ID Scanning in the Enterprise: Getting Started

Need to ID people quickly and accurately in your business or customer processes? Identity Document (ID) scanning on a mobile app or website is an easy to deploy option.

ID checks have historically been a frustrating, time-consuming process relying on visual document inspection and manually inputting data. In today’s fast-paced world, this simply won’t cut it.

Many different industries are turning to technology to integrate ID scanning capabilities into their customer and employee-facing processes to capture information with more speed and accuracy, to reduce friction and comply with increasing regulations.


of organizations believe human error is the biggest contributor to data inaccuracy.

Source: Experian

In this guide, we’ll examine what high performance software-based ID scanning is, and how enterprises are using it. You’ll discover:

  • Different types of ID
  • Alternative ways of scanning IDs
  • Typical scenarios where ID scanning adds value
  • The essentials to optimize ID scanning
  • How simple ID scanning is to deploy
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What is ID Scanning and why is it important?

ID scanning is the extraction of data from documents into a digital format that can be tracked, validated, or queried. It provides an audit trail of what is being verified and the reasons why. For example, retailers or grocers selling alcohol need to be able to validate a person’s age.

A smartphone enabled with smart data capture and ID scanning software gives anybody needing to check a person’s identity, instant access to a handy mobile ID scanning tool.

This helps to reduce delays or disruption and eliminate human errors. Watch it in action:

To be truly effective, the software needs to be able to scan and capture data from a wide range of ID documents including:

  • ID Documents with Machine Readable Zones (MRZ): Passports and ID Cards –Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) include many countries’ ID cards, all passports and visa stickers. These documents are standardized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and feature text in a Machine Readable Zone.
  • ID Documents with Radio-frequency identification (RFID): e-Passports – Electronically Machine Readable Travel Documents (eMRTD) or e-Passports, and e-Passports with embedded RFID chips.
  • ID Documents with PDF417 Barcodes: Drivers Licenses – PDF14 scanning and parsing is used on all drivers licenses in Canada and those issued in the USA by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), along with US Military ID.
  • ID Documents with Visual Inspection Zones: Front of ID Documents without Machine Readable Data – Data from all drivers licenses in the EU, UK and US, and many other drivers licenses and ID cards, can be captured by scanning the personal details from the visual inspection zone on the front of the license using text recognition (OCR).

It’s important to have software support that monitors changes to all ID types and continuously updates the parser to ensure the most reliable scanning results. Building a parser in-house can take 10-20 months – and maintaining a parser can use up 25% of a full time employee’s working time.

Flexibility with different ways to scan

ID scanning capabilities can be integrated to help digitalize and automate processes using either native mobile apps, web apps or websites.

Native apps and web apps deliver different user experiences, and each have their own advantages in terms of deployment, delivery, and functionality. 

Native apps are developed for a specific operating system (OS), which makes them perfectly compatible with a smart device’s features, and allows them to finely control the camera, microphone or accelerometer. The user must download and install the app, which is stored and run on the device itself (even when offline). It must be updated as new releases become available. Native apps offer a slick user experience, and increased functionality.

For employee-led ID scanning scenarios, such as passport checks at the airport or ID checks for delivering age-restricted goods, a native app can be beneficial as it does not require internet access. This means that your employee can quickly scan an ID and verify identity and age from anywhere without limitations.

Web apps are accessed through a web browser so no download, installation or user updates are required. Any camera-enabled smart device can become an enterprise-grade barcode scanner just by opening a web browser app, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.

Integrating ID Scanning software into web apps can greatly benefit low volume scanning scenarios, such as loyalty sign up forms. This is because your customers can complete this process remotely, without employee assistance or needing to download an app.

Where and how ID scanning is used

There are many examples of where ID scanning is used, from airport check in to delivery on your doorstep, from retail stores to restaurants. Here we look at some of the different scenarios and how deploying ID scanning software on smart devices can help you to create differentiated customer and employee experiences:

Employee onboarding

ID scanning software can be integrated into employee apps for fast and seamless onboarding of new, temporary or seasonal workers such as delivery drivers, accommodation hosts or taxi drivers.

Providing a flexible way to scale the workforce while remaining compliant, new workers can simply scan their driving license or other identity documents to record personal information and confirm relevant details, such as their status, quickly and easily as a registered driver.

Completing forms is a breeze, as scanning the ID reduces time spent on manual data entry, and eliminates mistakes caused by human error.

This feature is especially useful if you’re onboarding large numbers of holiday workers, for example when ramping up for seasonal peaks, allowing the business to scale at the speed of need.

Age verified delivery

Compliance issues around the purchase and delivery of age-restricted goods is a serious business and one which is growing in magnitude. For example, age-restricted deliveries like alcohol and mail order prescriptions have skyrocketed.

Such deliveries traditionally required drivers to visually or manually verify IDs on the doorstep. Not only can this increase dwell time for each delivery, reduce earnings of drivers on a ‘per drop’ basis, but can lead to non-compliance issues.

A recent Serve Legal compliance audit found that only 45% of rapid delivery drivers asked recipients for proof of age when delivering orders requiring ID verification, leaving delivery companies to face legal and financial penalties, along with reputational risk.

Introducing ID scanning-enabled apps on mobile devices will instantly increase your compliance rates. It offers quick and easy age verification on doorsteps, in bars and restaurants or at the curbside.

See how easy it is to verify a person’s ID on the doorstep.


