Children these days have easy access to anything that is online. Since the internet includes a wide array of content, they may end up across something not suitable or appropriate for their age such as an e-liquor store, an adult-themed website, or an e-commerce platform selling cigarettes and vapes. These items are not made for the younger audience since it can deteriorate their mental as well as physical health in the long run.
That is why proper age checks are necessary to stop the sale of these products and services to underage individuals. Age verification is one such mechanism through which merchants of age-restricted products can confirm if their buyer is above the appropriate age or not.
Age Verification – The Need of the Hour
For businesses providing age-restricted content and services, it is necessary they follow a set of guidelines to ensure minor protection. The purpose of an age verification system is two-fold: (i) To restrict minors from consuming content, products, and services inappropriate for their age (ii) To save age-restricted businesses from non-compliance penalties that may occur as a result of serving underage prospects.
Age verification solutions are the need of the hour because it not only makes customer onboarding procedures fine-tuned as well as allow businesses to offer age-oriented services to their clients. Apart from that, they can easily fulfill the corporate social responsibility of protecting minors from the harms of adult-themed products.
Two Reasons Why Age Verification is Important
A business offering age-exclusive services cannot operate without a proper means to verify the age of its users. Certain age verification laws are built around the purpose of making sure that minors are kept away from alcohol, tobacco, and similar products that are harmful to children. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is one such example, that is a US federal law to ensure anyone accessing online services is at least above 13 years of age.
Apart from that, Article 8 under the General Data Protection Regulation states that the minimum age of consent must be 16. These laws govern how service providers of age-exclusive services should offer their services and to what audience.
Protecting Minors from Harm
Minors are in an early part of life where they learn new things every day. If they get used to bad habits like drinking alcohol, smoking, or indulge in violent R-rated games it is not suitable for their well-being in general. Apart from mental stability, these products have a greater effect on their physical health as well.
Therefore, merchants offering such services on the internet need to have a proper age verification mechanism through which they can restrict underage consumption and contribute their part to society.
Since children are not mindful enough to determine if the service they are using online is suitable or not, they need supervision from a parent or guardian. As the internet is full of such products that are not appropriate for underage audiences, it is not surprising if you find your child using one of those products and that too without your consent. Online age verification tools help businesses offering age-restricted services to provide the right services to the right customer.
Here are some industries that are categorized as age-sensitive and need age verification:
Online Gaming Platforms
The eSports industry is on a roll with teens and youngsters engaging on these platforms every day. While games are a good way to learn new things and make your mind creative, some are not built for that purpose. Some gaming studios make content that is more entertainment-focused and is directed towards a relatively mature audience. Some examples are poker (gambling), R-rated games having a certain degree of violence, abuse, and adult orientation. Without a doubt, age verification is the way to go while offering these types of services in the gaming industry.
Liquor and Tobacco Products
It goes without saying that minors consuming alcohol and its by-products are not appropriate. The same goes for tobacco and similar products like electronic cigars, vapes, pipes, hookah, etc. A digital age verification software on these websites can come with two advantages (i) Minors are not allowed to purchase age-restricted products without complete verification of the buyer (ii) Chargeback costs can be taken down since minors won’t be able to use their parents’ payment card to authorize transactions easily.