Today, ID cards such as driver’s licenses, and credit and debit cards are taken for granted and use universally, so much that they are almost invisible. But these cards are a relatively new invention, and they have totally transformed how consumers, citizens, and employees pay debts and identify themselves. These cards can take the place of cash and help a person prove their authority to enter an area, and handheld id scanners, barcode readers, drivers license card readers, and more make this possible. Aside from handheld id scanners, today’s scanning technology also includes ballot scanners to make voting more secure. These handheld id scanners may be used by on-site security at a workplace, or police officers might carry handheld id scanners in their cruisers if they need to ID someone they pulled over.
Using Cards to Pay Debts
The word “debt” may be one that evokes dread in many consumers, but in fact most debts are small and are paid as soon as they appear. “Debt” does not have to only describe large medical bills or urgent rent money; debt covers any sort of financial obligation, and in fact most Americans pay debts every day. After all, even the simple act of buying a magazine off a rack involves paying debt, or buying a new pair of jeans from a department store’s online catalog. Buying items and services will incur debt, and consumers pay that debt right away to finish the purchase. For physical items, this usually means scanning bar codes printed on that item.
Such debts can be paid in various ways, such as traditional cash, or with specialized methods such as food stamps or other allowances. But most often, it could be argued, Americans pay their consumer debts with credit and debit cards. These plastic cards will have magnetic stripes, bar codes, or even chips in them that transmit data quickly and securely. Retailers will have card scanners on hand to allow the transmission of data, and a debit card’s bank account or a credit card’s company will pay for a purchase. This saves a consumer the need to carry around bulky cash for large purchases worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Newer cards may have electronic chips in them that can be inserted into specialized readers, offering another level of security for the consumer’s finances.
These cards are also quite useful for online purchases made with e-commerce, since no one is expected to stuff cash into their computer when buying something online. In fact, not even a physical scanner is needed. Online catalogs and other retailers will allow the consumer to enter credit card or debit card information to complete the purchase, without anyone coming face to face at all. It may also be noted that when a consumer makes purchases with a credit or debit card, this makes their expenses easier to track and log. Bank statements will show when purchases were made and for how much, and even show where those purchases were made. This is helpful for creating a spending log and setting a budget, and it is also useful for identity fraud victims to identify when or where that identity theft might have happened.
Other Uses for Scanners and Cars
Debt repayment is a major use for scanners and cards, but not the only one. Often, Americans will present their driver’s licenses to police officers when they are pulled over, and those officers may have handheld id scanners on hand for that work. Personal IDs are also used by the employees at some workplaces, and these are photo IDs with bar codes or magnetic stripes in them. Such IDs are used to prove that an employee is authorized to enter a workplace, and this can be done anywhere from a factory to a warehouse. Security guards will also have such cards to prove their authority a the workplace.
Scanner tech is also used for voting. Today’s paper ballots, once marked with pencils or pens, can be inserted into bulky ballot scanners, which quickly read and log the contents. This allows hundreds of ballots to be logged in an afternoon, useful for busy voter locations. This also contributes to the United States’ very low incident rates of voter fraud.