Should Your Business Incorporate ID Verification And Facial Matching In Its Kiosks?

Should Your Business Incorporate ID Verification And Facial Matching In Its Kiosks?

Joe Oprosko is President and CEO of Veridocs, which offers ID authentication, facial matching and watch list management technologies.

The headlines seem to be appearing daily — a labor shortage is hamstringing recovery for businesses. Organizations are struggling to find and train workers, often for the types of transactional, face-to-face work that so many of us are wary of in a pandemic. 

Technology-minded organizations are beginning to look toward self-service kiosks as a solution to these labor shortages. Not only do kiosks let patrons handle their own transactions and reduce the need for staff, but they also cater to people’s desire for social distancing by reducing face-to-face contact.

But for organizations that need to check IDs and optionally save patron data as part of their transactions, a kiosk may not immediately seem like the right solution. If a staff member isn’t physically holding an ID document, comparing the photo to the patron, and reading all the information, can a kiosk handle transactions that are age-restricted or that require an identity confirmation?

Yes. The casino industry offers some great examples, with kiosks that help patrons enroll in loyalty clubs, check into hotel rooms, cash out winnings and more. As the president and CEO of a company that offers ID authentication and facial matching technologies that can be used in kiosks, I’ve worked with casinos for many years to help them implement kiosk applications for these sensitive transactions using ID authentication and facial matching.

Technologies For More Secure Kiosk ID Checks

Casinos have two key reasons for ensuring that their kiosks use state-of-the-art ID authentication technology: The first is to comply with regulations and avoid potential fines. And the second is to avoid being defrauded and incurring significant financial losses. 

The key to using kiosks for age-restricted or otherwise ID-sensitive transactions is to leverage technology that authenticates the ID document. This means doing more than simply scanning a barcode. You can equip your kiosk with an ID reader that the patron can insert their ID into. The reader can then compare the ID to a global ID database, confirm the presence of its unique security features, and confirm a match between the printed and encoded (barcode and magstripe) data.

Of course, a thief can use a stolen ID that will pass this authentication step with flying colors. That’s why to be certain that the transaction is legitimate, companies can also add an additional layer of ID security with facial matching technology. This is not always as expensive as many assume — you can do it with any standard computer camera or webcam attachment. 

Once the kiosk confirms that the ID document is authentic and that the patron is its rightful holder, the patron can complete their transaction. If an ID is not authenticated, the kiosk can be equipped to alert staff.

Factors To Consider Before Implementing A Kiosk Solution

Organizations that are interested in deploying kiosks with ID authentication capabilities should consider the functions they need the kiosks to perform, as well as the locations at which they will be stationed. This may highlight the need for one or more kiosk or software vendors depending on the capabilities and integrations you need (e.g., a check-in transaction versus a retail transaction). It is always a good idea to closely examine a vendor’s integration capabilities to maximize how efficiently you can leverage data from the ID across systems. This can not only improve efficiency for the organization but also improve the customer experience.

When thinking through the customer experience with a kiosk, companies should be sure to request thorough testing opportunities to make sure the system performs intuitively for their users. The purpose of a kiosk transaction is defeated if it ends up frustrating customers and requiring significant staff support, so organizations should test the system and request any necessary customizations from the vendor to ensure an efficient process flow. A good example of this relates to the type of ID scanner that you use in the kiosk. If you need to verify mostly driver’s licenses at a kiosk but choose a flatbed passport reader as your device, users will have to flip their ID document when they present it. This could potentially lead to numerous mis-scans and errors, which will frustrate both the customer and your team.

Because state and local laws on ID check requirements may vary, organizations may wish to confirm whether a kiosk can legally perform the transactions they are interested in automating with their area regulators and their legal team. A kiosk or software vendor may also be able to provide in-state references or case studies to demonstrate how other companies are using kiosks and staying in compliance with ID-check regulations.

The potential applications for kiosks are growing by the day, and they’re already common for car rental companies, retailers, access control providers and many other types of businesses. I believe kiosks can play an even bigger role in addressing labor shortages, improving social distancing and enabling staff to attend to higher-level needs.

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