Facial Recognition Technology Helps Retailers Comply with FDA Regulations

Last year, the FDA impacted a $3.7 billion industry by ruling that vape pens and e-cigarettes won’t be available for sale to anyone under the age of 18 because they fall under the category of tobacco products. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in four teenagers use vaping products like e-cigarettes and vape pipes. The CDC’s survey found that 24% of high schoolers have used alternative tobacco products like vape pens, e-cigars, and e-hookah.

Vape shops and other retailers across the country have spent the past year figuring out how to verify the ages of customers who want to buy e-cigarettes and other related products, whether it’s online or in-person. Every retailer of the covered products must “verify by means of photographic identification containing the bearer’s date of birth that no person purchasing the product is younger than 18 years of age” and must do so for any customer under the age of 27. While verification is needed, retailers need to address how they collect PII scanned from customer driver’s licenses and identification and mind state regulations such as New Jersey’s.

On Premise Verification

Acuant allows for quick authentication of IDs by scanning an ID with any mobile device or desktop scanner to verify that it is valid. This allows untrained personnel to detect sophisticated fake IDs and avoid hefty fines. Results are given in seconds to avoid long customer transactions.

Remote Verification

Online retailers are a popular point of purchase for many e-cigarette users. Similar requirements apply to online sales of traditional tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. Acuant allows retailers who sell vaping products to capitalize on the e-commerce trend and move their businesses online through its Facial Recognition and Match (FRM) technology. Acuant FRMTM enables online retailers in the alcohol and vaping industry to comply with new FDA regulations, which require retailers to validate that customers are over the age of 18.

For customers, Acuant FRM is as easy as taking a selfie, which is then compared to extracted biometric data contained in a government issued ID, such as a driver’s license. Facial recognition technology matches the face biometrics of the selfie to the face image on the ID to authenticate that they match. In addition, Acuant FRM provides liveness detection to prevent criminals from using static images. This one-time verification during account set up ensures that not only does the face match, but that there is also a live person in front of the camera.

Failure to verify customer ages can lead to sizable fines and other enforcement actions. For retailers in regulated environments and shipping companies, this means they need a fraud-proof way to check that the identity document being presented is valid and matches the individual currently making a purchase and that do not store PII. Acuant provides multiple customer friendly options.

 

 

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Why Vape Shops Need to Embrace Modern ID Verification

The FDA ruled earlier this year that electronic smoking devices including vape pens and e-cigarettes fall under the category of “tobacco products,” which makes them unavailable to anyone who is under 18. This means vape shops and other retailers now need to verify the ages of customers who want to buy them. The new legislation went into effect August 8, 2016 and will no doubt hugely impact the $3.5 billion a year industry.

The new regulations are in place because the FDA has seen a significant increase in minors who are using electronic smoking devices over the past five years. Back in 2011, 1.5% of high schoolers were using e-cigarettes, but by 2016, that number jumped by 16%. With the new ID verification laws, electronic smoking devices will be harder for minors to access.

Sellers will now have to make sure customer ages are verified before they can purchase an electronic smoking device. When the age restrictions weren’t in place, merchants used to offer free samples to customers and electronic smoking devices were also available in vending machines. The new regulations prevent customers from buying electronic smoking devices without a verified photo ID. Retailers will have to ID customers who look younger than 27 and want to purchase an electronic smoking device.

Verifying IDs can be a difficult process for store clerks, especially if they are doing it by hand. Accuracy in ID verification is critical for retailers under this new regulation because if they fail to verify the ages of customers, they can be hit with huge fines.

Acuant offers a solution for retailers needing a fast, easy and reliable age verification. Whether in the vaping, alcohol, lottery or market, retailers can use Acuant’s ID card authentication solution to accurately verify customer identities and ages in seconds. Acuant’s AssureID solution automatically recognizes IDs from all 50 states, making it easy for retailers to implement across national locations. With immediate image processing and data intake, customers won’t have to wait in long lines while cashiers verify customer IDs. Instead of manually checking IDs, which can lead to inaccuracies, cashiers can use Acuant’s solutions to electronically verify ages with a scanner or mobile device. Acuant’s instant ID verification technology guarantees accuracy and speed, so retailers will be able to remain in compliance and transact with confidence.