How we optimized our Parent Verification process for higher conversion

May 4, 2022
In the previous blog series we explored the value of integrating a parent verification flow into experiences that have a kid audience. However, even with all these benefits, the biggest challenge for developers and UX designers is reconciling the need for parent verification with the potential decrease in conversion rate. 

Understanding the conversion process in parent verification

In this case, ‘conversion rate’ refers to the percentage of parents who complete the verification process. This is because every additional step within this flow introduces some drop-off, loosely illustrated in the diagram below.
This is an important consideration for developers because a lower conversion rate means fewer kids are obtaining consent to use an experience or relevant feature. The consequence of which is decreased user engagement. Though the impact to conversion rate is usually inescapable, Kids Web Services (KWS) mitigates it by reducing the amount of friction the parent has to go through during verification. 

Understanding the friction involved in parent verification 

Most developers choose to implement a payment card verification process as this is the simplest method to build this capability in-house. It has become fairly standard as it is specifically highlighted by the Federal Trade Commission as a valid method under COPPA. 

It’s also easy to maintain, as you don’t have to manage complex relationships with multiple verification partners and/or government databases. The verification method works like this: 
  1. The parent is asked to provide their credit or debit card information.
  2. A small charge is either held or taken, often to be later reimbursed, which confirms the credit or debit card is active,
  3. The parent is now verified to be an adult.

Though quick and easy to implement, this method does not cater to all parents. For instance, when:
  • The parent doesn’t have a payment card
  • Their credit or debit card does not support international payments (e.g. the vast majority of credit cards in Brazil)
  • They don’t know their credit or debit card number (e.g. in markets such as Belgium where credit or debit cards don’t have a printed card number)
  • The parent doesn’t trust providing their credit or debit card information. 
In cases like these, a simplistic in-house verification flow may face significant attrition, and also exclude segments of the population that cannot complete a payment card based verification process. 

Mitigating friction by providing choice to parents

KWS mitigates this by giving parents a choice of multiple verification methods. These are tailored to provide the least amount of friction for the parent, while being accessible by the broadest possible population in each region.
Below is a list of verification methods available as part of KWS’ plug-and-play Parent Verification service. If a parent can’t use one verification method, they can choose another, therefore improving the chances of a successful conversion.

Verification Methods Available

Each verification method involves a short number of steps, detailed below. 

Payment card
Payment card verification works similarly to the example already given. The steps are as follows:
  1. The parent provides their credit or debit card information.
  2. A small amount is held and released back to the parent.

This verification method is available globally.

ID Number
  1. The parent is asked to provide their government-issued ID number (alongside information such as their full name).
  2. KWS then works with verification partners, who check this information against their databases.

This verification method is available in the following regions:
  • USA - Social Security number (SSN)
  • México - Clave Única de Registro de Población (CURP number)
  • Brazil - Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas (CPF number)

ID Scan
  1. The parent is asked to scan their government-issued ID using a camera on their device.
  2. KWS then works with verification partners, who inspect the ID document to check its validity.

This verification method is available outside the US and South Korea and works with the following government-issued ID documents (will vary by region):
  • Passport
  • National ID Card
  • Drivers License

Face Scan
Via our verification partner, we are testing Face Scan as a verification method for parents that neither have a payment card or government-issued ID handy:
  • The parent is asked to hold their device in front of their face.
  • Via their device’s camera, a machine learning algorithm estimates their age.

This verification method is available globally outside the USA.

Start using KWS today

You can sign up for a free developer account here. For more information about KWS’ Parent Verification service, read the documentation here. If you have any questions, do reach out to the support team via the developer community.