Age Verification UX Review

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The UK Gambling industry is currently on a significant drive to strengthen its responsible gambling standards to protect its customers. There’s also a huge pressure from the government and the public to tackle problem gambling. This includes setting up more preventative measures to limit gambling activities for certain customers and manage problem gambling behaviour.

One of the latest changes took place in May 2019, affecting the age and identity verification process on online gambling products. The UK Gambling Commission set out new rules that require operators to verify the name, address and date of birth before they can deposit, play a game or place a bet. Any previously registered customers might also need to submit documents in line with this regulation if they hadn’t passed automatic checks prior to this.

Whereas before, customers had a 72-hour window to prove their identity while having full access to gaming services and deposits. This change is in line with addressing problem behaviour, ensuring that only verified customers over 18 have access to these products, as well as reducing fraud and anti-money laundering.

Challenging the customer journey

Operators use third party APIs to verify customer details. Pass rates vary, but on our estimation, it’s in the region of 75-90%. For the customers who pass, the user journey will not change, but for someone who fails under the new regulation, the onboarding process will be different.

The new KYC rules have had an impact on the user experience of signing up for those that do not pass automatically (generally through a third-party identity check). Operators have had to add extra signposting about personal data to the registration. Extra verification steps have been added for customers to upload their identity documents before they are allowed to access the operator’s services.

Ideally, this journey needs to be as quick and as clear as possible without delaying,  confusing or scaring off the customer. As every operator will have slightly different processes, depending on their verification providers, the journey might not be the same for every product.

Here are the best practices to consider for the user journey of those customers that don’t pass the automatic verification:

  • The customer is informed about the necessary verification steps at the start of the registration and existing customers are notified via their preferred marketing channels or upon login
  • The customer is instantly notified of the required documents the operator needs and is given clear instructions on how to submit them (e.g. an email or a message within the registration process)
  • The process of verification is straightforward, easy to go through, offers clear instructions and information on how to get in touch with the operator if the customer needs further assistance
  • If the customer passes, they are promptly notified and taken to their account
  • If more information is required, the customer is given further instructions on how to proceed

One of the more difficult aspects is getting customers to submit their proof of address, as many now tend to receive digital utility bills and bank statements, and may not have any physical copies at hand. It may take a few days for them to find one (and remember to do it), so operators also need to think about sending reminders to avoid drop offs.

These changes certainly can add to higher acquisition drop offs and costs. There’s an opportunity for increased retention for operators with a good product, as not all customers will want to share their documents with multiple brands or go through this process again.

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The review process

In this review, we examine how leading UK operators have approached the new age verification rules and what their onboarding process is like.

In our test case, our customer, Alex, wanted to register to place a bet on Love Island contestants, but didn’t have an account with any of the reviewed operators. Alex also had recently moved. Alex didn’t know anything about the verification requirements and didn’t expect to be asked for any documents at the time of registering.

We deliberately entered a wrong date of birth (off by a year) to make sure the customer didn’t pass the automatic checks to review the verification. Getting the date of birth wrong is a very common error many customers make, and it can easily change their experience with an operator whether it happens by accident or they do it on purpose. Sometimes, if the customer has only recently moved to their current address, they might be asked to verify their identity as well, as they could still be registered at a different address.
 
All reviews were done in July 2019 on iPhone X, using operators’ iOS apps. We reviewed the following areas within the registration process:

  • Informing the customer about verification, including the tone of voice and information provided about the verification procedure
  • Providing instructions on how to upload documents
  • How simple or automated the verification process is
  • What the customer can access while they are being verified

All reviews are based on customers that don’t pass automatic checks and need to upload their identity documents to verify their account.

Reviews

bet365

bet365 age verification

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register and that further verification may be required.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and are reminded about verifying their account.
  • Customers can still access their account, but are unable to make a deposit or place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified).

