How COVID-19 has forever impacted the identity verification industry

How COVID-19 has forever
impacted the identity
verification industry

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted each of our lives in ways we never thought possible. Whether you lost your job, suffered with your mental health or if you/someone you know fell sick with the virus – there’s no denying that this once-in-a-century event had negative effects that will stick with us forever.

For the identity verification industry, the impacts were widespread. If you are following us on LinkedIn, you will have been receiving regular news updates from us that we felt were important for businesses and individuals to be aware of.

An increase in the need for digital transactions gave fraudsters the opportunity to take advantage of an already-stressful situation.

This was particularly the case when it comes to the scheme allowing early withdrawal from superannuation accounts. With thousands of Aussies hoping to gain access to their funds – and quickly – and no way for super funds to authorize these withdrawals, the possibility of fraudulent activity was high.

According to an article from the Australian Financial Review in May 2020, the Australian Federal Police began investigating a “small” number of fraudulent applications to the access scheme after the Australian Taxation Office discovered personal details were being hijacked “in a bid to defraud the program”.

In other distressing news from overseas, fraudsters managed to steal tens of millions of euros as they did not have formal citizen verification procedure in place. While other German state governments were asking users to upload scanned documents to prove their identity or were asking users to download a form and mail it, North Rhine-Westphalia was only requiring local residents and companies to fill a form on its site, without any additional verification of their identity. You can read more about this here.

What’s more, COVID-19 has created additional challenges for businesses in how they comply with customer verification obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime. Luckily, AUSTRAC put together some information over on their website and they also introduced a new customer verification AML/CTF Rule to support the initiative which you can read about here.

The importance of technology was highlighted during these trying times with the creation of the COVIDSAFE app. Established by the Australian Government to help speed up the ability to contact those exposed to the virus, it is hoped that this virus would be downloaded by 8 million Australians to help us all stay safe and to speed up the easing of restrictions across the country.

Whatever your circumstances – and no matter which industry you belong to – the coronavirus crisis has shown there is real value in ensuring you have the option to digitally onboard customers.

We are all in this together and Scantek wants to help your business fight the impacts of COVID-19 by saving on time and operational costs. Our web and mobile application offers you the ability to verify customer identity instantly and onboard new customers quickly and easily. In a time of uncertainty and self-isolation, digitalisation is a critical solution and, according to Asia Money, digital banking is no longer optional.

We hope this article helped to shed some light on the situation for the identity verification industry. Scantek is here to help you every step of the way so reach out to the team at any time for a free demonstration.

(And if you need a bit of cheering up, check out this post on our LinkedIn page*. We’re all in this together – and we all need the occasional giggle to help get us through!

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How ID Scanners Can Reduce Anti-Social Behavior In Your Venue

How ID Scanners Can
Reduce Anti-Social
Behaviour In Your Venue

Anti-social behaviour is a major problem for bars, clubs and other venues in Australia.

Troublemakers impact venues negatively by:

  • threatening patron safety
  • reducing the rate of repeat custom
  • wasting valuable staff time
  • requiring lengthy police investigations
  • These factors directly impact the profitability of a venue.

The question is: how can venues decrease incidents without hiring more staff?

Most solutions to anti-social behaviour are reactive, with solutions occurring only after the issues have taken place. Managers and staff need to either recognise a trouble-maker on sight or deal with a problem after it has occurred. These methods do little to prevent anti-social incidents.

ID scanners, on the other hand, offer a proactive approach to dealing with anti-social behaviour. They can prevent incidents by blocking access to known troublemakers and identifying fake IDs.

The use of ID scanners is not new, but the latest models are faster, more accurate and easier to use. Each terminal only requires one operator and scanners are often networked, allowing information about violent patrons to be shared between establishments.

This is only one of many benefits that ID scanners offer to venues. In addition to quickly checking IDs, reducing fake ID usage, gaining customer insight, and assisting with promotions, ID scanners can help venues reduce anti-social incidents by up to 58% – without increasing staff costs.

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The Real Costs Of Anti-Social Behaviour

The Real Costs Of
Anti-Social Behaviour

Counting the Costs of Anti-Social Behaviour

Troublemakers affect almost all venues across Australia. Regardless of the type of venue, location and target demographic, there are always going to be people who ruin the experience for others.

