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Point Of Sale Adult Age Verification System

Apr 8, 2008
Retail point of sale (POS) applications constantly battle adult age verification. The sale of alcohol and tobacco in the United States requires a merchant to verify the age of the customer. A successful verification of a consumer's age and identity results in a sale for the retail venue. A failure to catch an underage person attempting to purchase an age-sensitive product can result is severe consequences to the retailer including fines and licensing limitations placed on the retailer to sell age-sensitive products.

State-issued ID's have become more tamper-resistant over the last decade. States have sought enhanced security features on ID's such as bar codes and holograms to help deter the creation of fraudulent ID's. States have also increased fines and penalties to those convicted of using a fraudulent ID.

The measurements taken by the states are helpful to retailers. At the same time, the law has remained intact to place the burden of verification on the POS merchant and failure to comply results in stiff penalties.

Adult Age Verification Services as a Retail POS Solution:

Adult age verification services can help retailers mitigate the risk a fraudulent ID is successfully used in the purchase of an age-restricted product. Retail merchants turn to adult age verification services to provide additional checks to verify the identity is valid and the age that exists with the identity is accurate. Services covered in this additional age verification check confirm:

- The ZIP Code matches the state.
- The last name matches the address.
- The Social Security number matches the first and last name.
- The Social Security number issue date is within a valid date range.
- The Social Security number is not listed as deceased.
- The Social Security number exists.
- The subject meets your age requirement.

Benefits of Identity Validation and Age Verification:

Speed and accuracy are essential to age-restricted products sold by retail merchants. The front line employee at the retail venue is the first defense. To comply with state laws the employee must quickly verify that the ID presented is valid, belongs to the person standing in front of them and meets age restriction requirements.

Identity Authentication of a Person:

A comprehensive identity authentication service will capture the information from a photo ID and enable verification of the information contained on the photo ID. An example of an identity authentication and age verification service is TrueID from ChoicePoint.

An emerging identity authentication option is the ability to link the photo ID information to a biometric fingerprint. These applications extend beyond the retail POS setting, and Biometric Fingerprint images are stored and available for prosecution by law enforcement.

The Importance of Customer Service:

It is important to ensure your customer realizes your security measures are in the best interest of the retail merchant and the consumer. By taking extra security measures in identifying your customer you are also providing your customer with an additional service by mitigating the risk of identity fraud in the transaction. As a best practice, be polite and friendly when verifying your customer's identity and you'll your customers appreciate these extra measures to protect their identity.
About the Author
Michelle Thiel is an advocate for the information industry with an interest in identity fraud, adult age verification, fingerprint biometrics, fingerprint verification and biometric verification.
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