In certain industries like alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, businesses must confirm the age of their customers before making any sales due to age restrictions. Previously, verifying the age manually was the norm, but now ID scanners have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and efficiency. These advanced scanners can quickly scan and validate IDs, making them a more efficient alternative to manual checking.
However, the most common question asked by various customers: which method is more effective – ID scanners or manual ID checking?
Further, in this article, our detailed analysis will cover the pros and cons, effectiveness in detecting fake IDs, cost-effectiveness, data collection abilities, customer experience, and required training for both methods.
After reading this analysis, businesses will have a better idea of which method is best suited for their operations, while customers will gain an understanding of why age verification is important and how it is carried out.
ID Scanners are electronic devices that read and verify the information present on identification documents such as driver’s licenses and passports. The technology used by ID Scanners has significantly improved in recent years, making them an increasingly popular choice for businesses that need to verify the minor’s age and prevent underage sales.
ID Scanners provide the following benefits:
- Increased Accuracy: ID Scanners are highly accurate and can detect fake IDs, altered IDs, and expired IDs with ease. The scanning software can also determine the authenticity of an ID by verifying its hologram, barcode, and other security features.
- Higher-Speed: ID Scanners are faster than Manual ID Checking as they can read an ID in a matter of seconds. This is especially useful for businesses that have to verify the age of a large number of customers quickly.
- Quick & Efficient Data Collection: ID Scanners can collect customer data, including names, dates of birth, and addresses. This data can be used for future marketing efforts and to track customer behavior.
Several businesses use modern ID Scanners for age verification, including bars, nightclubs, casinos, hotels, airports, car-dealers, vape stores, gun stores, and convenience stores. ID Scanners are also used by healthcare providers to verify patient identities.
Manual ID Checking:
Manual ID Checking involves visually inspecting an identification document such as a driver’s license or passport to verify the age of the customer. It is a low-cost method, as it only requires a trained employee to verify the age of the customer. However, Manual ID Checking has several limitations:
- Prone to Human Error: Manual ID Checking is prone to human error, as employees may not be able to detect fake IDs or may fail to notice expired IDs. This can result in the sale of age-restricted products to underage customers, which can lead to hefty fines and legal consequences.
- Time-Consuming: Manual ID Checking can be time-consuming, especially during peak business hours when there is a high volume of customers.
- No Data Collection: Manual ID Checking may not be able to capture customer data for future marketing efforts.
Despite these limitations, several businesses use Manual ID Checking for age verification, including convenience stores, gas stations, and small retail businesses.
Comparison of ID Scanners and Manual ID Checking:
When deciding which method to use for age verification, businesses need to consider several factors such as cost, accuracy, speed, and data collection.
Let’s compare ID Scanners and Manual ID Checking based on these factors:
- Cost: Manual ID Checking is a low-cost method as it only requires a trained employee to verify the age of the customer. ID Scanners, on the other hand, are expensive, and the cost can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the features and capabilities of the device.
- Accuracy: ID Scanners are highly accurate and can detect fake IDs, altered IDs, and expired IDs with ease. Manual ID Checking is prone to human error, and employees may not be able to detect fake IDs or may fail to notice expired IDs.
- Speed: ID Scanners are faster than Manual ID Checking as they can read an ID in a matter of seconds. Manual ID Checking can be time-consuming, especially during peak business hours.
- Data Collection: ID scanners can collect customer data, including names, dates of birth, and contact information, which can be used for future marketing efforts. This data can help businesses better understand their customers’ demographics and behavior, allowing them to create targeted marketing campaigns and promotions. Additionally, the data collected can be used to identify repeat customers and provide a personalized experience, further enhancing customer loyalty.
However, it’s essential to note that the collection of personal data must be done in compliance with relevant privacy laws and regulations. Businesses must ensure that they have customers’ consent to collect their data and that the data is securely stored and protected from unauthorized access.
Another aspect to consider is the customer experience. While ID scanners may offer a more streamlined and efficient process, some customers may find them intrusive and uncomfortable. Customers may feel that their privacy is being violated, or they may simply prefer the human interaction that comes with manual ID checking.
Therefore, it’s important for businesses to consider the customer’s experience and ensure that their methods of ID verification are not causing discomfort or alienating customers.
At the end, it’s worth noting that the effectiveness of both manual ID checking and ID scanners depends on the level of training and experience of the employees performing the verification. Employees must be properly trained to detect fake IDs and to use ID scanners effectively.
Regular training and refresher courses can help to ensure that employees remain up to date with the latest techniques and technologies for ID verification.
Both manual ID checking and ID scanners have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual ID checking may be more cost-effective and offer a more personal customer experience, but it is prone to human error and may not capture customer data.
ID scanners offer a more streamlined and efficient process, can verify age, detect fake IDs, capture customer data, and reduce the potential for human error, but they can be costly and may be less effective in detecting fake IDs than human inspectors.
Ultimately, businesses must evaluate their needs and choose the method that best suits their operations while ensuring compliance with privacy laws and regulations and providing a positive customer experience.