What do the new Mastercard age verification rules mean?

For years now, child protection advocates have been calling on the government to implement more effective age checks for anyone accessing adult content online. While there have been some steps forward on this, a recent change from Mastercard has pushed websites to implement changes or risk losing their means of collecting revenue. As of the 15th October 2021, age verification is now required for all adult content providers that wish to take payments through Mastercard. So – what does this new rule mean for the industry? We explore this topic below.

What is Mastercard age verification?

Mastercard has implemented a new policy on requirements for non-face-to-face adult content and services. These rules will have an impact on a range of businesses from dating sites and social media channels to those which offer video streaming, and, of course, pornographic sites.

According to the trade body, the Age Verification Providers Association, the aim of the rule change is to implement “strong content control measures and clear, unambiguous and documented consent”.

Adult content site owners must perform documented identity and age verification for anyone uploading content, and those who supply that content must themselves carry out the same checks for anyone depicted. There is also a content review process ahead of publication, anyone included in the content may appeal and request for the content to be removed if they do not agree that they have given their consent.

If the new Mastercard age verification rules are not followed, the sites will lose their payment services. With Mastercard being such a large multinational company, adult site owners don’t have much choice when it comes to finding a payment provider for their services, and it is likely other networks will follow suit.

What impact has this had?

The Mastercard age verification rules are set to impact many businesses across the adult industry and beyond. Some have already started to roll out tools to ensure that the requirements are met – including Patreon, a membership platform that allows creators to gain an income online.

In a recent statement, Patreon has announced that it will be requiring all creators to offer their government-issued ID and meet the new standards. They are also set to roll out some tools that will make this easy to do.

This isn’t the first time that Mastercard has implemented changes which have led to a knock-on effect in the industry. At the end of 2020, it was announced that both Mastercard and Visa would no longer allow their cards to be accepted by MindGeek which runs many adult sites includingPornhub.

Now, it appears as though they are tightening the rules across various sites in an attempt to protect both users on these sites and their own brand reputation.

How can AgeChecked help?

AgeChecked offers a range of age verification and authentication solutions for organisations across various industries. If you are offering adult content or are allowing users to upload their own, you must be aware of the ever-changing rules – especially if you have partnered with Mastercard or a payment services provider which relies on it.

If you’d like to hear more about our compliant and private age verification solution for adult content, get in touch today. With our help, you can prevent underage customers from uploading, or indeed, accessing inappropriate content online without interrupting the customer experience. Our team will be happy to get you up to speed on the latest regulations and allow you to continue operating safely. Click here to get in touch.


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