New survey uncovers gap in ecommerce age checks exposing minors to inappropriate gaming, LexisNexis Risk Solutions today reveals
- 78% of ecommerce businesses including online gaming sites said that they are concerned about selling age restricted goods or services to minors;
- Over half (61%) of ecommerce businesses use self-certification to check their customers’ age online, which can be easily faked and result in dangerous products and services being delivered to underage consumers;
- 83% of retailers feel that they need to conduct more comprehensive identity verification to mitigate identity fraud.
More than 8 out of 10 ecommerce professionals, including online gaming businesses, are worried that they do not have adequate technology or processes in place to conduct effective age verification and identity checks online, according to new research released today by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
The research, which surveyed 200 senior ecommerce professionals, found that 78% of ecommerce businesses 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 and services include games that involve gambling or have been given an adult only rating due to explicit content, with the results suggesting opportunities for top eCommerce website builders to strengthen existing protection policies.
More than half (61%) of respondents said that they use self-certification (tick box/date of birth entry) to check their customers’ age online. This figure was higher among the respondents from larger* ecommerce businesses, where 79% said that they still use this method, which is susceptible to false entries. Despite the risks with self-certify age verification methods, only 30% of ecommerce businesses use Know Your Customer (KYC) checks via specialist credit check or identity check software.
More than 8 out of 10 (83%) ecommerce businesses feel that they need to conduct more comprehensive identity verification to mitigate identity fraud, which is a growing threat for consumers online. Recent statistics from Cifas, the not-for-profit organisation for financial crime, found that victims of identity fraud rose by 57% last year, with 86% of the identity fraud cases committed online.
Steve Arnison, Director, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said:
“Gaming companies have been dealing with the challenges associated with selling age-restricted services online for some time. Striking a balance between strong age verification checks that ensure they meet their legal obligations and protect their customers, while also limiting friction to the user experience, remains a top priority.
“Our survey has highlighted opportunities for ecommerce businesses to strengthen procedures for determining the age of their customers. Many are still using an out-dated self-certification tick box approach, which on the one hand is quick and simple for the consumer, but also wide-open to misuse.
“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 business’ ecommerce system so that checks are automated in real-time, with no need for the customer to input extensive personal information.
“As well as adding the protection for young people that society and government increasingly demand, improved identity verification brings businesses other benefits, not least of which is a better defence against fraud. Card-not-present fraud is a growing issue, so much so that it cost businesses £398.2m in 2015. With the right technology in place, online gaming and other e-commerce businesses will be able to gain a clearer view of who they are conducting business with, allowing them to proactively reduce the risk of identity fraud and underage sales.”