courier on a scooter

Combining ID and Barcode scanners in a single mobile device for Couriers

18/10/2021

Online sales have seen a gigantic increase in volume and revenue in the last couple of years, driven by the covid-19 pandemic when shopping in-store was not an option. But more than the growth of e-commerce, the industry has witnessed a shift in the consumers’ habits online. If items purchased online were previously mostly non-perishable goods, online shoppers are now ordering far more groceries, including restricted items such as alcohol, tobacco and medical prescriptions.

While this shift is beneficial to online businesses, it creates an added challenge for last-mile delivery companies as more items being delivered now fall under an age restriction set by national and federal legislation. It is evident that drop off couriers need new tools now.

For couriers and delivery employees, it’s now essential that they can verify the age of recipients during restricted item deliveries, without creating additional friction and costing delivery efficiency. To understand how last mile delivery companies can achieve this balance, we’re coving the following topics:

  1. Why do couriers need to scan IDs during deliveries?
  2. How can they accurately and efficiently verify IDs?
  3. Why does integrating ID and Barcode scanning limit TCO?
  4. How can last mile delivery companies integrate ID and Barcode scanning in drop off courier tools?
groceries delivered in paper bags

1. Why do couriers need to scan IDs during deliveries?

When delivering age-restricted goods to a customer, couriers often need to verify the age of the recipient by requesting to see their ID or another valid age confirmation document. In the past, this would mean simply taking the ID and checking the name of recipient and their date of birth. But while this approach may shave been enough before, many customers now want to limit contact during deliveries.

Contactless ID scanning for proof of delivery is now a must-have for last mile delivery companies to match these new customer expectations. It is an affordable, safe and efficient method of verifying age. It also helps provide customers with a positive delivery experience, a benefit that’s critically important since three out of four consumers report that an unsatisfactory experience will cause them to stop doing business with a delivery company.

2. Why should couriers scan IDs?

It may seem that verifying the customer’s ID is all that’s needed to determine if a courier can deliver an order. However, it’s possible to misread an ID card, which places a last mile delivery company at great risk when the order includes an age-restricted item like alcohol, tobacco or medical prescriptions.

Furthermore, many delivery companies are relaxing their rules for signature and identification due to the pandemic, according to Forbes. However, this change provides fraudsters with a better opportunity to claim they didn’t receive their order.

A process that automatically scans IDs, verifies age and records the results helps these companies minimize fraud while also avoiding the serious legal and financial consequences of delivering age-restricted items to someone who can’t legally receive them.

3. How can ID and barcode scanning solutions limit TCO?

Couriers need to manage deliveries for all orders, but it’s especially important to do so for age-restricted products. This process generally involves tracking the order, including when and where it was delivered. Delivery management may use many tools such as the following:

Every tool needs to be linked for last mile delivery companies and couriers to perform their job at its best potential, but this often results in multiple devices being used, which brings many disadvantages:

  • Having to switch between devices to perform different tasks burdens employees’ workflow
  • Employees have to learn how to use every device, and for less tech-savvy employees, it can be a challenge. Also, if employees don’t know how to use their tools correctly, errors might be made or some processes may be overlooked.
  • The multiplication of devices also comes with a greater total cost of ownership for businesses: it requires companies to invest in scanners, GPS and software, and to maintain those tools.

With new trends such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), last mile delivery companies can limit TCO. However, it requires them to integrate what multiple devices previously did into a single mobile device, like a smartphone or a tablet. Many delivery companies already use GPS Apps or delivery management Apps, but might still have to use other devices for ID or barcode scanning.

4. How can last mile delivery companies integrate ID and barcode scanning in drop off courier tools?

All the tools needed to fulfill a delivery should ideally be provided by a tablet or smartphone, which greatly simplifies this task. Anyline’s mobile data capture solutions provide an efficient way to scan barcodes with mobile devices that have a camera. They can be used in a variety of adverse conditions, including low light levels, poor weather and locations without internet connectivity.

Delivery companies can also implement Anyline’s Barcode and ID scanning SDK into their existing processes, eliminating the need for couriers to switch apps during deliveries. A single mobile device can thus reduce their operating costs while also simplifying the delivery process, which is especially beneficial for less tech-savvy drivers.

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