According to reports, USD 360,000 was the financial loss incurred by travel scams in 2019. The number of online booking and reservations has risen during the previous decade. This also puts criminals on alert. They readily fill up space wherever there is a significant room to scam people. The online travel and tourism industry is one of these spaces. However, our topic of conversation today is not the hardcore and professional criminals but mischievous minors. Many travel websites deal with minors booking tickets using their parents’ information.
What is Age Verification?
Age verification is a process that is increasingly becoming crucial for online businesses. Here, the customer’s age is verified before onboarding them as legitimate users. Moreover, the process of verifying age is done by the utility of official government-issued documents. Online businesses employ varying natures of age verification mechanisms. For example, “Are you 18+” is the most common practice being adopted for age verification.
How Age Verification is Related to the Travel & Tourism Industry?
In this industry, more often than not, reservations and bookings are made ahead of time. Most of the time, a business website in the travel and tourism industry is resorted to while making a booking. Therefore, the business is not physically in contact with the end-user. As a consequence, they cannot verify the identity information of that person properly. If a business deals only with users above a certain age, then they have to verify the age of users before they make a booking or a reservation.
Are Traditional Processes Any Effective?
Traditional age verification processes rely on the user’s discretion by asking them to provide their age. Surely, if someone is looking to access age-restricted content, then by hook or crook they will. Children lie all the time to get what they want. And this is not a novel practice either when it comes to their presence in the online travel and tourism space. If a hotel does not allow people below a certain age to separately conduct business with them, then they will definitely not like it when a minor shows up on their doorstep claiming that they have made a legitimate reservation with your organization.
Age and ID Verification: The Correlation
Scammers try to get old-age benefits related to the travel and tourism industry. This adds to the wide variety of travel industry scams that businesses are already dealing with. Moreover, the businesses have to adhere to certain age restriction laws while conducting their operation in the online space. So, when they are faced with travel industry scams emanating from the failure to correctly capture the age of users, then they also face potential penalties from regulators. Furthermore, identity fraud is a major issue for the travel industry and businesses cannot afford to let in someone other than the actual user. For this reason, age verification should be a part of a greater ID verification program.
How Can Digital Age Verification Solutions Help?
The digital age verification solution often comes as a package incorporated in identity verification solutions. These solutions provide AML and KYC services along with ensuring the compliance of businesses with other regulatory measures like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Moreover, different countries have different rules regarding the age of consent and access. Therefore, these solutions are equipped with the right tools to provide online age verification services to businesses and impede travel scams.
The Final Verdict
The travel industry is exposed to various kinds of low and high-profile crimes. Few of the travel frauds are of sensitive nature that can only be quelled by employing an ID verification solution that provides the service of age verification. Businesses can reap the rewards of this service regarding organizational growth, customer retention, and regulatory compliance. Hence, businesses can be sure of the verified age of the user, and from any minor illegally getting access to their system. On the other side, parents and in general the society can rest easy knowing the children are safe, and away from early access to the adult world.
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