Can Biometric Technology Bring Law and Order to the Wild West Of Retail?

Welcome to the Wild West of Retail

In these Wild West days of personal identification and loose security in retail, employees and customers can easily get away with pretending to be someone else or effortlessly take advantage of insecure store policies:

Running late and need someone else to clock you in?  No problem, just call a work buddy and they can take care of it for you.

Need an override on a transaction but the manager is busy?  No worries, grab their keys/ID card/PIN and take care of it yourself.

Out of razor blades for shaving?  Just grab a box from the storage room at work, no one will ever notice and besides, your employer will write it off as shrink.

Stole something and want to return it without a receipt? That’s easy at a store that doesn’t have a strict return policy.

More and more retail establishments are recognizing that plugging holes in the cracking dam of their internal infrastructure lowers costs, raises profits, boosts operational efficiencies, strengthens role based security and tightens audit trails.

Biometrics Is Changing The Landscape

There is a new identity sheriff in town that is transforming the workforce management and retail point of sale environment and the shiny silver badge says “biometric technology”.  Biometric technology identifies an individual by their physiological characteristics and makes it virtually impossible to assume the identity of someone else.  Retailers are belt tightening by enhancing internal security measures and incorporating biometric identification as part of their overall strategy.  They seek to invest in technologies like biometrics that offer strong potential for high returns on investment (ROI), raise employee productivity, stop buddy punching, reduce shrink and establish employee and customer accountability.

Biometrics offers all of these advantages and its practical and affordable applications to stem the tide of waste, corruption and fraud is quickly spreading across the retail landscape.

Biometrics Is Affordable And Helps Save The Environment

Despite the preconceived notion that a technology which can offer so many benefits has to cost an arm and a leg to use, biometrics also surprises many who realize that it is affordable and maximizes long term ROI.  It’s important to ascertain the long term ROI in a workforce management or retail point of service technology for your business before investing in it.  While it may be tempting to be drawn towards identification technologies that have an initial lower cost, most often these technologies actually end up costing you more in the long run due to the cost of ongoing maintenance or replacement cards and scanners.

In addition, biometric technology reduces plastic waste and lowers energy consumption to maintain civic environmental responsibility and maintain a “Green” identity.

The Future Of Biometrics In Retail

Keep biometric identification technology in mind when researching technological enhancements and upgrades to your retail business.  There are many resources to find biometric software platforms and hardware that can be customized to meet a business owner’s unique needs to ensure that it works 100% of the time when identifying an individual.  Although adoption of biometric identification technology in the U.S. retail market has been slow to develop, as word spreads about its benefits it will become more mainstream and widely adopted.