Cons

  • The tone of voice in the verification message is quite formal and ‘Your identity must be verified’ might come across quite daunting to some customers. This could be changed to sound friendlier and more approachable. bet365 verification message
  • There’s a link to the Age Verification Policy, but it opens in a small pop-up with very little information.
  • Verification takes place right after the registration, but the customer doesn’t see any clear messages about uploading documents. There is too much clicking around the site to get to the right page. The customer needs to go to Deposit where the verification button appears, but it’s not obvious straight away. It can also be found within My Account>Members>My Account>Know Your Customer, but this isn’t clear at all and the customer might not know what KYC means, as it’s only an industry term. The customer can then upload documents to verify themselves, but this step could be highlighted more to help complete it quicker.
  • The verification page is very text heavy and hard to scan. The tone isn’t very friendly and feels cold. It needs to be broken into shorter paragraphs to explain this process clearly, as well as have a more personable tone.
  • While uploading an ID, the customer is given confirmation upon success, but the next step takes them back to the initial verification page where this step isn’t marked as done and no clear CTA for the next step.
  • After the second document is uploaded, the first document (ID) is still shown as not done (or an option to upload), so the customer might do it again, even if they’d already done it. However, this changes its status to ‘under review’.
  • After uploading documents, there’s no clear CTA or message about what to do next while the account is being verified. The customer is sent an email about it with further instructions, however they might not see it while they’re in the app.

Recommendations

  • Soften the tone of voice when explaining the requirement for verification to reassure customers and not scare them away.
  • Provide a clear explanation of the process but don’t overcomplicate it either, as it could put them off signing up.
  • Clearly show that customers need to verify themselves and where they can do it (e.g. banner at the top or a button within the account).
  • When explaining the rules around verification, make sure they are easy to read and have a friendly tone.
  • Add more graphics or shorter paragraphs to explain the rules for verification so customers could read them easily.
  • Make the steps to verify the account more concise and easier to follow, with less clicking around or looking for the next step.
  • At the end, let the customer know within the app as well as via email if their account is verified or is under review. It would be useful to add a CTA how to proceed at this stage to help direct customers to the right action.

Betfair and Paddy Power

Because Betfair and Paddy Power use the same registration form, their verification process is virtually the same. We have placed them together, but have highlighted any differences separately.

betfair and paddy power verification

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register and that further verification may be required.
  • The tone of voice in the verification message is friendly and explains why it might happen. This is reassuring to the customer.betfair verification message
  • The customer instantly receives a message and an email upon registration that they need to verify their identity.
  • Customers can upload documents after the registration.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and are reminded about verifying their account.
  • Customers can still access their account, but are unable to make a deposit or place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified).

Paddy Power

  • The verification page provides confirmations at every step and informs the customer of the next one.

Cons

  • There’s a link to the Age Verification Policy, but it opens in a small pop-up with very little information. The email that customers receive offers a better explanation and how to upload documents. However, customers may not receive or see this email until later so there might be a confusion around this process while they’re on the site, especially if they don’t expect to provide any documents. There could be a better message explaining the new verification policy, prompting customers to verify.
  • Verification takes place right after the registration. It happens so quickly that customers might miss it or not read the entire message. It might be worth shortening the message or keeping it on for longer.
  • While trying to place a bet while unverified, the betslip appears to be loading, but not letting to place a bet. Instead of this, there could be a message that explains why bets aren’t available and prompt the customer to verify.

Betfair

  • The deposit button appears as a page to return to and as an action upon return to the app (Quick Deposit) even though the customer can’t do it. This shouldn’t be an option and customers should be prevented from accessing the deposit section completely.
  • After clicking around the website, the account can get suspended and it might take extra time to recover.
  • After uploading an ID and returning to the initial verification page, it still shows as if the ID hadn’t been uploaded. There should be a confirmation that it’s done. Proof of address is the next step, but it disappears if the customer clicks away from this page and is hard to get back to it.

