Biometric Authentication in Hospitality

Ashley H

Licensed businesses who serve alcohol have huge responsibilities – from maintaining safe environments for their staff and customers to keeping drinks out of the hands of minors. But with the growing use of biometric authentication during ID checks, more licensees are blocking risks at the front door.

Managing Bars, Pubs and Clubs Responsibly

With hundreds of customers coming and going every day, keeping track of identities in drinking areas can be difficult. Whether there’s an ID check at the door or at the point of sale, knowing who’s on property is crucial.

Underage Drinking

The drinking age is well known by all, but under 18s can still end up in licensed venues. Fake IDs are becoming more convincing and it can be costly having bouncers at the front door during off-peak hours. But the consequences for not stopping a minor from entering can be hefty. The maximum penalties in Australia are:

  • $33,362 – Selling alcohol to a minor
  • $10,676 – Allowing a minor to drink alcohol
  • $13,345 – Allowing minors to enter or remain in the venue.

The exact amounts are different for each state, but the sting is still the same. These fines are usually given to the licensee, permit holder, approved manager or other employees like bar staff. Fines can also be given to the underage person committing the act.

Safety in Bars

Environments with intoxicated people can pose serious risks. Physical assault and battery commonly occurs in public places like pubs and clubs, and sexual harassment is a common theme. And it’s not just guests put in dangerous situations; staff – from bouncers to bartenders – are also in the firing line. Ensuring customers have been checked against police systems and ban lists is a vital part of everyone’s safety.

The protection venues need to provide also includes safety against identity fraud. As card IDs are the most common form of identification in bars, pubs and clubs, the information on them can be at risk. If an employee fails to keep a customer’s ID confidential when checking it or at another time, it could cost them up to $4,670.

Misuse of Gaming Machines

It’s not just safety and the misuse of alcohol that pubs and clubs need to look out for. Criminals using gaming machines for money laundering is on the rise. With hundreds of billions of dollars spent on gaming each year, spotting it can be difficult – especially as it’s commonly committed by regular customers. But properties with installed gaming machines have to keep up with KYC and AML compliance, they also have reporting responsibilities with AUSTRAC.

Biometric Authentication of Customers in Hospitality

Businesses employing biometric authentication know exactly who they’re serving. With smarter types of biometric devices like live video, venues can take better control of the customers they let in. IDs checked with biometrics are compared with information on government databases. This national identity checking service exposes fake IDs, flags criminals and points out people who are banned from drinking in the local area.

KYC and AML Compliance

Regulations around serving alcohol and hosting gambling machines are tough. But with a proper ID verification, a police check online, and the professional monitoring of customers, businesses can satisfy the KYC scheme and AML standards, employing proper anti-money laundering policy and procedures.

Biometric authentication offers a secure way for the hospitality industry to create safe and responsible environments. From serving alcohol to the right people to keeping criminals away from gaming machines, biometric technology is an effective tool against fraud.