6
min read

Age verification checks are crucial in this digital age

Published on
July 6, 2022
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The digital consumer is connected and willing to buy at any time. Like every other company, those that provide age-restricted products, services, and content adapt to this relativel new purchasing behaviour. In many cases, prospective customers must undergo age verification checks before they’re allowed to participate in age-restricted online offerings; this is when cross-border compliance gets especially tricky. Every country and jurisdiction differs regarding rules, regulations and demand on age restrictions, proof of identity and age verification.

Age verification checks and differing age requirements

The worldwide ongoing digital transformation increases the number of digital consumers rapidly. The growth of the internet, technological advances, and smartphones have resulted in an abundance of internet-based businesses and operations offering products, services, and content online.

Today many consumers around the globe can quickly get access to age-restricted products and services such as iGaming, adult movie streaming, online dating, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, and pharmaceuticals via their smartphones. The need to ensure that minors can’t procure such products and services has never been greater.

Age-restricted digital services and online stores selling age-restricted products are obligated to enforce strict age verification checks to protect underage people from accessing the goods and services specifically designed for the adult population. In most countries, alcohol sales are restricted to the minimum age requirement of 18 and 21, and buying tobacco requires identity proof for age verification. In face-to-face situations, this works perfectly, but verifying someone’s identity in the digital world is far more challenging.

Complying with set regulations requires understanding the specific standards prescribed by local regulators. The age verification requirements may differ depending on the product, service that is selling, the jurisdictions in which the business operates, and the orders are placed. For companies operating and selling in multiple countries and jurisdictions, the ability to customise age verification requirements is crucial to ensure cross-border compliance

Regulations on age restrictions are tightening

Apart from services and products, there is also entertainment, interaction, and other activities that are available online. Without adult supervision, minors can gain access to sites and content that they should not be exposed to. In many cases, online age verification is a legal requirement that may also apply to adult-restricted content. Depending on the age, jurisdiction, and use case, there are strict laws that many businesses providing age-restricted content may have to comply with.

The UK has announced that its Online Safety Bill will be significantly strengthened with a new legal duty required. Specific sites that publish adult-only content put robust checks to ensure their users are 18 years old or over. Britain’s commitment to age restriction follows similar moves in France and Germany.

As the focus on age-restricted online services and products increases among regulators, the age verification regulations are also tightening, and practical compliance measures for proof of age are considered more important than ever before.

Manual age verification is a cumbersome and slow process that maximises business costs and is not to be considered best practice in today’s competitive digital landscape. In addition to legal implications and damaging brand reputation, companies lacking in adopting effective age verification automation also risk losing their ability to sustain a thriving and revenue-generating business.

Man using the phone for Online ID Verification

Global coverage of age verification via a single connection

In this day of the digital age, there is no leeway for businesses that
don’t meet customer expectations.

Companies that provide age-restricted products, services, and content via online channels must ensure convenience for legitimate customers and reduce the risk of minors accessing their offerings. ZignSec can give the businesses just that capacity along with global regulatory compliance as our all-in-one platform holds a comprehensive supply of effective age verification solutions.

By utilising our Register Checks, the prospective customer’s person-related data such as name, address, and date of birth is obtained. The data is checked against data sources to see if the information matches — ensuring that the customer is who they say they are.

Another age verification method is available via Digital Identity Verification, where the ID document is photographed and sent in electronically along with a video selfie for comparing and matching. The photo of the ID document is then automatically compared to document templates for biometric analysis and detection of forgery or alteration. ZignSec’s automatic ID document detection recognises documents by type and country – we support over 10 000 document types from more than 170 countries.

The information can also be collected using optical character recognition (OCR) and then run through the process for Register Checks. The ID verification process can be fortified with Liveness Check. This extra layer of security verifies that the features and attributes photographed and submitted are those of a living person and not a copy or imitation of those features.

We also provide the eID of respective Nordic countries, numerous EU countries, and Singapore. An eID has the functionality of an ID card, driver’s license, or passport but without the procedure of having to scan the document and submit a selfie. It is an electronic ID document guaranteeing that you are you. Individuals can use it when they need to identify themselves or verify their age on, for example, a website or in an app.

Suppose you run a business providing age-restricted products, services, and content in multiple jurisdictions. In that case, your operations will need to utilise several age verification methods to enable the acquisition of customers internationally. Your processes must also be able to customise age verification requirements for cross-border regulatory compliance. This makes ZignSec your perfect solution supplier for worldwide age verification automation. Regarding digital identity and age verification solutions, customer onboarding, KYB (Know Your Business), and KYC (Know Your Customer) through cutting-edge automation,

ZignSec is the one-stop-shop your company needs. Connected to our platform, your organisation can acquire complete KYC and KYB processes or pick and choose solutions according to need and combine them into a bespoke workflow. All our KYC and KYB-focused solutions and age verification checks can be procured, managed, and seamlessly integrated into your e-commerce platform, the application process, or customer database management systems via a single API connection.

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