Loyalty card scanning

Customers increasingly expect a seamless omnichannel shopping experience, and loyalty programs are an important aspect – not only for delivering customer value but for the retailer to gain valuable data and insights into consumer behavior.

Despite the promise of rewards, special offers and tailored promotions many customers suffer from ‘app fatigue’ when asked to install new apps to their device – research by PYMNTS suggests that 77% of consumers keep just five or fewer merchant apps on their mobile phones.

Adding ID scanning to customer-facing retail apps simplifies and speeds up the app adoption process for your customers. By scanning their ID and/or loyalty card, the customer’s personal information is extracted and processed automatically, eliminating the need for manual data input.

Passport scanning /Self check-in

Many airlines are shifting from costly fixed passenger identification scanners to more cost-effective smartphone-based ID scanning with mobile agents.

ID scanning on mobile devices makes passport and boarding pass checks at the airport fast, flexible and efficient, as staff can ID passengers on-the-go – at check-in or at gates, quickly processing a wide variety of machine-readable ID documents including ID cards, driving licenses, and visa stickers.

ID scanning software also enables passengers to self-check in by scanning their passports at home during online check-in on the airline’s website or app.

Mobile or self-check in, speeds up airport workflows, making boarding and travel operations more seamless and convenient. Software can also verify document authenticity by reading the RFID chip on ePassports to maintain security.

ID scanning essentials

Performance is critical

In every ID scanning use case, speed and accuracy are essential to deliver the optimum experience.

The scanning app must work on a multitude of devices and in real life conditions.

Documents may be damaged, lighting may be poor or causing glare, and with ongoing social distancing, scanning must work at a distance, and at awkward angles. Any failure causes friction and frustration, resulting in a poor experience and poor engagement.

Data must be instantly parsed and displayed in the UI, so that the employee or customers can proceed with the process. Additionally, the ability to scan text from the visual inspection zone, PDF417 barcodes and machine readable zones is key to ensure a robust, reliable ID scanning solution.

Choose a software provider that guarantees high performance scanning in challenging conditions and includes a parser, so no resources or time need be spent on building or maintaining the parser.

Industry-leading scanning performance from Scandit has a 99.5% scan success rate for IDs with PDF417 and a minimum success rate of 95% for data in machine readable and visual inspection zones.

On average, IDs can be scanned in less than 1 second.

Security and compliance

With Scandit ID scanning, all data is processed within the scanning device itself, which ensures maximum security, data privacy and compliance with data protection laws including General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Best practice includes:

  • All data extraction and processing happens on the device
  • By default, no personal data leaves the device
  • Any transmitted data is encrypted

Additionally, the software can be used to create an audit trail, for example recording whether a valid document was shown or if age verification checks have taken place. This helps to avoid possible legal and financial penalties for non-compliance.

Read about how ID scanning is a critical component of the EU’s Digital Green Certificates to verify COVID-19 vaccination status.


Scandit software supports more than 20,000 models of smart devices, including low-end devices that lack autofocus, and has the versatility to integrate ID scanning into any app or website.

The powerful ID scanning software solution provides assured performance and flexibility of use on any platform or framework, whether mobile or desktop, and is easy to implement and deploy with parsing included, saving developers valuable time.

This also has the added benefits of enabling enterprises to consolidate from many single purpose devices to one multi-functional device for any task, including ID scanning, and unlocking significant savings.

Integration options

An ID scanning solution should be able to embed seamlessly into your existing workflows, ecosystem and device fleet.

There are two different ways to add ID scanning to your app or website:

Option 1: Native app scanning

ID Scanning can be added to native smartphone apps, as well as android-based hardware scanners, with the Scandit Data Capture SDK.

  • Add the ability to scan and parse Machine Readable Zones (MRZ) from different ID documents and RFID passports to mobile apps on Android and iOS.
  • Directly scan and parse the text containing the personal data located on the front of a driving license or ID card.
  • Scan and parse PDF417 barcodes on smart devices using Android and iOS, Linux and Windows.

Option 2: Websites and web apps

Quickly add ID scanning to any website or web based app with just a few lines of code. Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK for the Web is easy to implement and works on mobile or desktop.

  • Add the ability to scan and parse Machine Readable Zones (MRZ) from different ID documents.
  • Directly scan and parse the text containing the personal data located on the front of a driving license or ID card.
  • Enable any web-based app or website to scan and parse the PDF417 barcode displayed on the back of ID documents, such as the US and Canadian driving licenses.
  • All browser types are supported.

If you’re ready to get started with ID scanning and would like to see Scandit Barcode Scanning SDK in action, download a demo here: Native SDK Demo App or Web SDK Demo.

Or if you’d like to discuss where ID scanning can help your business, please get in touch.

Find Out How We Can Help

Unlock The Power of ID Scanning on Web or Mobile Apps

From doorsteps to airports, supermarket counters to bars, ID verification is part of everyday life. What’s less widespread is an easy way to streamline and speed up the ID scanning process. With customer experience, convenience and compliance never more crucial, it’s time to change that.

ID Scanning Software for Smart Devices

Scandit brings high-performance ID scanning into mobile and web-based apps, enabling any smart device with a camera to accurately, compliantly capture and parse identity data.

Add ID Scanning Functionality to a Mobile App

Speed up your app onboarding process by quickly scanning national identity cards. Reduce human error at the airline check-in desk by scanning passports using smart devices. And verify their authenticity by reading the NFC chip as well. Integrate ID scanning into any mobile app to provide your users with the best scanning experience.