A frustration for managers and owners is that 1% of customers typically cause 95% of incidents. Sometimes this ratio may be even more extreme. This small group can make patrons feel unsafe and damage the reputation of an establishment.

The true cost of troublemakers can also be difficult to track. There are obvious costs, such as property damage, but also many hidden expenses. Listed below are just a few of the reasons why anti-social behaviour can be an expensive problem.

Cost #1: Increased Staff and Security Expenses

Anti-social behaviour must be handled by staff who could otherwise be dealing with more productive tasks. Venues may also need to hire more security staff to provide a quality of service that, without troublemakers, would be possible with a smaller team.

Research has shown that around 30% of alcohol-related violence in Australia occurs within bars and nightclubs.

This directly increases the cost and complexity of running a venue.

Cost #2: Reduced Repeat Patronage

Alcohol-related violence is, unfortunately, common in bars and nightclubs across Australia. In fact, 30% of all alcohol-related violence happens within bars and nightclubs.

The more unsafe a patron feels, the less likely they are to return. Venues rely on repeat patrons as the backbone of their business – so it’s vital to do as much as possible to encourage valued patrons to return.

It has been shown that reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour increases repeat patronage. Consequently the reverse is also true: anti-social incidents can, over time, damage a venue’s reputation. The prevalence of easily accessible online reviews also magnifies this effect.

Cost #3: Inefficient Queue Management

Aside from ID scanners, there are few effective ways to actively screen for unwanted people in queues. CCTV can be used to identify a person after an incident so that they can be banned in the future – but upholding the ban relies on staff being able to identify troublemakers who may use a different ID.

This is a difficult task and is prone to mistakes. Manual identification leads to less efficient queue management, increased stress for staff and fewer patrons entering per hour. Long queue times have also been linked to patron aggression.

Cost #4: Increased Staff Turnover

Staff turnover is another vital concern. Members of staff who are regularly subjected to anti-social incidents are likely to be more stressed. Reducing the number of troublemakers entering a venue can decrease staff anxiety and increase team happiness.

Cost #5: Police Involvement

Serious anti-social incidents can attract police attention. It’s important for police to be able to do their job, but cooperating with investigations is time-consuming and stressful for managers and staff.

Police across Australia are also cracking down on underage drinking, resulting in large fines for stores and venues that serve them.

Cost #6: Property Damage and Theft

Troublemakers are more likely to cause damage to a venue’s property than regular patrons. If a venue isn’t able to effectively screen patrons and prevent unwanted people from entering, the cost of property repair can be substantial.

Is Hiring More Staff The Answer?

In an attempt to reduce incidents, some venues hire more staff or provide additional training. This can have a positive effect on anti-social behaviour – but is expensive and not the most efficient answer.

Staff can only act based on the information they have access to. It’s well established that troublemakers, once barred from a club or bar, simply move to the next one. While some venues collaborate and share lists of barred patrons, there is often a delay in communication.

Even if staff members are aware of a troublemaker, the person may use a secondary or fake ID to gain access without being detected. Once these people enter a venue, they know that they are likely to remain anonymous – giving them an additional incentive for anti-social behaviour.

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How To Reduce Violence & Problems With ID Scanners

How To Reduce Violence
& Problems With ID Scanners

The Solution: ID Scanners

It’s clear that anti-social behaviour is an expensive problem. For this reason, it’s important for venues to be proactive when excluding known troublemakers. ID scanners have proven to be one of the most effective ways to do this.

For example, when ID scanners were tested in a nightlife hotspot, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics reported a significant drop in violence in less than two years. Assaults in nightclubs in the same area also decreased by 13.2%. In other areas, statistics have shown that advanced ID scanners have reduced violent incidents by up to 58%.

What makes ID scanners so effective? Unlike CCTV or other reactive methods, ID scanners stop troublemakers from entering a venue in the first place. This is achieved by quickly analysing an ID document – such as a driver’s licence or passport – and checking whether the person is underage, has been previously banned or is “ID sharing.”

The best ID scanners are also connected to a centralised network. This means the operator can see whether the person has been banned from other local venues and, if appropriate, block access. This data is shared almost instantly – so if a troublemaker tries to move from one venue to another, he or she will be detected.

How Do ID Scanners Prevent Anti-Social Behaviour?

There are three main reasons why ID scanners reduce anti-social behaviour.

