Knowing your customers are the right age and who they say they are is a very serious concern for any business that deals with age-restricted products and services. An age verification first infraction can cost up to $1,500 in fines, legal fees and lost time. A third offense can result in the revocation of your license, which essentially can put a company out of business. Verification solutions are one of the easiest to implement and will save you from a world of troubles and fines.
With the right scanner in place and software to properly parse the ID data, you can have an age and identity verification system up and running in very little time with even less effort. Interfacing with point of sale systems is easy for a completely integrated solution.
What are the Key Benefits of an Age and Identity Verification System?
Avoid fines and penalties with a solution that ensures every customer can be verified.
- Accuracy – Reduce errors from manual processing.
- Compliance – Ensure you follow state regulations.
- Efficiency – Verify quickly and correctly every time for shorter lines.
What is Age and Identity Verification?
It has become more common and even easier to get a false ID today. Added to this, the greater accuracy of fake ID makes it harder to know which is the real thing. As a business owner, you are held accountable for ensuring you do not provide age restricted products or services to individuals that are underage. No matter how good the ID looks, the onus is on you to make sure it is real. Having a reliable and easy to use age and identity verification system is becoming more of a necessity for many businesses to keep themselves safe.
The positive side to things is that there are tools you can utilize to make sure that every ID you come across can be validated. The most used ID is obviously the common driver’s license. The great part of a driver’s license is that they all now use a barcode on the back of them that holds all the ID information found on the front of the ID. The barcode, PDF417, used is also not your typical code you find on a retail product. These codes can store a lot more data which is organized in a very specific manner for each state. The advantage here is that you cannot change the information in the barcode and to create a fake one requires knowing exactly how each state encodes the data. If the barcode isn’t created properly, it won’t read properly.
With a 2D barcode scanner and the appropriate parsing software you can use the barcodes on the back of a driver’s licenses to verify someone’s age quickly and accurately. Most point of sale and event management software will support age verification so that when you scan the ID it transmits the birth date on the ID and your software will confirm what products or services the customer is able to access. Since each state organizes the data differently the parsing software outputs the data you need, in the order you need it, regardless of what state you are dealing with. It’s actually faster than looking at the ID and deducing the age plus every verification can be recorded for accountability purposes.
Given how simple it is to get up and running, not using a scanner for age verification just doesn’t add up anymore. With a simple scan you can completely avoid fraudulent ID usage and save your business from legal issues and lost revenue.
What Should You Address When Making an Age and Identity Verification System?
When putting together an effective and suitable age and identity verification system there are a few key questions to answer:
- What are you verifying? Age, identity, residence?
- Will you be reading driver’s licenses or another form of ID?
- What type of barcode is used on the ID?
- Are you verifying for the sale of restricted items? Alcohol, tobacco, etc…
- Will you need to interface with a point of sale system?
- How often will you verify an ID?
- Will you need a fixed or hand held scanner?
What are the Components of an Age and Identity Verification System?
All age and identity verification systems consist of these two core components:
- 2D Barcode Scanner – When working with driver’s licenses you need a 2D scanner to read the special PDF417 barcode on them. Options for presentation and hand held scanners make it easy to have a scanner for any application.
- Verification/Parsing software – Since each state varies in the order and how they encode the information in the barcode you will need parsing software to output the data you need. Some scanners are packaged with this application out of the box.