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The online gaming industry is booming since the last few years. Due to the pandemic, the trend for online gaming has rapidly increased. According to Statista, the revenue in the online games segment of the gaming and gambling market was expected to reach USD 18,219 million this year. By the year 2025, the revenue is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 0.9 per cent with a projected market volume of USD 19,047 million. The market is growing rapidly but it is attracting minors, which is not a good news for the industry. The extensive use of the internet is encouraging young ones to gamble which is raising concerns for parents as well as the gaming sector.
The internet has opened gates to the dark web for minors, which is raising concerns among regulatory authorities. The pleasure of staying anonymous on online gaming platforms is not healthy for kids. You never know when a fraudster gets in touch with them and your gaming platform is used for illegal activities. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to perform online age verification checks to protect minors. Minors can easily dodge the manual age verification checks where platforms ask for date of birth only. Entering false dates is not a big deal for kids these days; therefore, there is a dire need for verifying age online. There are several ways how online age verification can secure online gaming platforms. Read this blog to find out the top five ways.
What is Online Age Verification?
Online age verification refers to the verification of age and identity of individuals before buying certain age-restricted products. Online businesses that sell age-restricted products like alcohol or online gaming platforms are ethically as well as legally obligated to perform robust age verification checks to protect minors from accessing products or services.
Corporate Social Responsibility
All organisations have some responsibility toward the community and other stakeholders of the company. Being an entity in the online gaming industry, your responsibility is to prevent minor onboarding and protect them as much as possible. Performing simple checks that can be easily dodged with false information will not contribute to CSR in the modern world. You need better solutions and online age verification is one of the ways of achieving the goal.
Better Compliance with Identity Verification Laws
Identity verification regulations from the authorities have become more stringent over time, especially for the businesses operating online. Along with FATF recommendations, there are several regional regulations like the UK Gambling Commission and COPPA and compliance with these laws is not easy for the online gaming industry. Online age verification can make it convenient for the gaming platforms to fulfill age verification requirements.
Synthetic identity fraud has increased in this sector with the passage of time. Minors use fake identities to complete the registration process whereas fraudsters use forged identities to harm underage players on the platform. Apart from different types of identity fraud, chargebacks are another problem for the gaming sites. With the help of online age verification checks, these platforms can prevent fraudulent activities.
Prevent Minor Exploitation
On an online gaming platform, you never know who is on the other side. Maybe a fraudster gets in touch with minors and uses them for illegal activities. Without online age verification, minors can get access to the site and exploiting them will be easier.
Improve Brand Image
Apart from all the challenges that an online gaming platform faces, maintaining a credible brand image is the biggest one. Online identity and age verification checks ensure credibility of the platform and builds trust among other players. You can improve the brand image.
How to Perform Online Age Verification Checks?
Performing age verification checks is a legal obligation and the online gaming industry has many options to make the process more secure. Let’s take a look at how online age verification is performed.
Checkboxes – The Standard Method
The traditional method for age verification that every company now uses is checkboxes. The registration form includes a section where all individuals have to check a box that says “I’m 18.” Some platforms also ask for the date of birth of individuals to ensure legal age during onboarding. This is a self-verification method widely used in the US. However, these checks are not effective anymore. Minors can provide false dates of births and checking the box is not a problem for anyone either. There is a need for better age verification checks.
Credit/Debit Card Authentication
Using credit or debit card information for verification is a better choice, especially in the gaming industry. Card authentication will inform the cardholder about all activities. In case a minor is using it for registration, parents can take necessary steps in protecting kids. On the other hand, invalid card authentication will result in chargebacks. Parents will claim reversals for any transactions made on their credit-debit cards. Moreover, minors can also use fake cards for completing the process. Your online gaming platforms will require a better solution to tackle chargebacks as well.
So far, liveness detection is one of the most feasible options to verify age online. Whenever you onboard a player, perform liveness checks to detect spoof attacks and identify minors on time. Employing 3D depth perception, liveness detection, and skin texture analysis will help you ensure that fraudsters and kids stay away from the platform. Age verification with biometric checks ensures that authentic players are physically present on the other end and are of the legal age.
The use of the internet has exposed minors to dodge age verification checks and gamble online. This is not only a health hazard, but also a question on the ethical and social responsibilities of gaming platforms. Minors can easily dodge standard age verification checks on any online platform. The anonymity on gaming platforms is enticing, making it difficult for the gaming industry to stop them.
With the help of advanced technology, businesses can employ online age verification checks to ensure safety of minors. Shufti Pro’s online age verification is one way of protecting minors. We employ various AI algorithms to perform liveness checks and verify age within 30 seconds.
Learn more about age verification checks from our experts.