  1. Previously banned patrons, either from the same venue or another in the local area, can be blocked from entering the venue.
  2. Potential troublemakers are aware that their personal details are stored – making it more likely that they will be held accountable for an anti-social incident. This lack of anonymity greatly discourages crime.
  3. Problem patrons quickly learn that a ban at one venue can lead to exclusion from others in the local area, providing greater encouragement to behave.

Why Use an ID Scanner?

Aside from increased accountability, there are additional advantages to using ID scanners to reduce anti-social behaviour. These include:

  • The latest generation ID scanners can be regularly updated to recognise new ID types and formats. This reduces the need for staff to identify the ever-growing pool of valid national and international IDs.
  • Preventing troublemakers from entering a venue, and warning those who enter that they can be easily identified, has been shown to increase safety for both patrons and staff members.
  • Increasing the safety of a venue has the additional benefit of increasing the quantity of female patrons.
  • Decreasing the number of anti-social incidents, while making troublemakers easier to identify, can improve a venue’s relationship with the police. ID scanners can also lead to a faster conviction.
  • ID scanners have been shown to reduce theft in nightclubs by up to 70%.

Issues and Concerns

Venue managers often have concerns about ID scanners. This may be because they have used poor quality scanners in the past or are unsure if scanners are the best option for their venue. Here are a few of the most common concerns.

“Will an ID Scanner Increase Queue Times?”

One of the biggest concerns from venue owners is increased queue times. This is a valid concern. Scantek’s research has shown that even a small increase in entry time can cost a significant amount of money due to reduced drink sales.

A combined scanning and processing time of just 22 seconds, for example, can result in lost annual revenue of over $60,000 compared to an entry time of 12 seconds. For this reason, it’s vital for the scanning process to be quick. Ideally, the total time for scanning and physical processing should be a maximum of 12 seconds.

This is why advanced terminals are built to scan IDs as fast, if not faster, than manual inspection – with far greater consistency. It’s also important to choose an ID scanning solution that minimises the required number of terminals. Some manufacturers counteract slow scanning times by selling multiple units.

This can reduce queue times, but at the cost of hiring additional staff members. Research by Scantek has found that even a single extra unnecessary scanner could cost a venue over $7100 per year in additional staff costs.

Note: Processing time includes physical handling of ID, banned patron check, and fake & expired ID detection

“My Patrons Won’t Like ID Scanners”

Another common concern is that patrons won’t want to enter an establishment that uses ID scanners. Fortunately, surveys of patrons across Australia have found that this doesn’t appear to be the case. While there are certainly people who will object, most patrons understand that scanners are being used to increase their safety.

In fact, research by Deakin University found that 92.4% of patrons believe that ID scanners are the most effective method of reducing alcohol-related harm. Considering 84.4% of patrons also believe that alcohol-fuelled violence is the most common problem caused by intoxicated people in entertainment precincts, this is a clear indication that most patrons feel that the benefits of ID scanners far outweigh the disadvantages.

“ID Scanners are a Privacy Risk”

Privacy is one of the biggest concerns with ID scanners. For this reason, it’s important to know how an ID scanner stores data and who can access it. Each scanning solution handles privacy differently, so venues should look for systems that have the following security features.

  • The system should only show essential information to operators. This includes age, expiry of the ID and date of birth.
  • The system should automatically remove patron data after a fixed length of time. 28 days is an ideal length of time to keep data, as this is close to the requirements for CCTV footage. The exception is data for banned patrons – which should be kept until the end of the ban.
  • Access to advanced patron data (including banning) and demographic statistics be limited to high-level accounts.
  • Data should be transmitted with strong encryption. Techniques such as one-way hashing and access control should be employed.
  • The system should only share data of banned patrons with other venues.
  • The system should not be used to sell data to third parties.

Scantek’s ID scanning solutions employ all of these safeguards, along with additional protection such as industry verified encryption and data audit trails.

“Scanners are too complicated to use”

Some scanners are difficult to operate and require extensive training. Others are designed to be used by operators with minimal training. When choosing an ID scanning solution, it’s important to select a system that is easy and fast to learn.

This reduces the cost of training and ensures all staff members can operate the system when required. The simplest ID scanning solutions often use a traffic light system – green for OK, yellow for a possible issue, and red if there is a serious problem.

