AgeChecked CEO and founder Alastair Graham discusses the importance of age verification as retail increasingly migrates online following the outbreak of Covid-19.


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In the age of the internet, it can be very difficult to determine the age of someone purchasing an item online.

Although we have ‘Challenge 25’ and other regulations protecting brick-and-mortar retail units on our high streets, there are few such protections online. More often than not, the only limitation is a simple check box that in reality does little to protect underage consumers buying prohibited items.

Why are age verification services needed?

The laws in the UK are very clear when it comes to selling items to underaged consumers. However, the internet removes some of the tools and regulations afforded to other retail units. While some try to navigate this by asking for ID at delivery, AgeChecked offers a secure system that can prevent these illegal underage transactions at the point of sale.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a massive retail migration online. Many companies have begun to sell their products online in a greater capacity than they might have previously. This includes the sale of items that would usually require some form of age check if purchasing in a shop. Despite this, there has been very little introduced in the way of effective age verification to ensure that underage consumers are not purchasing these products.

Trading standards have yet to catch up to this sale of online goods, but it is likely that they will come down on them as hard as they currently do in retail units. Companies that use age verification providers will be able to move ahead of these restrictions with a secure and trustworthy system in place that can adapt as new regulations are introduced.

It is important to remember that age verifications are not always a straight pass or fail. Part of our service is to offer several methods that customers can use to verify their age. This can be used to forge more positive interactions with the customer and can lead to a higher pass rate than you might see from other simpler processes.

This means that you can use our services to gather not just individual sales but the opportunity to also foster longer relationships with your customers – turning them from one-time buyers into repeat ones.

How cost-effective is this for smaller businesses?

Smaller businesses need to have these regulations in place and need to be held to the same standards as the larger corporations. There is actually a greater risk for smaller businesses, as they might not be able to risk a clamp-down from governing bodies.

AgeChecked on Screen

Source: AgeChecked

Therefore, AgeChecked is able to offer competitive solutions to fit the needs and budgets of these smaller businesses.

Our aim is to deliver a low cost but high-quality solution that will always allow an SME to maintain compliance. We do not charge any set-up fees, so our clients are able to start working with us immediately and we do not charge for repeat customers. Once they have been verified by the system, repeated checks will not be charged for a returning company, leading to huge cost savings for the retailer. 

How do I protect my business from Trading Standards?

One of our biggest selling points is that AgeChecked has established a Coordinated Partnership with a Trading Standards Primary Authority. Any licensing authorities will know that our clients are complying with the latest laws surrounding age verification. Inspection and enforcement action will be moved from these licensing authorities to our Primary Authority. 

If you want to introduce age verification to your business, you should get in contact with AgeChecked today.