In 2024, businesses have software options to streamline almost every aspect of their operations. Age verification, visitor management, and ID scanning is no exception. In this post we’ll briefly review some of the most important features for bars and nightclubs when choosing an ID scanner.
Age verification for bars (21+)
Most likely, if you’re purchasing an ID scanner for your bar, you’re looking to verify age to keep minors out of your establishment. Verifying age has multiple components:
- Reading the age on the presented ID
- Checking to ensure the ID is expired (as old IDs are often handed off to friends to use after a new ID is delivered)
- Checking for fake IDs
Almost all ID scanning apps are capable of doing the first two (checking age and ID expiration date) but many cannot do the third. Catching fake IDs requires knowledge of ID templates, hallmarks of fraudulent identity documents, and being able to rapidly look for these signs. With mobile apps, age verification software is limited to looking at the information stored in the ID’s barcode, and sometimes features and design elements on the back of the ID.
Using an electronic ID scanner provides the above benefits and removes the onus of mental math, and checking for fake IDs from your bouncers or security team. It also can provide an affirmative defense in many states. This means that if you scan the ID you are off-the-hook if a minor then commits a crime.
There are also many security features associated with age verification that help combat common behaviors by underage patrons trying to enter:
- Multi-scan/passback alerts to ensure an ID isn’t handed off to a new patron to use again
- Sync between all your entrances
- Face match to ensure the customer’s face matches their photo ID
List management (Banned, VIP, etc.)
Most of our bar, club, and nightlife customers also need to manage lists.
Guests can easily be added to Banned Lists with the click of a button, along with notes which explain the reason for the ban. If you’re using an ID scanner which includes image capture you will also have the option to perform a visual search, and add visitors to the Banned List from inside your scan history.
However, our software does not share Banned patrons between bars. This practice (by other companies) has been challenged in court. Banned Lists are completely secure and shared only within your business’s account.
Banned lists help your bar keep troublesome patrons out and keep your staff safe and secure.
Just as important as banning problem patrons is recognizing your loyal customers. You can add big spenders or high rollers to a VIP list to receive alerts as soon as their ID is scanned. You can also use our Gold Zip Codes feature to flag individuals who live in wealthy zip codes so your team can be prepared to provide a white glove experience.
All list management inside VeriScan can be performed on the ID scanner for bars, but reporting, notes, and history can also be accessed via the cloud portal. This allows your management insight across all your ID scanners, and multiple locations, making it easy to keep lists clean and export data.
Durability & battery life
In busy bar environments, the physical specs of the ID scanner can be just as important as the software capabilities. You need an ID scanner that can withstand drops and spills. This means using a dedicated piece of hardware and not an app on an employee’s phone.
IP67 environmental rating or more
The IP rating is the item’s resistance to intrusion by dust, water, etc. IP6 essentially protects against all solids, including small particles such as dust. IP67 will allow for outdoor use during rain and snow, and IP68 allows for essentially what amount to use under water and even deep water.
Battery life of 8 hours or more during high volume scanning. We recommend going to 50% brightness at night to improve battery life even further.
While no device is completely immune to breaks from drops onto a heavy surface, there are a few items
- Rugged case with bumpers
- Screen protector
- Wrist or hand strap to prevent drops
An ID scanner kept behind a counter at a retail store or hotel is not going to need to meet the durability requirements of a scanner being used outdoors to line-bust or provide security at the entrance to a bar or club.
Scan all types of identity documents
Any ID scanner for bars will need to have the capability of scanning:
- Drivers licenses
- State ID cards (young people are more likely to skip earning a drivers license than ever before)
- Digital IDs
- Global passports
Many ID scanners have limited capabilities or software that accesses a limited document library. However, as bars must accept many types of IDs for the purposes of verifying age, it is important that the ID scanner be able to properly scan and validate all commonly encountered identity documents.
You will also want an ID scanner that has software that is updated regularly, so that it is compatible with the latest state ID formats and updates and does not create any coverage gaps in your ability to read new documents.
Don’t kill the mood with an ultra-bright software product. Choose ID scanning software that offers darkmode so you can maintain the vibe of your venue.
ID scanner for bars checklist
Ensure you’re using a best-in-class product by using the following checklist.
- ID scanner is durable and can withstand drops
- ID scanner verifies age
- ID scanner verifies ID expiration
- ID scanner performs checks to catch fake IDs
- ID scanner can scan drivers licenses, passports, and digital IDs
- ID scanning library is updated monthly
- Passback / multi-scan alerts
- Sync scanning across multiple entrances or locations
- Manage multiple lists
- Manage lists from a central portal
- Software offers darkmode