Surfin’ – credit card companies and wineries sign alliance – Brief Article
The American Vintners Association announced an agreement with creditcards.com to provide “real time” electronic age verification so that member wineries with telephone or internet sales can validate they are not selling to a minor. VerifyMyID compares information provided by consumers with its proprietary databases to confirm the age and address of customers. “This service will put to rest the false issue that minors obtain wine through direct shipment,” said Simon Siegl, AVA president. “With the use of electronic age verification, winery sales made directly to consumers can out-perform traditional retail outlets in assuring that only customers of legal age purchase our products.”
VerifyMyID provides wineries with a service that validates customers not present are of legal drinking age. When combined with initiatives such as the Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping, labeling of all packages to require an adult signature and the encouragement of states to establish methods for wineries to pay taxes, AVA members demonstrate abundant commitment to responsible sales and marketing practices as the wine community expands into the arena of e-commerce, Siegl added.
“We have been working with other winery trade associations and the larger e-commerce retailers to encourage wide adoption of this service,” said Siegl. “While we have to deal with all 50 variations of state laws and regulations covering shipment, a common automatic system for age verification will help all wineries and consumers.”
In addition to age verification, wineries utilizing the program can access low-cost merchant processing of credit card sales and complex database analysis services through creditcards.com, AVA’s service provider. “Our goal is to continue to provide industry specific value added functions to our merchant customers,” said Carl Grimstad, creditcards.com chairman and ceo. “Our proprietary payment gateway with VerifyMyID establishes a new standard for the wine industry.”
Creditcards.com was founded in 1992 and has grown to become one of the leading processors of credit card transactions over the Internet, serving nearly 20,000 merchants worldwide. The company has structured similar electronic verification programs for related areas of commerce that are age-sensitive or subject to risk.
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