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Age Verification – Preventing Exploitation of Under-Aged Customers

E-commerce platforms and online shopping has become a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic compelled industries to move their operations online. The global retail market is predicted to reach $5.7 trillion by the end of 2022. However, online shopping platforms have become an attraction for both adult and under-aged buyers alike. With customers demanding more convenience, it has become crucial for online stores to enhance security. 

Children easily bypass existing online age verifiers, e-commerce platforms require more efficient preventive measures to restrict them. The surge in the adoption of cashless payments and seamless onboarding is bringing various innovations. However, e-commerce platforms can not leave taking necessary precautions for children’s safety behind. This blog highlights the risks retail stores face and how online age verification addresses them.

Increased Risk of Crimes in the E-Commerce Sector – A Short Overview

Cybercriminals employ various schemes to onboard e-commerce sites as legit customers or merchants. They use synthetic identities and fraudulent payment options to trick minors, take over accounts, and exploit them for reaping financial benefits. As minors are unaware of what they might face post-registration, crucial information about their elders is ultimately put at stake. 

Children often unwillingly become part of inappropriate groupings or retail bonus schemes. Fraudsters easily trick underaged users by showing off attractive sales, giveaways, and discounts. In return, they convince them to disclose confidential information. These can be credit/debit card PINs, passwords to online accounts, addresses, and much more. Therefore, e-commerce platforms require efficient age verification mechanisms to overcome the risks they face while enhancing customer experience. 

Integrating AI-powered age checks has become a must-have for e-commerce platforms. The next section entails further risks online stores undergo and ways why automated IDV solutions are their countermeasure:

Failure in Regulatory Compliance 

Keeping the increase in minors’ access to online platforms in view, regulatory bodies are toughening their stance on children’s protection. For this, the US government put forth COPPA, according to which online stores lacking age identification solutions will face serious legal repercussions and pay high penalties. 

Guidelines by GDPR also mandate e-commerce sites to make sure the buyer is above 18 years. Hence, AI-powered IDV services help merchants authenticate customers prior to accepting orders.

Additional Chargeback Costs

Minors use their parents’ credit/debit card details to dodge payment authentication and bypass online age verifiers. Later they buy their favorite video games, comics, or memberships on gaming platforms. However, all of these involve R-rated content and a decent amount of violence which is enough to drive mental abnormalities. Similarly, e-commerce sites offering online payments for tobacco, liquor, or other products face additional chargeback costs. 

With automated age checks in place, merchants can minimize the chances of returned shipments. Upon payment deduction or the arrival of the package, the actual cardholder refuses to take the order which costs millions to online merchants. Therefore, e-commerce sites require online age verification solutions for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure some adult is placing an order.

Online Age Verification – Upgrading Security for Minors on E-commerce Platforms

E-commerce sites involved in selling age-exclusive services and products are liable to safeguard children from consuming them. As online stores also sell products such as alcohol and tobacco in an offline setting, it is mandatory for them to ensure buyers are grown-ups. In case not, the users should be accompanied by an adult. To make sure minors are not making inappropriate purchases, e-commerce sites need to integrate age verification solutions

With solutions such as real-time selfie identification, AI-powered IDV solutions help online stores to identify age online. In case they get their hands on illegal drugs or life-threatening liquor products, they can expose themselves to serious consequences. For instance, adverse effects on physical health. Similarly, access to adult-oriented content can bring mental abruptions for under-aged viewers. With online age identification solutions, there will be less space for all these happenings. 

The e-commerce industry is experiencing a boom in growth since customers started making online purchases. The use of credit/debit cards for e-payments is further making access to minors easier. As the merchant is unaware of who is entering the details, they are more likely to fail in restricting children. AI-powered online age verification solutions prevent not only restricted products from reaching minors but also help online platforms identify them in the first place.

Concluding Remarks 

Age verification solutions are becoming a must-have for e-commerce platforms to restrict minors. As online stores are striving to enhance customer experience while keeping convenience intact, easy access for children can bring serious repercussions. For instance, non-compliance with regulatory standards, reputational damages, financial loss, and legal proceedings. However, with robust AI-powered age verification online in place, e-commerce platforms can better uphold their brand’s integrity while protecting minors.

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