Age Verification in the retail store

Products destined to adults only exist since the human race realized and concretized the difference in behavior between adults and underage persons. Back in Ancient Athens, adolescents were not allowed to enter the Market, neither the Court. And they became “adults” at the age of 18, under an oath!

This common understanding has been carried over to modern societies, with increased protection of the underage. We are all aware that underage may not smoke, drink alcohol, engage in risk-averse activities, etc. And the society – up to recently – put the responsibility to the caring adult to protect the underage.

With the rapid increase of the population, the clear identification of the individual (including the minor) was lost and – since then – it is difficult to assume that the child has the permission of the parent when trying to engage in any activity restricted to adults. The states reacted to that with laws putting the responsibility of the control to the ones delivering the products/services.

We are not surprised today when the teller in a retail shop asks for our identity card to sell alcohol or tobacco. But not all retail shops perform the checks required by law. And that exposes the children to the risks I mentioned above.

In a recent control race in the city of Chicago, at least 16 retailers were caught selling and marketing e-cigarettes to underage (https://news.wttw.com/2019/08/23/city-reaches-settlements-16-e-cigarette-retailers-selling-minors). Those retailers broke the law, but it might be they didn’t have the means to control the age of the buyer! Obviously, they preferred to sell than be strict, but if the process was simple and clear, they – most probably – wouldn’t even consider it. For me, it is similar to the anti-smoking laws all over the world; in states that the government is firm and strict everybody follows the rules without complains; in all other cases, smoking-addicts impose their rules.

At AGEify we believe at an easy to implement and follow rule that would make selling to underage almost impossible; the process is very simple, with minimal impact to the retailer and the ability of the controlling authorities to control even past transactions! Have a look at this short video we have prepared for you and let me know what you think.

September 30, 2019

This post is written by Kostas Flokos - CEO of Ageify

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