Age verification in a digital world

Fraud reporting and compliance The key to combatting fraud (1920 x 1080 px) (1200 x 627 px) Age verification

In today’s digital landscape, ensuring compliance with age restrictions is paramount for businesses operating online. The evolution of technology has facilitated the implementation of efficient age verification methods, seamlessly integrating into existing business frameworks. From ID document checks with liveness detection and anti-spoofing to digital ID, Credit Card, Mobile Provider, and DB Checks, companies now have an array of tools at their disposal to authenticate customer age swiftly and accurately. Moreover, innovative solutions like age estimation further streamline the process, especially in self-service transactions or accessing age-restricted content online. This article delves into the significance of age verification in a digital world, exploring its methods, implications, and best practices.

What is age verification

Age verification encompasses a range of processes and technologies aimed at confirming the legal age of individuals engaging in various activities, particularly those restricted to certain age groups. These methods ensure compliance with regulations and safeguard against underage access to age-restricted products, services, or content. Key techniques include ID document checks with liveness anti-spoofing, digital ID authentication, Credit Card verification, Mobile Provider checks, and Database checks. Additionally, age estimation techniques are emerging as practical solutions for self-service transactions and accessing age-related content online. Let’s delve deeper into these methodologies and their applications in modern digital environments.

How does age verification work?

  1. Collection of user information: Age verification typically begins with the collection of user information. This may include personal details such as name, date of birth, and sometimes address.
  2. Submission of identification documents: Users may be required to submit identification documents such as driver’s licenses, passports, or national ID cards. These documents serve as primary proof of age.
  3. ID document checks with liveness detection: Advanced age verification systems employ ID document checks combined with liveness detection and anti-spoofing technology. This involves users submitting a photo or selfie along with their ID document to confirm the document’s authenticity and ensure that the person presenting the ID is indeed the owner.
  4. Digital ID authentication: Digital IDs, such as government-issued digital IDs or verified accounts on social media platforms, can be used for age verification purposes. These digital IDs are authenticated against official databases to verify the user’s age.
  5. Credit card verification: Some age verification processes involve credit card verification, where the user’s age is inferred from the age associated with the credit card account. However, this method may not always be foolproof as individuals may use credit cards belonging to others.
  6. Mobile provider and database checks: Age verification can also be facilitated through checks with mobile service providers and database verification. Mobile providers may have access to user data that can verify age, while database checks can cross-reference user information against official records.
  7. Age estimation techniques: In cases where traditional methods are not feasible or convenient, age estimation techniques may be employed. These techniques adopt algorithms to estimate a user’s age based on various factors such as facial features or behavioral patterns.
  8. Integration with business practices: One of the crucial aspects of age verification is its seamless integration within current business practices. Verification processes should be designed to minimize disruption to user experience while ensuring compliance with age-related regulations.

By following these steps and adopting a combination of verification methods, businesses can effectively authenticate the age of their users in the digital realm, thereby mitigating risks associated with underage access to restricted content or products.

What are the benefits of age verification?

Age verification isn’t just about compliance, it’s a gateway to a plethora of benefits for businesses. In this section, we’ll explore how age verification enhances trust, improves user experience, and mitigates risks, among other advantages. Let’s dive into the myriad benefits it offers in the digital landscape:

  • Compliance with regulations: Age verification enables businesses to comply with legal regulations regarding the sale of age-restricted products or access to age-restricted content, reducing the risk of regulatory fines or penalties.
  • Protection against underage access: By accurately verifying the age of users, businesses can mitigate the risk of underage individuals accessing age-restricted products, services, or content, thus promoting safety and responsible consumption.
  • Enhanced trust and reputation: Implementing robust age verification measures demonstrates a commitment to user safety and responsible business practices, fostering trust and enhancing the reputation of the company among customers and stakeholders.
  • Reduced liability: Verifying the age of users helps businesses minimize liability associated with underage access to age-restricted products or content, protecting them from potential legal consequences or damage to brand reputation.
  • Improved user experience: Seamless age verification processes integrated into online platforms ensure a smooth and convenient user experience, minimizing friction and enhancing satisfaction among users while accessing age-restricted services or content.
  • Targeted marketing and personalization: Accurate age verification allows businesses to tailor their marketing efforts and personalize user experiences based on age demographics, enabling more targeted and effective campaigns.
  • Prevention of fraud and identity theft: Advanced verification methods such as ID document checks with liveness anti-spoofing help prevent fraud and identity theft by ensuring that users are who they claim to be, thereby safeguarding against unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Facilitation of responsible consumption: Age verification promotes responsible consumption by ensuring that age-restricted products, such as alcohol or tobacco, are only accessed by individuals of legal age, contributing to public health and safety initiatives.
  • Support for age-related services: Age verification enables the provision of age-related services, such as online gaming platforms or age-restricted memberships, by ensuring that only eligible users can access these services, thus maximizing revenue opportunities for businesses.
  • Adaptation to digital trends: In an increasingly digital world, age verification mechanisms help businesses adapt to evolving trends and consumer behaviors, ensuring relevance and competitiveness in the digital marketplace.

The importance of age verification technology

In today’s digital landscape, where online transactions and interactions are ubiquitous, the importance of age verification technology cannot be overstated. With a multitude of age-restricted products, services, and content available online, businesses face the critical responsibility of ensuring that access is granted only to individuals of legal age. Age verification technology plays a pivotal role in fulfilling this obligation while safeguarding against underage access and potential legal repercussions.

One of the key aspects of age verification technology is its ability to employ advanced methods such as liveness detection and employing biometric information for verification. These sophisticated techniques go beyond simple document checks and enable businesses to authenticate the identity and age of users with a high level of accuracy. Liveness detection, for instance, verifies that the person presenting identification documents is physically present and not attempting to deceive the system through spoofing or fraudulent means. Biometric verification, on the other hand, uses unique physiological or behavioural characteristics such as facial features or fingerprints to confirm the identity and age of individuals.

By leveraging such technology, businesses can ensure compliance with regulatory requirements while enhancing security and trust in online transactions. The implementation of robust age verification measures not only protects against underage access to age-restricted products or content but also safeguards against fraud and identity theft. Furthermore, it fosters a safer and more responsible online environment, promoting public health initiatives and social responsibility.

Moreover, age verification technology facilitates seamless integration within existing business practices, minimizing disruption to user experience while accessing age-restricted services or content. With user convenience at the forefront, businesses can streamline verification processes and enhance customer satisfaction, ultimately driving engagement and loyalty.

In conclusion, the importance of age verification technology lies in its ability to uphold legal compliance, enhance security, and promote responsible consumption in the digital realm. By embracing advanced verification methods such as liveness detection and biometric verification, businesses can effectively authenticate the age of users while fostering trust, safety, and integrity in online interactions.

What are the types of biometric verification?

Biometric verification methods use unique physiological or behavioural characteristics of individuals to authenticate their identity. These techniques offer a high level of security and accuracy, making them increasingly popular for various applications, including age verification. Here are some common types of biometric verification:

Fingerprint recognition

Biometric fingerprint recognition analyzes the unique patterns of ridges and valleys on an individual’s fingertips. This biometric method is widely used in various applications, including smartphone unlocking, access control systems, and forensic identification.

Facial recognition

Biometric facial recognition technology identifies individuals based on their facial features, such as the distance between the eyes, the shape of the nose, and the contours of the face. It is commonly used for identity verification in surveillance systems, smartphone authentication, and airport security.

Iris recognition

Iris recognition involves capturing and analyzing the unique patterns in the colored part of the eye (iris). This biometric method offers a high level of accuracy and is used in applications such as border control, access control, and national ID systems.

Voice recognition

Voice biometrics recognition technology analyzes the unique characteristics of an individual’s voice, including pitch, tone, and speech patterns, to verify their identity. It is used in various applications, including phone banking, voice-controlled devices, and authentication systems.

Hand geometry recognition

Hand geometry recognition measures and analyzes the size and shape of an individual’s hand, including the length and width of fingers and the shape of the palm. This biometric method is commonly used in access control systems and time attendance systems.

Signature recognition

Signature recognition analyzes the unique characteristics of an individual’s handwritten signature, such as stroke length, pressure, and pen angle, to verify their identity. It is often used in banking and financial institutions for document verification and transaction authorization.

