Joe Oprosko is president and CEO of Veridocsthat provides ID authentication, facial recognition, and watchlist management technologies.
Any good company should know its customer. But for hotels, age-restricted retailers, health clubs and casinos, the stakes are much higher. Regulations require them to know who is walking through their door to conduct business. Looking at identification is a good start, but deep authentication and advanced data integration should be considered more than a luxury – it’s necessary to make sure you know who you’re doing business with.
A robust data integration program, coupled with ID authentication, is essential to keep your databases up to date to make better, faster decisions and avoid unnecessary risk. With data integration, you can also better serve your customers by speeding up the authentication process. Finally, you will sleep peacefully knowing that your loyalty programs are rewarding your best customers and not being used as a loophole to evade block lists and watch lists.
Incomplete or inaccurate data can slow down your business, which can lead to problems from extended check-in lines to the inability to recognize banned, excluded, or self-excluded individuals from your company in a timely manner. Complete and current data can reduce your risk and protect your organization.
After more than 15 years of helping casinos and other businesses implement technologies and procedures that help them stay on top of ID authentication best practices, I know it’s critical to get the right information into your system .
How data integration works
Using an ID reader makes data integration easy: a customer’s ID is scanned and the information from the ID is compared to the information already in the system or, if necessary, used to create a new entry to make. When you combine a data integration program with an ID authentication system, you can rest assured that the data you capture is accurate and up-to-date. That is a lot more accurate than just scanning a barcode or visually verifying an ID.
When you have inaccurate information in your system, you have to spend time updating it manually, letter by letter, which is inconvenient and inefficient. Something as simple as an outdated address can slow things down for you and your team when your customer tries to proceed with a transaction. When the most current information is automatically integrated with each scan of a customer’s ID, transactions such as checking in to loyalty programs can be faster. This improves the customer experience and allows your staff to spend time building relationships instead of typing.
Data integration also removes the ‘loyalty loophole’. Suppose a company adds a person to a loyalty program. At the time of entry, the customer has a clean proof of identity. But things change and that customer is added to a watchlist or blocklist. If the system does not include data integration, that customer may still be able to access it. Data integration provides updated loyalty list cleanups to ensure that a company’s loyalty lists are treated with the same level of control as new customers.
Choosing the right partner
Choosing the right data integrator is just as important as the concept itself. It is essential to partner with someone who understands your industry and market, as well as the data you are trying to integrate. For ID authentication, a service provider with in-depth knowledge of ID technology is crucial.
In order for ID authentication software to be effective in your industry, it is important to consider specific regulations. For example, if your software simplifies your workflows and business processes, but doesn’t comply with anti-money laundering regulations, that’s worse than crappy in casino games. Or, if you’re serving military personnel and the software doesn’t differentiate between these credentials and archive military IDs, it’s a violation of federal law.
Avoid common mistakes when testing and training users
It is important to involve the end users of your software in both test and planning conversations. Managers and executives will not be nearly as helpful in developing an integration solution as the frontline workers. They can share a nuanced understanding of “what ifs” and potential issues before the software design is finalized and implemented.
Product training should also be considered from day one. Ideally, a software solution should be simple enough to use so that training is minimal, which will increase adoption rates. If software is making users’ lives miserable, adoption rates will be understandably low. Streamline training by creating an easy-to-use user interface. In implementing training and familiarizing new users with software, I’ve found that short videos at a user-defined pace are helpful, as well as periodic retraining as new software features are rolled out.
Monitoring software by talking to users and checking daily usage and results keeps your data integration solution under control.
Increased safety and security with data integration
Good data integration improves the safety and security of your organization and its customers. When someone is added to some sort of checklist, whether owned or government-owned, good data integration can ensure regulatory compliance and help users mitigate risk. You will know within seconds whether someone will be banned, blocked or even excluded on presentation of an ID. Simply put, having accurate and complete data means you’re less likely to let the wrong people through your doors.
With accurate information provided by data integration, you can rest assured that the customer is on track before meeting the requirements to avoid regulatory fines, and you know that you have not inadvertently created an unsafe situation for your customers or team members. Customers experience smoother, faster experiences during check-in, loyalty registration or routine transaction processing. Your employees can concentrate on building beneficial relationships and are not tied to administrative tasks. And that’s just a good thing.
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