It can be said that without modern scanner technology, such as mag stripe readers and ID readers and full page scanners, finances and business would be a lot slower. Many companies today, especially retailers, have serious need for scanner tech, for transferring funds, copying documents, and confirming a person’s identity and level of authority. At a retailer, mag stripe readers are vital for making payments with credit cards and debit cards, and ID scanners are useful for the police and worksite security alike. Meanwhile, when is the right time for mass-scanning of documents at an office?
Scanners and Finance
The world of commerce is a major arena for modern scanner technology, from bar code readers to mag stripe readers of all kinds to ID scanning. While people sometimes use cash to make payments, it is most common to make use of debit cards, credit cards, and gift cards instead. When someone is ready to make a purchase, the employee will use a bar code scanner to log the item’s identity and price into the system, and this will incur a debt on the customer’s part. Now, unless cash is used, the customer will hand over a plastic card, or swipe it in a mag stripe reader. This allows the system to read the correct data and transfer the proper funds from that card’s issuer (either a credit card company or bank account). So, in very little time, the debt is cleared, and some cards now come with chips in them to enhance security.
Many of these mag stripe readers are set on a countertop with the register, but today, some readers are actually little devices that can be plugged into a tablet computer for convenience. A program on the computer will register the scanned card’s data, and allow for the transfer of funds right away. This is often done when a businessperson visits the client rather than the other way around, such as a plumber or electrician who visits the client’s home and receives payment there. After all, no one is going to bring an entire cash register with them in their work truck.
There is another perk to using cards for purchases: tracking expenses. A person can easily track their spending habits when they view their credit or debit card history on a statement, and that’s great for balancing a check book. If anything unexpected appears, the owner may realize that someone stole their identity, and they can call their card issuer and have it frozen to block out any more unauthorized use. A new card may then be issued.
Meanwhile, many scanners, some of them handheld, are used to read information off of a person’s ID card, typically a driver’s license. Police officers can use these when they pull someone over, and confirm that person’s identity and criminal record. There may also be larger scanning devices back at the station. But it’s not just law enforcement officers; many work sites also use ID scanners to confirm the identity of everyone there. This is a good way to prevent intruders from visiting the premises and potentially causing harm. A new employee may have their picture taken, and they will have an ID card printed for them. The employee may present this photo ID to human security guards on the premises, and at some places of work, such cards can be used to unlock doors that have scanners built into them. Bar codes on the card are often used for that purpose.
While paper is important at an office, having too many paper documents can become a liability after a point. Excessive paper means clutter, as well as potential fire hazard and the risk of losing documents (not to mention the expense of recreating them). Once this point is reached, the company can hire scanner/shredder crews, who can scan documents by the thousands and upload the digital files into the client’s data servers and Cloud storage accounts. This clears up clutter, and also allows those files to be easily sent to remote or traveling employees. On a more day-to-day basis, employees at an office can use document scanners to send a paper document in an email or fax it, and create a digital backup if the hard copy is lost.