How Can Businesses Identify Underage Individuals Via Age Verification Machine?

In 2016, a UK schoolgoer named Bailey Gwynne was murdered by a 16-year-old boy who confessed to buying his murder weapon from Amazon. The reason he could buy this £40 knife was that, in the murderer’s own words, “they don’t check your age.”

This incident is only one of many that have prompted law enforcement and the legal authorities to take strict steps against selling age-restricted products to underage teens. The burgeoning problem of age verification stems from the fact that most commerce is now carried out online. Since the presence of ID scanners in bars, retail shops, alcohol shops, etc., has deterred minors from trying to buy adult merchandise in person, they have now simply chosen to shift to an online space for their purchases.

What is the Problem of Online Age Verification?

There are several software options that you can use to verify the age of your customers. However, most e-commerce companies do not walk that extra mile to perform immediate 3-D face scanning to match the image with the ID. However, in most cases, age verification in the online space is laughably callous. You might have seen websites that simply ask, “Are you 18?” Some websites even check the social media profiles of their customers to verify their ages. This is also woefully inefficient because the users might simply provide a false birthdate on their social media profiles.

Online businesses do not want to drive away potential customers by including a time-consuming age verification process. And this is exactly the core problem. Unlike actual handheld age verification machines, i.e. ID scanners, online age verification takes time and is often inaccurate. You might have been denied access to dating sites several times because the 3-D face scan feature refused to function accurately.

So, what is the solution? It’s not quite what you expected.

How to Verify Age in E-commerce?

Until online age verification technology progresses further, we need a viable alternative. This alternative again takes us back to the good old ID scanners, the time-tested age verification machines all across the world.

Since age verification cannot be performed accurately while the purchase is being made, it should at least be performed accurately when the goods are being delivered. The delivery system needs to take on this responsibility on behalf of the e-commerce companies. Arming delivery persons with a simple age verification machine can solve this entire problem and with Local Digital Business.

Unlike online age verification, age verification machines are completely dependable and accurate. More importantly, they are fast. Since these are typically used in retail outlets and bars, the scans need to be quick and the machine needs to reset to its original state in a few seconds so that the next scan can be performed.

People are also less likely to be annoyed with the use of ID scanners since this has been a staple of modern existence for the last few decades.

One might argue that money will be lost on transportation if the ID scans eventually do not match. However, there’s something you need to consider. Unlike online age verification software, an ID scanner is rarely wrong. So, if the details on the ID don’t match, it’s most probably because the ID is fake. Second, if the customers are made aware of the conditions of delivery beforehand, minors will be less inclined to make age-restricted purchases. After all, they will know that there is no possibility of escaping the age verification process during delivery.

Top E-Commerce Businesses That Need To Invest in Age Verification Machines

It’s not just alcohol or tobacco products that are age-restricted. In the online space, a huge bulk of products exist which should not be available to minors.

Online gambling and gaming sites should be strictly age-restricted since these services specifically target minors and keep leeching away money once the credit card details have been provided. In addition to age verification, these sites should always have a two-step authentication process and email or message alert system in place whenever a monetary transaction happens.

The adult entertainment industry is also one that needs age restrictions on several levels. Dating websites have proved to be proactive in identity verification along with age verification after several disastrous incidents of catfishing.

Apart from the usual contrabands, everything from drugs and weapons is also sold online. Teenagers mostly flock to these online businesses because they feel it’s easier to avoid verification in the digital space. However, this lands several legitimate businesses at risk. Even pharmaceutical companies should be aware of this trend because people often tend to stock up on medicines through online purchases where prescriptions and IDs are typically not put under scrutiny.

What Are the Consequences of Skipping Age Verification?

Leaving aside the fact that it is morally imperative to ensure that you’re not selling dangerous objects to teenagers, it is illegal. Several laws have been implemented to put the responsibility of a crime on the businesses that supply the weapons or liquor that fuelled the crime.

Bars are so proactive about checking IDs because of the severe dram shop laws in the US. If anything that you sell ends up causing harm to life and property, you can end up paying compensation, or even serving jail time for that crime even though you aren’t the direct perpetrator. As you can clearly understand, simply asking your customer whether they are 18 or checking their age from their social media profiles isn’t going to save you from this dire consequence.

This is exactly why all e-commerce businesses must step up their game and invest in age verification machines that can save them from lawsuits in the future.