age verification laws can help e-commerce businesses achieve the level of compliance they require. GDPR by the European Union is applicable to all types of organizations collecting the personal information of users. Online age verification can help e-commerce stores comply with GDPR and other age-exclusive regulations.

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