Behavioural biometrics

Behavioural biometrics capture and analyze patterns of behavior, such as typing rhythm, mouse movement, and gait, to authenticate individuals. This biometric method is utilized in applications where continuous authentication is required, such as online banking and fraud detection systems.

These types of biometric verification offer varying levels of security, accuracy, and user convenience, allowing businesses to choose the most suitable method based on their specific requirements and use cases. As technology continues to advance, biometric verification methods are expected to become even more sophisticated and pervasive in various industries.

Difference between liveness detection and age verification

While both liveness detection and age verification are integral components of identity authentication processes, they serve distinct purposes and employ different methodologies.

Liveness detection: Liveness detection focuses on verifying the authenticity of a user’s identity by confirming their physical presence during the verification process. This technology adopts advanced algorithms and biometric techniques to detect signs of life, such as facial movements or blinking, ensuring that the individual is not attempting to deceive the system through spoofing or fraudulent means. Liveness detection enhances security by preventing impersonation and protecting against identity theft in various online transactions and interactions.

Age verification: On the other hand, age verification specifically targets the confirmation of an individual’s age, particularly in scenarios involving access to age-restricted products, services, or content. This process entails verifying that the user meets the minimum age requirement stipulated by regulatory standards or company policies. Age verification technology uses various methods such as document checks, biometric verification, and database checks to authenticate the age of users accurately. By ensuring compliance with age-related regulations, age verification promotes responsible consumption and mitigates the risk of underage access to restricted content or products.

In essence, while liveness detection focuses on confirming the presence of a live individual during identity verification, age verification specifically validates the age of the user to ensure compliance with age-related regulations and policies. Both technologies play crucial roles in enhancing security and trust in online transactions, albeit with distinct objectives and approaches.

Age verification and business

The issue of age verification is becoming more and more critical for businesses that offer services or products related to adult content. Therefore, when operating within this type of business, it is essential to provide your customers with the most secure age verification methods available.

age verification 18 years old

Internet filters are not good enough when it comes to identity proofing. The methods used by internet filters are often easy for children to bypass, especially if they have help from an adult.

Age verification can also increase your customer’s trust in you as a company. When customers know that certain types of adult material will not be accessible on your site without proof of identity, they are more likely to purchase things from you.

In which sectors can age verification be used?

Age verification technology finds applications across various sectors where access to age-restricted products, services, or content is prevalent. Some of the key sectors where age verification is commonly employed include:

  • E-commerce and retail: Age verification is essential in e-commerce platforms and retail environments, particularly for the sale of age-restricted items such as alcohol, tobacco, and certain pharmaceutical products. By verifying the age of customers, businesses can ensure compliance with legal regulations and prevent underage individuals from accessing restricted products.
  • Online Gaming and gambling: In the online gaming and gambling industry, age verification is crucial to restrict access to gambling platforms and age-restricted games only to individuals of legal gambling age. By implementing robust age verification measures, gaming and gambling operators can comply with regulatory requirements and promote responsible gambling practices.
  • Entertainment and media: Age verification is also pertinent in the entertainment and media sector, especially for accessing age-restricted content such as movies, TV shows, and online streaming platforms. By verifying the age of users, content providers can prevent minors from accessing content that may be inappropriate or unsuitable for their age group.
  • Financial services: In the financial services sector, age verification is utilized to verify the age of individuals applying for certain financial products or services, such as credit cards or loans. By confirming the age of applicants, financial institutions can ensure compliance with legal requirements and mitigate the risk of underage financial transactions.
  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals: Age verification is essential in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, particularly for the sale of prescription medications and other age-restricted healthcare products. By verifying the age of customers, pharmacies and healthcare providers can prevent unauthorized access to restricted medications and ensure patient safety.
  • Travel and hospitality: In the travel and hospitality sector, age verification may be used for booking accommodations, renting vehicles, or accessing certain amenities that have age restrictions. By verifying the age of guests, hotels, airlines, and rental agencies can comply with legal requirements and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all customers.

