Adapting the Last Mile: Contactless Delivery & Age Verification Post-COVID

| Post, Pakete und Express

Adapting the Last Mile: Contactless Delivery & Age Verification Post-COVID

As the end of 2020 approaches, we’ve seen drastic changes in how delivery companies must interact with their customers with safety and contactless delivery remaining priorities.

While traditional last mile technologies and approaches have struggled to effectively adapt, newer technological solutions such as deploying scanning-enabled smart devices are helping post, parcel and express enterprises to transform processes and tackle these challenges.

A Surge in Demand Creating Safety and Compliance Risks

During the pandemic, and impacted by the resulting surge in home delivery demand, Delivery in Full On Time (DIFOT) dropped to as low as 50%.  This is one of the most important KPIs in terms of customer satisfaction.  Delivery enterprises have been searching for answers with mixed results.

And COVID-19 has not only led to a greater volume of home deliveries, it has also created spikes in certain categories.  One of these is an increase in online orders for age restricted goods, such as alcohol, tobacco and medicine deliveries, especially during lockdowns or amidst other restrictions on movement or physical retail stores.  Verifying the identity of the recipient of these types of goods is a legal requirement in many countries.  Failing to confirm and record the ID check presents a growing compliance risk.

Maintaining Safety and Compliance on the Road

Continuously adapting to new and changing consumer needs is no small challenge.  Implementing revised processes to ensure safety for delivery drivers and customers, without compromising efficiency or incurring new costs.  Scaling up resources to meet  planned and unplanned peaks.  While simultaneously ensuring these solutions don’t increase the risk of friendly fraud and non-compliance.

Thankfully there are proven technological solutions available to support post-COVID last mile processes.  Here we will look at two of them.

One: Contactless Proof of Delivery – Safe, Easy and Efficient with Smartphones

Post-COVID, limiting the amount of time couriers and delivery drivers spend at the customer’s door is a priority.  Decreasing dwell time (how long is spent at each delivery stop) reduces contact and limits exposure to the virus – this means Proof of Delivery must be completed as quickly as possible.  Without Proof of Delivery, or even with less stringent Proof of Delivery (a photo rather than a scan or signature), there is no guarantee of DIFOT and an increased risk of fraud.

Drivers need to be able to rapidly locate the right parcel or letter, scan it upon delivery and then capture any other necessary information, such as ID, signature, addresses, GPS location and photos.  All this must be done with speed and at a safe distance.

Scandit already helps our delivery enterprise customers, such as DHL, Post NL and Swiss Post, to perform Proof Of Delivery in a safe, cost effective and easy way – by enabling them to accomplish all of those steps with a single smart device.  Watch it in action:

For added safety, you can even enable customers to sign for deliveries on their own devices using a contactless Proof of Delivery web app.  Customers simply scan a QR code, open the web app with the proof of delivery functionality, scan their package and sign on their own device to confirm delivery.

One Device Offers a Cost Effective and Scalable Solution

Drivers can rely on one smart device using mobile apps powered by enterprise-grade  barcode scanning and ID scanning software to handle all Proof of Delivery related tasks.  The scanning is fast and accurate, even in difficult real world conditions, such as at a safe distance, in the back of the van, or at the doorstep in low light, under the sun’s glare or when in motion.

Rugged smartphones are light, easy to handle or keep in your pocket, yet robust enough for the last mile.  And as driver’s are already familiar with smartphones, little training is required.  Scandit barcode scanning is also typically x3 lower cost than dedicated scanners, so you can make savings on hardware costs and rapidly scale up if needed without incurring huge expense. Further hardware savings can be uncovered by adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy and deploying Scandit-powered apps on driver or contractors personal smart devices.

Two: ID Scanning Software – Confirm Age Verification with a Quick Scan

eCommerce for alcohol has grown exponentially over the past few years and presents a rising compliance risk for delivery companies.  In the US alone, alcohol demand has increased by around 30% due to COVID-19 according to Nielsens.

Whether it’s alcohol as part of a grocery delivery or a fast food delivery, or other age restricted goods such as medicine or prescription drugs, last mile enterprises need to make sure they comply with the local legislation.

When it comes to age verified deliveries, where there has been a failed proof of identity, whether it was done visually or manually by the driver or the recipient was absent, there may be a variety of serious legal consequences for employees and delivery companies, such as:

  • Immediate termination of employees or contractors for negligent or deliberate non-conformance to this policy or related legislation.
  • Legal action against employees or contractors for severe breaches of this policy or related legislation, which results in injury, loss of life, social harm, or community disruption.

Mobile apps empowered with ID scanning software are a viable solution to help tackle this issue and ensure no delivery is received by a minor.

Reliable ID Scanning on Smart Devices

With many companies crowdsourcing to meet demand for new drivers and delivery employees to cope with the COVID surge, a flexible and easy to use solution for enabling age verification is required.  Where mobile apps are already deployed for delivery workflows, adding ID scanning capability is a proven and available solution to verify the age of the recipient.

Scandit brings high-performance ID scanning software into any mobile delivery app, enabling smart devices with a camera to capture data from different types of identity documents (passports, driver licenses, national identity cards) as part of the Proof of Delivery process.

Not only you can record the ID or driving licence, but the Scandit SDK also makes it clear to the driver if the ID matches the legal age to pick up the item (automatically calculating if the person is 18 or 21 years +).

It’s a fast and secure way to verify the age during the Proof of Delivery process.  The Scandit software captures the information on the identity document, scanning the barcode, machine readable zone (MRZ) or text using Optical Character Recognition, with a quick scan of the back or front of the card (depending on the country).  The information on the ID is parsed on the spot to make sure the recipient has the right age for delivery.

The ID check is officially confirmed and recorded, lowering exposure to legal risks.  And with Scandit, security and data privacy is assured – all data extraction and processing is done entirely on the device.

Adapt and Innovate

With future changes and the need to continuously adapt to meet them the only real certainty. Barcode scanning and ID scanning enabled mobile apps on smart devices provide a safer, flexible, future-proof solution for your customers and your last mile workers.

Scandit helps delivery enterprises successfully deploy enterprise-grade barcode scanning apps on both personal and business-owned smartphones. We can help you identify the right mobile and scanning strategy to cope with the evolving challenges in the post-COVID world.  Get in touch to discuss