Age verification is a crucial social responsibility for a wide range of business owners. Underaged alcohol consumption, smoking, and drug-use, for example, remain key areas of concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underaged drinking is responsible for the death of over 3,500 United States citizens under the age of 21 each year. 2,500 children under the age of 18 also try their first cigarette every year, according to the American Lung Association—an estimated 400 of which will become regular smokers. Age confirmation can help prevent some of these issues from getting worse.
There are other industries, from casinos to clubs, that also need to place a high level of importance on age verification, as their business is strictly aimed towards adults. While some people may pride themselves on being able to determine age simply by looks, this method can let you down. When it does, it can lead to severe repercussions.
Ensuring your company has the latest and most effective tools for verifying the age of the people who enter or buy from your establishment is the best way to avoid any penalties. ID scanners are one popular method of age verification. Read on for more information about what they are and how they work.
What are ID scanners?
ID scanning refers to the process of businesses taking an electronic copy of an identity-proving document, such as a drivers’ license or passport. ID readers and scanners are able to extract information, store the data, and clearly display the age of the ID-holder to the user. These devices aid in identifying whether or not customers are the appropriate age in a timely and efficient manner.
Other scannable information can include:
- Eye color
- Social security number.
Types of ID scanners
ID scanners come in various shapes and sizes, but they’re usually either handheld or countertop-mounted. They’re also generally categorized as either slot-readers or “point-and-shoot” scanners that consist of either a magnetic strip reader or barcode reader (or both) that detects relevant coding on the given documentation.
Other perks of some ID scanners can include:
- Customizability (useful for differing state regulations)
- Local storage of information
- Simple operation
- Free software
- Free software support.
First, it’s recommended you assess your individual business’s needs. Some devices may require, for example, quality internet connection. Others may be specific to kiosk-use only. Make sure you choose one that’s suited for the location and needs of your business.
Advantages of ID scanners
One of the major perks of ID scanners is the enhanced level of security that they offer businesses. ID scanners are unable, for example, to read fake or homemade IDs. Therefore, companies are able to better avoid disruptive behavior, protect their establishments against threats, strengthen their relationship with the police, and keep out people they’ve already banned. According to ScanTek, theft in nightclubs has been reduced by up to 70% since the introduction of ID scanners.
Patrons are also more likely to attend a venue that utilizes an ID scanner due to the increased level of safety and the decreased criminal activity it can provide. This in turn may also boost a venue’s sales.
Industries that may require ID scanners
The following list of industries may aid you in determining whether or not your business would benefit from an ID scanner:
Nightclubs, bars, liquor and convenience stores
These facilities may face losing their license if found guilty of selling alcoholic beverages and/or tobacco products to an underaged customer. Other risks may include lawsuits, loss of reputation, fines, or the closure of the venue.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the Gun Control Act, individuals must be 18 years or older to purchase a shotgun or rifle, and 21 years to purchase other firearms.
If casinos, or other betting/gambling services, allow someone not of age to access their facilities, they could face fines of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Police force
- Schools and colleges
- Exotic dancing clubs/lounges.
Age verification ID scanners can help your business in a number of ways, including by reducing criminal behavior, optimizing venue management, and helping you maintain compliance under the law. Failure to abide by age-specific regulations could lead to a variety of legal repercussions that would likely harm your reputation as well as your wallet.
Researching the appropriate ID scanner for your establishment is therefore wise in order to guarantee you have the appropriate tools for safety, security, and customer experience.