Recommendations

  • Provide a clear explanation of the process but don’t overcomplicate it either, as it could put them off signing up.
  • Give customers enough time to read through the verification rules even if it happens quicker on screen.

Betfair

  • Don’t show that depositing is an option while customers are unverified.
  • Don’t suspend the account while customers are trying to understand what services are available to them while they are unverified. Provide clear instructions for completing the registration.
  • Streamline the verification steps and offer a clear journey to uploading everything, highlighting next steps and showing confirmation of what’s already done.

BetVictor

age verification betvictor

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register.
  • The tone of voice of the verification message is friendly and doesn’t sound alarming to customers.betvictor verification message
  • The customer instantly receives a message and an email upon registration that they need to verify their identity.
  • Customers can upload documents after the registration, and the process is very quick and easy.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and their account. There’s also a verification message at the top of the home page to remind them about it which is useful.
  • Customers can still access their account, but are unable to make a deposit or place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified).

Cons

  • There is no message about possible verification at the registration stage, but there are hints to use correct details, e.g. no middle name required. It would be better if they were also warned that they might need to be verified at this stage.
  • Customers are allowed to register as usual and the verification message pops up only after a while. Customers instantly receive a welcome email and another one about the verification, however, the pop up message contains more information about verification than the email.
  • The verification message only appears on the home page, but it doesn’t say anywhere else that customers aren’t verified.
  • The verification takes place after registration, but customers aren’t informed when they pass and can proceed to Account straight away. It would be better to show them a message that the verification is successful.
  • The sportsbook allows customers to go to the deposit page and enter bank details as if they can then complete this step and place a bet. However, when they try to pay, this action is blocked and the customer is reminded that they’re not verified. The customer shouldn’t be allowed to the deposit page until they are verified.
  • When uploading an ID, the page disappears and the customer is unable to proceed. However, this works for proof of address. This should be fixed to help the customer verify efficiently.

Recommendations

  • Provide a clear explanation of the process but don’t overcomplicate it either, as it could put them off signing up.
  • Give customers enough time to read through the verification rules even if it happens quicker on screen.
  • Don’t show that deposit page is an option while customers are unverified.
  • Similarly, show that customers can’t place bets until they verify so they are clear.
  • Don’t suspend the account while customers are trying to understand what services are available to them while they are unverified. Provide clear instructions for completing the registration.
  • Streamline the verification process to help customers upload their documents, providing clear guidance and customer journey.

Betway

betway age verification

Pros

  • The customer instantly receives an email upon registration that they need to verify their identity.
  • Customers can access the Verification Policy from the registration.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and are reminded about verifying their account.
  • Customers can still access their account, but are unable to make a deposit or place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified). However, this reminder takes the customer to a browser where they need to log in again.

Cons

  • On the home page, there’s a banner that tells the customer to verify their account, but there’s no other information or explanation given. Clicking it opens a new window and asks the customer to log in. This doesn’t make sense to be here for this step and there should be more information about the KYC rules instead. It also takes the customer away from the app/home page. It won’t make any sense to customers until they are asked to verify, which could only be about 10% of the customers.
  • The registration page doesn’t clearly state the customer needs to be over 18. There is a tick box they need to tick which confirms the customer is ‘..of legal age to gamble…’ but it could be easily missed. Perhaps showing an 18 icon next to the date of birth would make it clearer.
  • The email the customer receives upon registration offers limited information about verification and how to proceed. This could be more informative.
    There is no message about possible verification at the registration stage. It would be better if the customer was warned that they might need to be verified.
  • Once the customer completes the registration, there’s no obvious message about verification apart from the home page - there’s a small banner at the top reminding to verify. However, there’s no information about how to do it. The registration process itself doesn’t inform the customer about verification.
  • Wherever the customer clicks to try to verify, they are taken to a Responsible Gambling page but it doesn’t inform about how to verify the account. This is bad UX and it could lead to drop offs as customers are unable to verify.
  • The verification email customers receive takes them to a ‘welcome’ landing page, however, it doesn’t help them verify the account.
  • The entire verification journey isn’t clear and takes customers away from the registration too many times. It would be better to provide a clear path and plenty of information to help them.
  • When the customer uploads their ID, the page doesn’t offer a clear explanation of what happens next - there’s a lot of text but no clear direction. It would be useful to provide some guidance. The customer is also told that the operator will be in touch about their status, however, they don’t say how long it takes.
  • After providing documents and returning to the app, the verify banner is still there and takes the user to the browser. This shouldn’t be there after the customer has provided documents.

