When buying an ID scanner for Age Verification and ID checking, there are a few key points to keep in mind. The fact of the matter is that not all ID scanners are the same so you'll need to know what you want before you make the final purchase. Hopefully, after considering these points, you can begin to formulate or fine tune your plan of action.
If you use an ID scanner day in and day out, it can be painful if you make the wrong choice. As a general rule of thumb, search for ID scanners that are simple. When it comes to daily use, your ID scanner should be easy to handle, scan IDs quickly and accurately, and provide the ability to access saved data easily and securely - ideally with no employee training. After all, your ID Scanner should simplify your business not complicate it. Also, simplicity and reliability to operate stand- alone without the internet is a plus. When your internet goes down, your ID scanner does too and that may present bigger problems down the road.
Now, if you haven’t already done so, consider a mental list of essential ID Checking requirements specific to your business, license type or residing state. Is the ID Scanning solution performing the essential task of Age and ID verification? Are you legally required to keep a transaction record? Keep in mind that if you’re issued a citation, having the transaction record on hand provides easy “proof” for an Affirmative Defense. If you don’t have compliance records, video surveillance cameras may fill in that gap.
Should I worry my customer’s ID data is floating somewhere on the cloud? Do you reside in a state that prohibits data retention or can data be retained for a limited period of time? Most states allow ID data retention; however, with sensitivity to privacy issues on the rise, the landscape may look different in a few years.
How essential are the extra features for my business? Many times the fancy features come with added cost that you may or may not need or end up using.
How much will an ID Scanning solution cost me? Often times the cost alone can be the driving force if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It’s helpful to factor in the cost of your ID Scanner in terms of the entire life of the product and not get lured in by introductory offers and low monthly subscription fees.
Once you do the math, monthly fees add up and often times far exceed the cost of a hardware based ID scanner. For example, if you have $50 to spend a month, then $50 x 12 months is $600 spent in one year. Compare that to a hardware based ID scanner that comes standard with programming and starts at $300 with no monthly fees and easily operates for 8+ years.
Here are some overlooked factors to consider in your purchasing decision.
How much does the ID scanner cost once I factor in maintenance and subscription fees?
Now that I store scanned data, how do I want to manage saved ID/DL data - locally or subscription based services on the cloud?
Who will service my equipment if there's an accident or requires care? Can we have it serviced by my provider or will I be passed along to a 3rd party?
Will I have to scrap and replace the ID scanner if we have an accident?
How much does it cost to update the ID scanner with the latest driver’s license programming?