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The Winning Play: Digital ID Verification with Checkout-Free Shopping

Bonnie Milam Sep 12, 2023 10:30:01 AM

In today’s world of sports and entertainment, enhancing the fan experience is paramount. Traditional checkout lines and manual ID checks have long been bottlenecks that stand in the face of efficiency and convenience. Emerging technologies are making it possible to revolutionize the way fans shop for concessions and make the gameday experience faster and more enjoyable than ever before.

Checkout-free shopping has enabled millions of fans to enter a store, grab snacks and drinks, and exit without waiting in line. It’s a concept that has gained significant momentum in recent years across professional sports venues. The remaining bottleneck? Fans waiting in line for an ID check if they purchase alcohol. By combining digital Identity Verification and checkout-free technologies, this last friction point can be eliminated.

Digital Identity Verification solutions are designed to securely and quickly verify your identity using facial recognition technology. By integrating these systems with the checkout-free shopping experience, sports venues can eliminate the need for manual ID checks while maintaining compliance with age-restricted regulations.

How it Works

Shoppers would first register for a digital Identity Verification service. This typically requires a valid ID, a credit card, and a selfie. Once shoppers are verified in the system, they can enter the store with a facial scan. Checkout-free platforms use a combination of technologies like computer vision, sensors, and machine learning to keep track of the items shoppers purchase. Upon exiting, shoppers are charged for what they take. Registered shoppers purchasing alcohol can exit without stopping for an ID check because their age has already been verified. 

The Benefits

The most obvious benefit of this combination is the fan experience. Long lines to verify proof of age with a human attendant are the most significant bottleneck for alcohol sales at major venues. Now fans can breeze through the store, picking up snacks, team merchandise, and even alcohol without the hassle of traditional checkout lines. The entire process becomes nearly instantaneous, maximizing fans' time to enjoy the game.

With automated Identity Verification, stores don’t need extra employees to manually check IDs. This not only cuts down on labor costs and long lines, but also minimizes the risk of human error. Complying with age-based regulations is simplified because of the high degree of accuracy these systems provide, ensuring only eligible shoppers can purchase age-restricted items, and reducing the risk of violations or fines for the venue.

Efficiency in Action

That’s why Zippin partnered with Aramark Sports + Entertainment and IDmission to pilot this experience at three “Drink Mkt” stands at Empower Field at Mile High opening day. Together these technologies automate age and payment verification for the checkout-free shopping experience. 

IDmission delivers advanced technology for Identity Verification, which allows stores to instantly recognize customers and enable purchasing with just a ‘selfie’. At the Zippin-powered Drink Mkt, fans enrolled with IDmission use a facial scan instead of a credit card or QR code to enter the store. The facial scan securely verifies their age and a valid payment method. Once in the store, they select what they want and zip out. Fans are back to their seats in no time, without stopping for manual ID checks.

During opening day, a few hundred fans signed up for the new service. This new frictionless experience offers fans a more efficient way to shop but is completely optional. Fans opting to not participate in the program enter the store by tapping a credit card or scanning a QR code.  This new integration will be rolled out across more Zippin-powered stores over the next few home games at Empower Field at Mile High.  

Tech-driven Fan Experience

Venues must continually innovate to attract and retain fans. That's why combining digital identity verification and checkout-free shopping should be at the top of their playbook. Offering a fast, convenient, and frictionless shopping experience not only pleases fans but increases revenue and operational efficiency. Fans can spend more time watching the game or live event and venues can get more fans through their stores faster, so nobody skips a purchase due to long lines. 

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