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Multi-Factor Customer Verification for Nationally Known Vape Brand

August 13, 2019 | |

Business owners everywhere can agree that e-commerce is changing the retail landscape in previously unforeseen ways, including those of highly regulated industries such as vaping, alcohol, and CBD or other hemp-based products. In order to accommodate the special nature of these regulated products, IntuitSolutions has built special customizations that allow these companies to stay in legal compliance while they utilize the convenience and low overhead that e-commerce websites can provide. 

Reputable vape companies, such as Leap Vapor, foster a positive relationship with governmental regulatory authorities like the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) by implementing restrictive measures on their e-commerce site in order to abide by the spirit of the FDA’s guidelines. 

One such important BigCommerce store customization that IntuitSolutions has built to accommodate e-commerce sales of regulated products is IntuitSolutions’ Multi-Factor Customer Verification System. which encompasses two-step verification at login, and age and identity verification during account creation. The collective verification of all of these customer data points provides a more secure legal compliance beyond that of even a clerk asking for ID in a brick and mortar retail space.

Two Factor Authentication and Beyond

Two Factor Authentication is a popular feature used by many websites for enhancing account security. In short, after submitting a username and password, a user is then prompted to enter a unique code that is sent to their email address or mobile device. 

After Google implemented Two Factor Authentication for Google Accounts, automated bot attacks were 100% less effective. (Source: Google)

The Nationally Known Vape Brand’s necessity for Two Factor Authentication was less about automated bot attacks than about preventing youth sales. The Nationally Known Vape Brand’s e-commerce site already had IntuitSolutions’ Veratad Age and Identity Verification system that verifies customers’ identities post-purchase to ensure that the customers are 21 years of age or older and allows additional verification functionality – like photo ID upload. Instead, the Nationally Known Vape Brand wanted to prove to the FDA that online sales weren’t being made by underage customers that logged into their parents’ accounts. A code sent via SMS message to the phone number on record would further ensure that any online order was made by the customer verified to do so.

Vaping Regulations and User Experience Synergize

Designs can deceptively be the most time consuming portion of a project. How does an IntuitSolutions expert UX designer build a component that accounts for functionality that hasn’t yet been built? How does a project manager prevent endless revisions from indefinitely extending a project’s deadline? IntuitSolutions’ Software Department foresaw this potentiality and presented the Nationally Known Vape Brand with detailed wireframes. The Nationally Known Vape Brand’s internal design department then took the wireframes and applied their own established branding guidelines, delivering a final, approved design in a timely fashion.

Blocking the Checkout for Unverified Customers

A good ecommerce website has many ways for a customer to get to the checkout. The website for the Nationally Known Vape Brand was no exception – they had Checkout buttons in the header navigation, on the Cart Page, and in a pop-up modal after a product gets added to the cart. A user can even type in “checkout.php” into the address bar to get to the Checkout Page. As a response, IntuitSolutions added a behavioral algorithm that obtained the customer’s verification status, determined whether or not that customer was cleared to make a purchase, and unlocked the Checkout page accordingly.

This Checkout Blocker pop-up modal informs customers that they can no longer reach the Checkout Page without first logging in to their accounts, which are now protected with Veratad’s Two-Factor Authentication.

Photo ID Upload for Unverified Customers 

One of the biggest apprehensions companies have when implementing a customer verification system is the fear of human error – a customer who accidentally submits the wrong information (such as an old or misspelled address) will be unable to make a purchase. The Nationally Known Vape Brand needed to abide by the FDA’s newest guidelines, but couldn’t allow their online sales to dip. One of IntuitSolutions’ best solutions in preventing loss of valid customers is Veratad’s Document Capture and Management Systems (DCAMS). If a customer’s identity cannot be digitally verified, DCAMS allows customers to upload an image of their ID that the Nationally Known Vape Brand’s customer service representatives can access and verify on Veratad’s secure network.

Collaborating with a Third Party Vendor for Brand New Integrations

Veratad’s Two Factor Authentication feature not only permits customers to send themselves a code via a text message to their mobile device, but also permits Veratad to call them with the unique code via an automated voice service. When IntuitSolutions first tested each feature, there were small issues that had to be fixed by Veratad’s own developers. If a confused customer replied back to the SMS message that was sent to them, internal configuration messages were texted back to the customer. Another small bug was the speed of the automated voice service – it was almost comically fast. Thanks to IntuitSolutions’ established relationship with Veratad Technologies, we were able to work directly with the development team at Veratad to quickly correct these issues.

E-Commerce Sites As Secure As a Bank 

The Nationally Known Vape Brand website’s Improved Customer Verification System verifies a customer in the following ways:

  1. Username and Password
  2. Unique Code sent via SMS or Phone
  3. Age and Identity Verification

Additionally, Veratad offers other verification features that could also be integrated into the Account Creation Process, such as Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) – which asks the customer out-of-wallet challenge questions based on trusted data sources. This level of verification, usually only available for bank and credit card websites, would most certainly secure prevention of underage customers illegally purchasing vapor products online.

Full FDA Compliance in One Fell Swoop

Two Factor Authentication on login, Identity Verification on account creation, and Age Verification after purchase: 3 solutions bundled into one simple package – IntuitSolutions Multi-Factor Verification System. Add to the list TaxMan – IntuitSolutions’ excise tax manager and Product-Based Shipping and Payment Method Restrictions and you’re ready to sell just about any restricted and regulated product on BigCommerce. Do you have an e-commerce store in a highly regulated industry? Contact us now to help ensure your full compliance and sell your vapes, alcohol, CBD, or firearms equipment with full confidence.

Zak, aka Ziggy, is a Senior Project Manager for IntuitSolutions, providing high-touch project management for VIP clients, most notably those in the vape industry. His interest in coding originated from his discovery of a 1980's robot named the Omnibot 2000, which Zak is now trying to resurrect for a new life in the 21st Century. When he's not hard-wired to the Matrix, you can find him performing improv and sketch comedy in and around Philadelphia and New York City.

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