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I Thought They were Old Enough to Buy

10/2020

Research conducted by We Card shows that employees who fail compliance checks often do so after they have asked for ID. Many employees look at the ID and then don’t do the age calculation properly and proceed with the sale. One of the reasons we hear is that:
 
 “I thought that they were old enough to buy”
 
This may happen even when examining an ID that shows the customer is under the legal age to purchase age restricted products.
 
Retail employees sometimes make the assumption that if an ID is provided, the customer is probably old enough to buy or there might not be an age calculation tool at hand to verify the correct age.
 
This is where new technologies, streamlined processes and ID scanning comes in, and it brings us to We Card’s Best Practice #8

Provide Employees with Age Verification Tools & Practice Using Them
 
We Card recommends that you adopt the age verification process that is right for you and reduce the chance of an age calculation error.
 
ID scanning technology is becoming more common and will likely become the standard when it comes to checking IDs and verifying a buyer’s age. Most ID scanners work with existing point-of-sale systems and can read the barcode on the back of a valid government issued ID which returns a result that allows you to verify a customer’s age.  
 
We know that newer age verification technology and scanners can help reduce employee “carding” errors. And we offer a new version of the We Card sign that tells customers a scanner is in use. 
 
Even with an assist from the latest technology, employees still need training to ensure a customer’s photo matches their ID and if something goes awry with scanning technology, be ready to manually “card” every customer under the age of 30 buying an age restricted product (or follow your store’s policy if you “card” all customers).

We encourage you to explore the options and find the right tools for your store and practice using the tools and technology including the old stand-by: calculating age manually with the job aid of a We Card Age-of-Purchase Calendar.
 
We Card has some excellent resources to help you ensure your store is properly equipped.
 
Find a scanner for your POS system
 
Explore Tools powered by We Card
 
Practice Calculating Age with Online Training
 
Post signs that let customers know you scan IDs
 
To check on your own best practices, take our survey or surf through more tools and training at wecard.org.

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