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How to Prevent Venue Incidents Without Increasing Staff Costs

How to Prevent Venue
Incidents Without
Increasing Staff Costs

How Scantek Can Prevent Incidents Without Increasing Staff Expenses

Scantek is one of the largest suppliers of ID scanners in Australia. Our solutions are trusted by major venues across the country, including ALH group (Australia’s leading and largest pub operator) and Crown Melbourne. Clients range from small 100 capacity venues up to large 2000 person establishments.

At Scantek, we know that venue owners want to reduce anti-social behaviour – but may need to do so with a small team. For that reason, we’ve developed a scanning solution that’s accurate, fast and simple to use. Here are just a few of the reasons why Scantek can save almost any venue both time and money.

Scantek Terminals Are Simple To Use

A problem with many other ID scanners is that they are complicated to operate. This means operators require longer – and more expensive – training to work at full capacity.

This is not the case with the Scantek. The system is designed to be both simple and fast to learn, so operators can quickly see who to let in and who to exclude. In fact, users have told us that they can train a new staff member to use a Scantek ID scanner in as little as ten minutes.

“We find it’s very easy to teach to new operators who are capable of scanning in full capacity within 10 minutes. I completely recommend the Scantek.”
Sam Hoare
Venue Manager Villa Nightclub, Western Australia

To achieve this, a straightforward colour system is employed. If red is displayed, the operator is given an explanation as to why the person needs to be excluded. Yellow means there may be a reason the person shouldn’t be allowed to enter. In this case, operators are provided with the relevant information so they can make a fast decision. Green indicates that all checks have been completed successfully and the person should be allowed access.

This simplicity doesn’t just decrease staff training costs. It also reduces stress and frustration – a key factor in eliminating mistakes.

Scantek Scans Faster Than Almost Any Other System

Our scanners are amongst the fastest on the market. Each terminal is capable of scanning an ID in just two seconds. This, compared to scanners that can take up to 20 seconds, greatly increases the number of patrons a venue can process per hour.

“We have used other ID scanning systems in the past, but were not satisfied with what they could offer or the quality of scans that they produced. To scan and display the patron’s details in 2 seconds [with Scantek] was a massive advantage to getting the clients in our venue quicker.”
Keith Noyes
Venue Manager Eatons Hill Hotel, Queensland

Another advantage of fast scanning is that venues can minimise the number of units they require. This reduces staff costs.Our scanners are amongst the fastest on the market. Each terminal is capable of scanning an ID in just two seconds. This, compared to scanners that can take up to 20 seconds, greatly increases the number of patrons a venue can process per hour.

Patrons who spend less time in queues are also less likely to be angry or frustrated upon entry, which can lead to fewer incidents. Preventing long queues also reduces pressure on operators to get patrons inside quickly – leading to fewer mistakes.

Note: the number of terminals required depends on how quickly patrons arrive at a venue. Large venues may not need multiple scanners if patrons arrive consistently over a longer period. On the other hand, smaller venues may need multiple units if all patrons arrive at the same time. Scantek’s team can help venues decide on the optimal number of terminals.

Fewer Security Staff Required

An ID scanning system is not a replacement for bouncers and other security staff. It can, however, reduce the quantity of security staff required to keep a venue safe for patrons.

“We are a bit out of the hustle and bustle of a major city, but still get a few trouble makers come through our doors who we don’t actually want in the first place. Having the Scantek helps keep these guys out and actually surprised us by increasing the repeat patrons we are getting.”
Matt Newberry
Director of Hospitality Mon Komo Hotel and Kyko Group

The Scantek ID scanning solution performs dozens of checks automatically. When an ID is scanned, the system checks that the ID is valid, that the person isn’t underage, hasn’t been banned from the venue before and hasn’t been banned from another venue using Scantek. None of the checks can be bypassed by using an alternative ID.An ID scanning system is not a replacement for bouncers and other security staff. It can, however, reduce the quantity of security staff required to keep a venue safe for patrons.

These extensive checks have led to an instant decrease in anti-social behaviour incidents of up to 58%. This dramatic reduction in incidents means that some venues may not need as many security staff.

Images Are Recorded To Reduce Time Spent On Police Investigations

Scantek has helped managers across Australia greatly decrease anti-social incidents in their venue. When incidents do occur, however, they can lead to time-consuming and stressful police investigations. For this reason, Scantek terminals automatically record an image of each patron. Police can quickly view the appearance and clothing of a suspect, along with other details such as name and address.

