Barcode Scanning Apps Transform Smartphones into Powerful Age-verification Tools, Protecting Revenue Streams
Despite efforts to curtail minors from purchasing alcoholic beverages, underage drinking remains a significant public health challenge. In fact, Forbes recently reported that underage drinkers bought $17.5 billion, or 8.6 percent, of the alcoholic drinks sold annually in the United States. Verifying consumer age at the point of purchase (also called the point of sale) seems like the most effective way to solve the dilemma, but the statistics reveal that it just isn’t that simple. Read on about the perils associated with failing to check IDs before selling age-restricted products or services and how data capture specialist, Code Corporation, can help with a cost-effective barcode scanning smartphone app.
Take, for example, a common scenario at a professional football game. During a break in the action, long lines can form quickly at concession stands. Ideally, vendors check IDs for each purchase of alcohol, but they also need to keep lines moving smoothly. Failing to inspect an ID thoroughly—or at all—in these circumstances is understandable, but it’s a failure that places the stadium at great risk.
Sales of Age-restricted Products Create Risk
A recent report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that alcohol is the illegal substance most frequently purchased and used by minors in the United States. Still, alcohol is far from the only age-restricted product that requires monitoring at the point of purchase. Businesses are also responsible for ensuring that only consumers of legal age can purchase tobacco, cannabis (where legalized), vaping products, movie tickets, and even lottery tickets.
That breadth means many retailers and other organizations—convenience marts, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, hospitality and events companies, gas stations, cannabis dispensaries/operations, and performance and sports venues—need proper age verification measures.
Serious Consequences Result from Failures to Enforce Age Restrictions
Why does age verification matter? Because failure to uphold laws associated with age-restricted products or services can have serious consequences for individuals and businesses. In restaurants, alcoholic drinks carry a gross profit margin (on average) of 53.35%, and bars see as much as 80% profit on drinks, meaning these are revenue streams worth protecting.
Supplying alcohol to minors, for example, can result in misdemeanor or felony charges for individuals, depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances. A sentence for a misdemeanor can range from several days to a full year in jail, and a felony conviction—typically charged if an accident or injury is involved—can include a prison sentence of a year or more.
And for businesses, convictions can result in suspended or revoked licenses, significant fines, and reputational damage that can lead to permanent closure.
Barcode Scanner Apps Easily Strengthen Age Verification
The stakes are high, and the challenges are real. When vendors rely on manual ID checks to monitor the sales of age-restricted products, the process is prone to human error. Employees at the point of purchase may lack the proper training, fail to detect a fake ID, or skip ID requests when faced with long lines of thirsty patrons.
Barcode scanning technology offers a highly reliable solution for expediting and automating the age verification process. Still, some businesses—notably smaller operations—may balk at investing in new equipment and staff training.
Today, sophisticated barcode scanner apps for mobile phones remove previous barriers to implementing effective age verification measures. By turning virtually any smartphone into a powerful scanning tool, these mobile scanning apps empower employees at the point of purchase to quickly and easily scan IDs and verify age—with a device they already know how to use, and most businesses already have.
Put Power of Barcode Scanning Software to Work with a Free Trial
With Code Corporation’s CortexID Age Verification App installed on smartphones, businesses can read barcodes on US-issued ID cards to instantly determine the age of a patron attempting to purchase age-restricted products or enter age-restricted establishments. The CortexID Age Verification App:
- Facilitates rapid collection, parsing, analysis, and storage of vital data.
- Provides point-and-scan simplicity and ease of use so employees are up and running in no time.
- Offers SDK configurations for Android, Linux, iOS, macOS, Windows 10 Mobile, and Xamarin.
- Complies with auditing requirements for data storage*
(*currently in Utah; other states will be added in future updates).
Try the CortexID Age Verification App now, for free. If you’re happy with the software after 50 complimentary scans, you can purchase an auto-renewing subscription for a single monthly fee that provides you with unlimited scanning.
Barcode Scanning Comes of Age
Beyond protecting your business and employees, age verification software helps safeguard children and young adults. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Health and Services has thoroughly cataloged the adverse effects of underage drinking. With harm ranging from minor injuries to death, age verification is a weighty matter, but fortunately, cost-effective barcode scanning tools can help.
For more about the CortexID Age Verification App or Code’s other data capture solutions, contact our U.S. office at [email protected] or +01 801-495-2200. If In the EMEA or APAC regions, call our Netherlands office at +31 172-636865.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, “Company-Specific Revenues from Underage Drinking”
Forbes, “Using Digital Identity to Prevent The Sale Of Age-Restricted Products”