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Insight: new survey uncovers gap in ecommerce age checks

New research has shown that ecommerce professionals are concerned that they do not have adequate technology or processes in place to conduct effective age verification and identity checks online.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Insight: new survey uncovers gap in ecommerce age checks

New research has shown that ecommerce professionals are concerned that they do not have adequate technology or processes in place to conduct effective age verification and identity checks online.

The study by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which surveyed 200 senior ecommerce professionals responsible for e-retail activity, found that 78% are concerned about selling age restricted goods or services to minors online due to the age verification methods they currently have in place. These products include cigarettes, alcohol, knives and fireworks.

Some 61% of respondents said they use self-certification such as tick box or date of birth entry to check their customers’ age online despite this being susceptible to dishonest input. The percentage was higher among the respondents from larger ecommerce businesses at 79%. Only 30% of ecommerce businesses were found to use Know Your Customer checks via specialist credit check or identity check software.

Furthermore, 83% of ecommerce businesses said they felt they needed to conduct more comprehensive identity verification to mitigate identity fraud.

Steve Arnison, director at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said: “Retailers have contended with the challenges associated with selling age-restricted goods online for some time. Striking a balance between strong age verification checks that ensure they meet their legal obligations and protect their customers, whilst at the same time limiting friction to the shopping experience, is a priority for them.

“There is a widespread misconception that integrating robust identity verification technology will complicate the checkout process and make it more time-consuming for the consumer, however this is not the case. Today’s age verification software seamlessly integrates into a retailer’s ecommerce system so that checks are automated in real-time, with no need for the customer to input extensive personal information.”

 

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