“When incidents have occurred, Scantek has led to the identification and arrest of patrons who have caused trouble inside the venue. As a result, once undesirable or potentially violent people know that we have Scantek at our front door, they stay away.”
Ben Hamblin
Director of Hospitality Ginger Nightclub

This speeds up the identification process and can lead to more convictions. It also reduces the amount of time staff and managers spend assisting with investigations.

24/7 Support

We know that if something goes wrong with a scanner on a Friday night, helping a venue the following Monday isn’t good enough.

For that reason, our scanners come with 24/7 support from our Australian staff. All of our support team – not just supervisors – are trained to fully understand how to help venues with their scanners.

“The support we have received from Scantek’s 24/7 hotline as well as our local Scantek representative has also gone beyond our expectations. I would recommend using a Scantek ID scanner to any venue that asks me without a doubt.”
Keith Noyes
Eatons Hill Hotel

If there is a problem with Scantek terminals or software at any time, our support team will work with the venue’s staff to quickly resolve the problem while minimising downtime.

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How To Increase The Effectiveness And Safety Of ID Scanning

How To Increase The
Effectiveness And Safety
Of ID Scanning

Best Practices

Scantek ID scanners automatically check for problem patrons, keep a record of all customers for 28 days, and provide venue owners with access to the largest national banned list in Australia. This instantly reduces the chance of anti-social incidents with little input from operators.

There are, however, a few best practices that managers can use to increase the effectiveness and safety of ID scanning.

  • Bans should be limited to authorised members of staff only. In most cases, this will be the managers and owners of the venue. Police and other government authorities should also be able to recommend a ban.
  • Venues should use a clearly defined banning policy. This should contain fixed ban lengths for different offences, along with a policy for repeat offenders.
  • Once a ban has expired, Scantek notifies the operator that the person may enter but has a previously recorded offence. This is a good time for the operator to remind the patron of their behaviour and the consequences of being involved in future incidents.
  • Each manager should have a different account with unique passwords. This allows Scantek to keep track of who has accessed patron data.
  • If possible, multiple terminals should be networked. This allows Scantek to share an image of the patron between terminals if they try to re-enter at a different entrance. Sharing images between terminals prevents two or more people from using the same ID.

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Fake IDs: Everything You Need To Know

Fake IDs: Everything You
Need To Know

Turning 18 is an exciting time. From finally being able to vote to heading out for a pint with friends, there is a lot going on. People under 18 are often just as excited to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. In some cases, this leads to purchasing a fake ID.

Whether you’re a bar owner or a 17-year-old reveler, there are a few things you should know about Australian fake IDs.

Australian Fake ID Types

For many people, the concept of a fake ID includes purchasing an identification card made in a backroom somewhere. As it turns out, though, there is more than just one type of fake ID in Australia.

The false identification cards that we see in movies are ones that are created without proper authority. Some people think that they can simply make their own on their computer, and they often receive a rude awakening the first time they visit an establishment with an ID scanner.

In addition to completely falsified cards, some fake IDs are made from real licenses. Many underage drinkers are caught for altering their ID in some way to appear older. Some people simply use a real identification card that belongs to someone else. For those who attempt these deceptive measures, though, there are serious potential consequences.

Legal Consequences for Using a Fake ID in Australia

While laws vary depending on where you live in Australia, bartenders or door staff will often notify police if an ID appears fake. It is then their duty to turn the card over to police so that a proper investigation can take place.

If you are caught using a fake ID, you may only be asked to leave or be given an informal citation. You may also receive a formal citation. If police officers want to press the matter, though, which is more likely if you’ve been caught before, you could face criminal charges.

These days, there is an increase in the use of ID scanners in bars and nightclubs. ID scanners quickly detect fake cards, and at this point, you are likely to be fined.

Fines vary from state to state. In Western Australia, you’ll get a $200 fine (at least) on the spot for using a fake ID. In New South Wales, this fine is around $220. In Queensland, however, the fine varies from $353 to $589.

On-the-spot penalties could be the best of a bad situation. If police officers decide to take the offender to court, fines between $2,000 and nearly $5,000 are a distinct possibility. Additionally, provisional license periods can be extended.

