How Online Merchants Can Safely Verify Consumer Identities
As the e-commerce industry grows rapidly, the need for more secure and reliable identity verification processes is more and more urgent. Much like convenience stores are equipped with proper photo ID scanning technology to validate IDs, online merchants also need the right tools to verify consumer identities as more age-restricted products become available online.
One major challenge that the e-commerce industry faces is a lack of digital-first identity verification methods. With e-commerce becoming a larger channel for tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and other controlled substances and services, how can online merchants in regulated markets continue to verify consumer identities without compromising sales or the customer experience?
Consumers need consistent and low-friction experiences
Online merchants often face high rates of cart abandonment, which is more likely to happen if the prospective buyer doesn’t trust the retailer or if the process to verify their identity is high in friction. To improve the customer experience, a low-friction, trustworthy process needs to be established. But unlike purchases for non-controlled substances, leniency and inconsistent data are unacceptable – merchants need a bulletproof method to verify consumer identities and ages per government regulations.
Response times are crucial and can be the deciding factor of whether a consumer abandons their shopping cart or onboarding experience. Restricted industries are seeing more success with data-based verification methods, because they involve less friction than document validation methods, such as requiring a consumer to upload a picture of their government-issued ID card.
Growing acceptance of age verification technology enables growth
Last year, people were still catching on to the idea of digital age verification. Now, not only are companies starting to understand the benefits of it, but they also realize that it’s essential as the pandemic drives digitization. Changing government guidelines also spurred the expansion of digital age verification solutions. The federal minimum age to purchase tobacco products was raised from 18 to 21 in 2019, and the FDA provided retailers with a proper blueprint to set up their businesses to sustain sales.
See how this global identity verification platform streamlined identity verification with automated utility bill access
Online merchants understand that their businesses’ success heavily depends on their ability to verify consumer identities and ages, ensuring that sales to minors are blocked. The growth of online sales across all industries is also being driven by COVID-19, resulting in e-commerce becoming an even more attractive channel for fast-growing markets like vaping devices, CBD products, and legal cannabis.
Digital access to utility bills satisfies compliance and consumer expectations
Due to the nature in which online gambling money is paid out, online casinos typically require that customers submit certain documents to verify identity, age, and address. During the onboarding process, casinos will often require copies of the customer’s driver’s license/ID, passport, utility bill, or bank statement. To simplify onboarding and improve the customer experience, verification technology that enables a direct connection to utility service providers can streamline the process.
Companies like Hello Soda offer online identity verification that supports various high-risk industries, including banking, payments, and online gambling. For example, utility bills help satisfy KYC compliance requirements and any identity verification needed before a gambling cash payout. To better meet merchants’ needs, Hello Soda incorporated automated access to utility bill data as a digital alternative to document collection, a solution that their Head of Strategy, Pamela McLoughlin, says has been effective for fraud prevention.
“Counterfeit utility bills are the easiest for fraudsters to make because they are paper. The fact that we’re going directly to the provider and pulling back the bill means there is no room for digital tampering…quite important from a fraud prevention perspective.”
Verify consumer identities with direct access to utility bills
Digital age verification is becoming increasingly critical as we continue to shift to digital processes. With more age-restricted products and services purchased online, merchants need a foolproof solution. Automated and direct access to utility bills provides a streamlined solution for online merchants to securely verify age and identity without compromising the customer experience.
To learn how to integrate automated utility bill access into your identity verification solutions, set up some time to speak with one of our experts today.
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About Ma-Keba Frye
Ma-Keba Frye is a Content Marketing Associate at Urjanet, assisting with content development and execution. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and volunteering.