In summary, age verification technology has widespread applications across various sectors, including e-commerce, gaming, entertainment, financial services, healthcare, and travel. By implementing robust age verification measures, businesses can ensure compliance with regulations, protect against underage access, and promote responsible consumption and usage practices within their respective industries.

Businesses liable for age verification

There are several businesses liable for performing an age check. One of the most important things to remember is that not all age verification tools are the same. 

It is essential to research your options thoroughly to find the right one for your needs.

Here are different types of businesses liable for age verification.

  • Online gaming/gambling website
  • Alcohol sellers
  • Nicotine and tobacco products sellers
  • Digital platforms
  • Prescribed drugs sellers
  • Medical services providers
  • E-commerce platforms selling age-restricted goods

Digital platforms

Whether you’re selling digital music, movies, or TV shows, you are responsible for age verification, including those that sell age-restricted games.

The following list shows examples of the forms of online services that require age verification.

  • DVD, digital, or another electronic format
  • Downloadable videos
  • Streaming music and videos
  • On-demand services
  • Gaming cards
  • Online gaming, gambling, and lottery services
  • Social media and other user-generated content services
  • E-commerce platforms selling age-restricted goods

Online gaming/gambling website

Online gambling or online casinos are responsible for age verification on games of chance, betting or wagering services, casino games, and sports events. 

The following are examples of age-restricted products that apply to online gaming websites.

  • Gambling services
  • Lotteries
  • Betting exchanges
  • Betting and gaming machines

Alcohol sellers

Age verification is essential for businesses that sell alcohol or products typically consumed in bars. Some examples of alcoholic products include wine, beer, and spirits.

Businesses that sell alcohol are responsible for verifying the age of their employees and any third-party platforms that sell alcohol online.

Alcohol retailers must display a sign within view of the customer, which indicates what type of identification is required to purchase alcohol on their premises. These signs must contain specific information regarding the minimum legal age of alcohol purchasing in your area.

Nicotine, tobacco, and cannabis products sellers

If you sell nicotine, tobacco and cannabis products online, you must verify the customer’s age. This includes vaping devices and e-cigarettes.

Examples of nicotine and tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. If your business sells and ships these products, it is required to verify the age of all customers.

Prescribed drugs sellers

Online sellers of prescription medicines must verify the age of their customers. This includes products that can only be sold with a prescription or if the buyer is under medical supervision.

Online pharmacies cannot sell medicinal products to anyone under 16 years old. Some examples of prescription medicines include medications and other ingredients from the opium family, such as codeine.

Medical services providers

Businesses that provide medical services online, such as health consultations and mental health services, must be registered with the Health Practitioner Regulation Agencies.

Websites that sell products for the diagnosis or treatment of a disease, illness, or injury must verify the age of their customers. This includes businesses that sell dietary supplements or other well-being products.

E-commerce platforms selling age restricted goods

If your business is an e-commerce website, you must verify the age of all online customers; this includes websites that sell physical products and digital downloads. Additionally, any third-party sellers of age-restricted products on your website must verify the customer’s age. If they fail to do so, you will be held responsible for any breaches.

As an e-commerce platform, you must establish a robust online security policy that focuses on user verification. You should also implement procedures that provide details of any changes to your website’s activity.

udentify age verification 21

Bottom line

Gaming, gambling, sports betting, online dating, e-cigarettes, vaping, cannabis, tobacco, alcohol and other age-restricted goods and services all have one thing in common, they are not for kids.

As a company operating in an age-restricted industry, you have a legal and moral obligation to verify the age of your customers accurately. With a robust age verification process, you can boost your brand and reputation and help you meet your regulatory guidelines while deterring fraudsters and kids from using fake IDs or spoofing to gain access. 

Age verification with Udentify

Age Verification with Udentify’s – Udentify age verification solution combines AI ID verification with the highest level of certified liveness detection to ensure only age-appropriate customers access your products and services. 

The customer only needs to register once, which takes about 13 seconds, after which they can reuse their ID for ongoing age verification requests in under a second.

With Udentify, you can scale your online sales and verify your users online or in-store while delivering a fast and exceptional customer experience.

Content Protection by
See the big picture with the full story of fraud via flexible fraud investigation storyboards.