How to Spot a Fake ID

If you own a bar, pub or other business that sells alcohol, you have a vested interest in spotting fake ID cards. If you serve minors, you could face legal consequences even if they presented fake IDs. Fortunately, there are ways to spot these phony cards.

Check for Foils and Holograms

Regardless of where you reside, a majority of ID cards now come with foil or holograms as a security measure. Ensure that these features are visible, and make sure holograms fade in and out as you turn the card. If a hologram is constantly bright, the card is likely fake.

Scan the ID

People who make fake ID cards have become quite adept, but they don’t often have the money to actually encode a magnet strip. By using an ID scanner, you can quickly tell whether the card is legitimate or not. Scanning the ID into a networked ID Scanner allows you to easily spot a fake, as it quickly performs a series of authenticity checks and even records the ID data to your system.

Many systems also give prompts if they suspect a fake, offering security staff or bartenders questions to ask the presenter of the ID, such as zodiac sign.

Examine More Than the Birth Date

As mentioned, some people use real ID cards that aren’t theirs, so take time to compare the photo with the cardholder. Using an Australian fake ID isn’t considered child’s play; it’s a serious crime. For minors, it’s best to wait until 18 to drink, and for bar owners, make sure you’re protected by catching fake IDs as soon as you see them.

If you are involved in supplying alcohol in any way and want to protect yourself from legal consequences, contact Scantek today for a free ID scanner trial and keep minors out of your establishment.

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12 Reasons To Get A Scantek ID Scanner

12 Reasons To Get a
Scantek ID Scanner

Incidents of anti-social behaviour can be costly for venues such as bars, nightclubs and pubs. The majority of incidents are often caused by a small number of troublemakers. For this reason, quickly identifying these people and stopping them from entering a venue – or at least deterring them from causing trouble – can save time, money and stress.

Traditional methods for excluding banned patrons are reactive. Trying to recognise troublemakers at the door is inefficient and prone to mistakes. CCTV can help identify people involved in an incident but doesn’t prevent incidents from happening in the first place.

For these reasons, ID scanners are one of the most effective solutions. An ID scanner that’s fast, accurate and shares banned data with other venues can decrease anti-social incidents by up to 58%. ID scanners also make patrons feel safer, resulting in more repeat customers.

Why Choose a Scantek ID Scanner?

It is vital that an ID scanner can quickly identify and process patrons. Some scanners take up to 20 seconds just to scan a document, not including additional processing time. This can cause problems such as:

  • Slow and inefficient queue management.
  • Lost revenue due to a reduced number of patrons entering per hour.
  • Frustrated or bored patrons entering the venue.
For these reasons, the Scantek ID scanning solution has been built to be the fastest and most accurate on the market.
“Our previous system had fallen behind hence the reason we trialled the ID scanner from Scantek and have found it to be the most advanced and effective product in the market.”
Mario Gregorio
Home House

IDs can be scanned in just two seconds. This minimises the number of terminals required and increases the quantity of patrons that can enter per hour.

Aside from faster scanning, Scantek offers other advantages over competing systems:

  • An easy to use “traffic light” system that operators can learn in minutes.
  • Terminals recognise any Australian ID plus international passports.
  • Detects fake and expired IDs in seconds.
  • The most accurate scanning terminals available in Australia.
  • Access to the largest banned patron list in the country.
  • Record and view advanced analytics to discover how marketing campaigns are affecting a venue’s demographics by night, week, month or year.
  • Create unlimited VIP levels to reward and encourage repeat patrons.
  • Exceptional security measures to keep patron data safe.
  • 24/7 Australian support

Next Step?

We offer free, no-obligation demonstrations of Scantek. To book your free demonstration, please call today at 1300 552 106. We’ll arrange a demonstration at a time that’s most convenient for you.

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Australian Financial Crime Summit 2020

Australian Financial Crime
Summit 2020

It was only August when AUSTRAC flagged tough action in response to the sharp rise in disclosure of AML breaches, so there is no doubt the financial services industry will continue to make headlines for 2020 and beyond.

However, this is certainly not a time for the industry to despair, rather, an imperative for financial crime and risk leaders to work closer together with the industry and regulatory officials to strengthen compliance and risk capabilities.

The AFC Summit 2020 is just 8 days away – who’s joining us!? Follow the link below for tickets!


