ImpulsePay has launched an age verification service for online content. Using their mobile phone to pay for the content, similar to SMS billing, the purchaser has their age verified by the operator and is blocked from the purchase if they are not old enough.
Using ImpulsePay’s service, the content owner can be sure that any content that is targeted at over-18s won’t be accessed by people too young to view it.
To use the service, the content owner inserts an ImpulsePay 'Buy Now' button on their site. After clicking on the button, the buyer enters their mobile phone number and is sent a secure PIN by SMS. The PIN is then entered online and the operator checks that the user's handset is registered to someone aged 18 or over. If the user is not registered as over-18, they are sent to a help page. If the user is registered as over-18, the transaction is completed and the website updates automatically and redirects to the content.
ImpulsePay says the age verification service will create opportunities for a variety of new online content and services to be provided. It believes the service will appeal to gaming and other betting sites as, like SMS billing, the service is simple and easy to use and available to anyone with a mobile phone. However, the new age verification service will also allow certain films, games and music content to be safely sold, as well as other, more traditional 18+ content.
Previously, credit card payment was the main way that a content owner could ensure proof of age. However, not everyone has a credit card and even for those that do, ImpulsePay says its own research shows that using a mobile phone to pay for content is seven and half (7.5) times quicker than a credit card, requiring only 16 keystrokes, compared to 120 for a credit card.
“Our service, which combines the benefits of Payforit and SMS billing, has proven to be really popular with a wide variety of content owners and website users,” says ImpulsePay CEO, Chris Newell. “What we’re doing now is opening it up to all content providers. The age-verification service will allow content owners offering certain film or music clips, or games that are 18+ rated, as well as the betting and gaming sites, to accept mobile payments for their content or service.”
ImpulsePay’s service is based on Payforit – the payment service supported by all licensed UK mobile operators. Using Payforit, ImpulsePay collects payment directly from the user’s mobile phone bill, or available credit if on pay as you go, meaning that anyone with a mobile phone can buy content, make a donation or pay for a mobile application on their phone or online. Payforit works on any handset in the UK and across all networks. When accessed on mobile websites, users make a purchase in just one click, with no additional information that needs to be entered. Payforit allows simple hyperlinks to the payments page and once the transaction is complete, it returns the user to the relevant page to receive their content.