Recommendations

  • Streamline the entire customer journey from registration to verification by providing a clear guidance, plenty of information and confirmations upon completion. All pages within this journey need to inform the customer without taking them away from the main action (registration/verification).
  • Place reminders on the app (e.g. as banners or pop ups) to verify.
  • Provide more information about verification in the registration.
  • Ensure customers are aware they need to be over 18 to register, e.g. by placing a relevant icon next to the date of birth.

Coral

coral age verification

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register and that further verification may be required.
  • The tone of voice is informative, but not too strict, and they explain the verification requirement clearly.coral verification message
  • The customer instantly receives a message and an email upon registration that they need to verify their identity. If the customer fails to verify within a few days, they are sent an email that their account is suspended and they need to verify it.
  • Live chat is available from the verification page, so customers could speak to an agent if they need more information.
  • Customers can verify upon completing the registration - they are notified that they need to provide their documents.
  • Customers can upload documents after the registration, and the process is very quick and easy.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and are reminded about verifying their account.
  • Customers can still access their account, but are unable to make a deposit or place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified).

Cons

  • Customers can access the Verification Policy from the registration, however, the link is missing from the first step where it’s initially mentioned. It appears working in the last step.
  • The verification policy opens in a browser. It offers lots of information, but it could be broken down better so customers could scan it easily. For example, the list of required documents is placed as a big paragraph and it could be done with bullet points.
  • There needs to be a CTA after the customer has uploaded their documents to help them move along this journey.

Recommendations

  • Provide a clear explanation of the process in the Verification Policy that customers can access without leaving the page to make this journey more efficient.
  • Don’t suspend the account while customers are trying to understand what services are available to them while they are unverified. Provide clear instructions for completing the registration.
  • Add a CTA after uploading documents to help customers complete the verification process.

Ladbrokes

ladbrokes age verification

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register and that further verification may be required.
  • The customer instantly receives a message upon registration that they need to verify their identity.
  • Customers can upload documents after the registration, and the process is very quick and easy. They can even update the date of birth if they get it wrong the first time, which can happen quite often. They’re also told how long the review process will take.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and are reminded about verifying their account.
  • Customers can’t access their account, make a deposit or place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified).

Cons

  • The customer receives a welcome email after the registration that invites them to start betting, however, there’s no mention of verification which would be useful.
  • There is a link to the Verification Policy only at the end of the registration, which opens in a new window and takes the customer away from the app. It’s very content heavy and hard to scan, so some might not read it at all.
  • Customers are asked to enter their details like in their ID, but there’s no mention of verification until the last step (link to the Verification Policy). This could be made clearer from the beginning.

Recommendations

  • Provide a clear explanation of the process within the app and in the email to make sure they understand it and can easily return to it if they can’t verify themselves at the time.
  • Sending welcome emails might be misleading if customers receive them before they’re verified, as they are unable to access all the services.
  • Provide a clear information about verification at the start of the registration.