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How to Give Your Customers All-Star Treatment

How to Give Your Customers
All-Star Treatment

Reward customers for using social media

Customers are the most important part of your business, without them who would be buying your products or utilising your services? Since patrons and customers are what keeps your institution going, it’s crucial to treat them well and to make them feel special.

Nowadays, customers have no shortage of options when it comes to bars, nightclubs, and event venues. So what’s going to make them choose your venue over another? Outstanding customer service and VIP treatment will set your venue apart from others. Check out the following tips on how to give patrons the VIP treatment and keep customers happy.

VIP treatment ideas Use customer loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs are a simple, cost effective way to treat patrons like VIPs. Depending on the nature of your business, you can reward loyal customers with a variety of benefits.

Some easy to implement customer loyalty perks include complimentary drinks, a percentage discount off their bill, tickets/admission/discounts for future use, and countless other bonuses.

Create a VIP list

Creating a VIP guest list for your patrons is an easy way to make them feel appreciated. Add repeat customers to your VIP list to give them free entry, line skipping, or a special section of your bar, nightclub, or venue.

VIP lists mean shorter lines which means more people can be inside your venue, rather than waiting outside.

As you already know, social media has a huge impact on today’s society and businesses. Thousands of people share, tweet, and Instagram their experiences daily.

Take advantage of this free word of mouth marketing potential by offering benefits to those who talk positively about your business on social media. Offer incentives for customers who “check in” at your venue, post photos at your location, use a certain hashtag, like your venue on Facebook, or share certain posts.

Offer free upgrades

Free upgrades are an effective way to improve the customer experience of your venue, while costing you next to nothing. For years airlines have been using free upgrades to delight customers and keep them coming back for more.

Use this technique in your venue by upgrading customers’ drink and food orders, improving their seat location, or boosting their access by upgrading them to the next best tickets.

Give away freebies

Similar to free upgrades, freebies are an effective way to satisfy patrons. Depending on your venue, there are different things you can give away for free.

Bars and nightclubs can give away free samples, free drink tokens, or offer free cover. Events can give away free merchandise or marketing materials, like t-shirts, can coolers, pens, keychains, etc.

If you want to limit the financial impact of free giveaways on your venue, only offer freebies for a certain time period.

Host parties for your customers

Parties are sure to make your patrons feel important. Host customer appreciation events and offer discounts, freebies, and recognition to give patrons the VIP treatment.

If your venue has a milestone birthday, interesting event, or relevant holiday coming up, invite customers to celebrate with you.

Provide outstanding customer service

Customer service is perhaps the easiest thing that can be done to make customers feel important. Focussing on customer service can turn a great venue into an outstanding venue.

No patrons want to deal with a cranky bartender, rude servers, or mean staff members. Having poor customer service will affect your business negatively, so make sure your team is dedicated to providing a quality experience.

Improving your customer service is a free effort that will make all customers feel like VIPs.

Give no reason discounts on purchases

Random, “just because” discounts are a great way to give customers the VIP treatment. Show your customers you appreciate them by taking a percentage off their bill.

If your business sells services rather than products, give free additional services to randomly-chosen customers to make their day.

Utilise giveaways, promotions, and contests

Giveaways, promotions, and contests get patrons involved with your venue. Depending on your venue, you can try a variety of promotions, such as partnerships with relevant businesses, sponsorship from vendors, or events centred around certain products or services.

Giveaways are also easy to implement for any type of business; offer free entrance for the first 50 people, free drinks with any food purchase, free product or service from a partner business, or whatever else you think your customers would be interested in.

Since the evolution of social media, contests have become nearly effortless to run. Host a social media contest and encourage patrons to participate to win prizes.

How to implement VIP treatment ideas

Now that you have some quality ideas for creating the perfect customer experience, it’s time to learn how to apply these ideas.

Luckily, giving customers the VIP treatment doesn’t need to be difficult if you’ve got the right tools. Technologically-advanced ID scanning systems like Scantek allow you to track guests, create VIP guest lists, and provide benefits and amazing service to customers.

In addition to tracking demographic information of your patrons, Scantek will also help you group customers based on age, gender, repeat patronage, or a number of other parameters. You can then use these groups to create VIP guest lists and reward your customers accordingly with giveaways, freebies, upgrades, and more.

To learn more about the features and benefits of Scantek and how it can help you treat your customers like VIPS, check out Scantek’s blog today.

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