Sky Bet

sky bet age verification

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register and that further verification may be required.
  • Sky Bet explain the requirement for verification early on in the registration and make it clear why it might happen. sky bet verification message
  • The customer instantly receives a message and an email upon registration that they need to verify their identity.
  • Once customers find where they can verify after the registration, they can swiftly upload their documents.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and it keeps reminding them to verify their account.
  • Customers have access to their account before verification but with limited services.
  • Customers can’t place a bet until they are verified.
  • The customer is reminded about verification upon return to the app (before they are verified).
  • The information about verification is broken down and is easily read. However, once one document is uploaded, it’s not clear what to do next as there are too many options to choose from and this step is confusing.

Cons

  • There is no message about verification after the registration. The app allows to enter card details in full to deposit before it alerts the customer about verification (and doesn’t let them deposit). This is an unnecessary step as it wastes their time and they can’t make a deposit anyway.
  • There is some information during the registration, but customers aren’t told when they need to verify their account. Verify Your Account button and some further information only appears after a while once the customer returns to the account, but it could be done earlier.
  • The sportsbook allows customers to go to the deposit page and enter bank details as if they can then complete this step and place a bet. However, when they try to pay, this action is blocked and the customer is reminded that they’re not verified. The customer shouldn’t be allowed to the deposit page until they are verified.
  • Upon login, the customer is asked to enter card details while they’re still unverified. This shouldn’t be happening at all at this stage as they can’t make any deposits until they’re verified. It’s an unnecessary step and wastes time.
  • When pressing the Verify button in the Account, the customer is shown promotions and is also taken to a browser outside of the app. The customer is also sent emails about card details and betting which shouldn’t be happening until they are verified.

Recommendation

  • Offer a clear guidance on how to verify after the registration without having to look for it.
  • Don’t allow customers to enter their bank details for depositing or show promotions before they are verified.
  • Offer a clearer guidance around which documents should be uploaded, instead of giving such a big choice, if only two are initially required.

Unibet

unibet age verification

Pros

  • Customers are warned they need to be over 18 to register and that further verification may be required.
  • The customer instantly receives a message and an email upon registration that they need to verify their identity.
  • Once customers find where they can verify after the registration, they can swiftly upload their documents.
  • Customers can access the sportsbook content as in a logged out mode and are reminded about verifying their account.
  • Customers have access to their account before verification but with limited services.
  • Customers can’t place a bet until they are verified.
  • Great tip to let customers know which document is best to upload, e.g. Driving licence - quickest option.

Cons

  • There is little information about the verification process and customers may be confused if they don’t expect it.
  • Verification happens after the registration, but there are quite a few errors with pop ups saying ‘Technical Error’ and the entire process has various usability obstacles. Messages like ‘Oops, you need to verify’ show up in quite a lot of places, but don’t offer any guidance and help to proceed.
  • The verification process isn’t simple and many customers could struggle with it or not spend too much time on it.
  • There are numerous ‘technical errors’ when trying to access the account, place a bet or deposit while unverified which is confusing and unclear why it’s happening.
  • Upon login, the customer is shown the same error screen and a banner which asks them to verify, however, it doesn’t work as a link.
  • Within the verification page, proof of ID and address are links, but they don’t look active and customers may not see this straight away.
  • While verifying, the steps could be split (e.g. Ladbrokes or Paddy Power) to show a clearer process and what is happening.
  • When clicking away from the verification page after uploading documents, errors and verify banners still appear and the customer can’t access any other services.

Recommendations

  • Mention that verification may be required at the start of the registration so customers are aware of it.
  • Offer a clear guidance on how to verify after the registration without having to look for it.
  • Highlight all the steps and active links the customer needs to click on to verify themselves.
  • Eliminate any errors and check that the customer journey helps them progress through the journey.
  • If customers aren’t allowed to access the account, deposit or betting services, they need to be informed of this and provided guidance how to resolve this.
  • Break down the verification steps into smaller bits to help customers read them easily and break up the process.
  • Even if customers aren’t allowed to access any services until they are verified, don’t show this as errors or make the user experience difficult - clear messages and guidance will help them understand this better.

To see a detailed comparison of the operators' age verification features and how they scored, please enter your details below.


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