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Q. Which CardVisor Product is best suited for my needs?

A.  The first question is what state's driver licenses that are frequently presented in your establishment.  We have solutions which read just Magnetic Striped licenses (CardVisor I, II, III, IV packages) and other which also read 2D bar code licenses (any package with "BC" in the name reads 2D bar codes).  Visit our coverage chart to see what states have what technology.  If you need to read licenses with a 2D bar code, then you must purchase a package with the term "BC" in the name like CardVisor II BC Edge.  For example, if you are in a Magnetic stripe state like California or Ohio and don't see that many licenses from 2D bar codes states, then a Magnetic stripe only version may work just fine (CardVisor I, II, III, IV packages).  One nice thing is that you can upgrade to read 2D bar codes by purchasing the Bar Code Reader Cradle when your requirements dictate. 

The next question is which version of software should you get.   See the question below titled "What are the differences between CardVisor I, II, III and IV software?" to see which version of the software best meets your requirements.

Finally, if you need a package which reads bar codes, then do you require a mobile/portable solution or do you have a fixed location where the unit will be used?  The CardVisor II BC Edge is very popular with liquor / C stores which mount the ID scanner in one location and plug it in.  The CardVisor_ II_BC_Pro and CardVisor_II_BC both are mobile and differ on how the batteries are recharged.  The Pro version charges like a cell phone and can be operated at a fixed location on the charger. The standard version has 2 AAA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable) that must changed periodically.

Q. How much does the compliance software cost?

A. If you have Microsoft Excel, then it is FREE!  All CardVisor packages come with the hardware and software necessary to transfer the transaction data to a desktop PC.  The user manual details the process to transfer this data to Microsoft Excel or Access.  No need to pay a couple extra hundred dollars to maintain proof of due diligence which is important in states which provide an affirmative defense when an electronic age verification device was used to check age prior to a sale.  From Excel, the data can be exported to PC desktop contact management applications like ACT or Goldmine

Q. How much does the Address Label software cost?

A. Again, if you have Microsoft Word, it is FREE! The CardVisor II and CardVisor III packages record address information, so creating mailing labels using Microsoft Word is rather straightforward.  We provide a mailing labels application note detailing the process.  No need to pay a few extra hundred bucks to have compliance reporting software and print address labels.

Q. How much do software updates to the ID Scanner cost?  I understand these are necessary as jurisdictions  change the drivers license formats.

A. Nothing - They are a FREE download from our web site  - Click here to see them.

Q. Can an email address or phone number be added to the contact information?

A. Yes.  After reading a card, just hit the MemoPad button on the front panel, tap on the top memo with the stylus and then enter the data.   Multiple fields can be added such as; Notes (e.g. great customer), phone numbers, and email addresses.  See the CardVisor I & II user manual, page 11 for details.

Q. Does CardVisor ID Scanner work in my state or province?

A. See the coverage map for jurisdictions with magnetic striped and/or 2D bar code driver’s licenses.  Note that some states have recently started or changed the technology they use and remember that it will take 3 to 5 years to convert all licenses to the new technology.  In addition, a small number of states have protected some or all of the information on the machine-readable magnetic stripe.  Finally, as license formats change, we are constantly updating our software to handle new formats.

Q. Do I need the Bar Code Reader Cradle?

A. It depends on the state you are in and the states you need to read.  If you are in a Magnetic stripe state like Florida, Ohio, California and don't see that many IDs from states with just 2D bar codes, then a Magnetic stripe version may be the perfect fit.  The coverage map should help you decide.  One nice thing is that you can upgrade to read 2D bar codes by purchasing the Bar Code Reader Cradle when your requirements dictate. 

Q. Does the Scanner keep a count of IDs read?

A. Yes.  Each time a license is read, it creates a memo in the MemoPad application.  Whenever a Memo is selected, it will say 'Memo X of YYYY' at the top of the screen.  By noting the number of memos present at the start of the shift, you can calculate the number of swipes by subtracting the current number of memos from the starting number.  Note: the number of licenses read will be an approximation of the total number of people entering a club because some licenses will not have readable technology or may have damaged stripes, but it should be pretty close in locations where each visitor's license is swiped.

Q. What is included with a CardVisor ID Scanner?

A. All CardVisor packages are complete with everything you need to start using them right away. Each package contains a version of the CardVisor age verification software, a CardTool® reader, a Handspring Palm OS handheld computer, a HotSync cradle, connectivity desktop software installation CD, and batteries (either built in or removable). 
The bar code reader packages add a bar code reader cradle and appropriate power supply/Hotsync cables.  For packages with removable batteries, just install the batteries in the handheld computer, set the date/time and start swiping cards.  For packages with built in batteries, we charge them before shipping so licenses can be checked as soon as the box is opened.     

Q. What are the differences between CardVisor I, II, III and IV software?

A. CardVisor I software calculates the age, generates a warning when underage or expired and saves just the license number, date of birth, expiration date, status of the swipe (OK, under 18, expired, etc.), date and time of swipe.  CardVisor II adds contact information such as first name, middle name, last name, title, address, and city, state, zip, and gender.  Having the name displayed on the screen is helpful in detecting some fake IDs and saving the name/address allows one to build a customer list.  CardVisor III adds the VIP/Banned watch list and Append Notes features.  The VIP/Banned list feature is used by most clubs to identify individuals who have caused trouble in a club.   CardVisor IV adds the AntiPass back feature.

Q. What is the VIP/Banned watch list feature?

A. The VIP/Banned watch list feature allows individuals to be identified as either VIPs or Banned individuals when their license is swiped.  This speeds the identification of significant individuals and automates the identification process.  In a large club with several bouncers, this feature helps in identifying trouble makers at the door.   It is only available with the CardVisor III and CardVisor IV software.

Q. Does the VIP/Banned list feature require the ID scanner to be connected to a computer?

A. Unlike many ID scanners that use a watch list database, CardVisor software uses a database stored in the handheld computer's memory.  There is no need to run a wire to a desktop PC to use this feature!

Q. Is a computer required to use the CardVisor ID Scanner?

A. No.  The handheld will automatically manage the captured data that allows you to browse the information stored in the transaction log directly from the main screen.  You can also set the date/time in the main screen so no PC is required.  A computer is required if you want to save the transaction data or create a customer database for mailings, etc.  The handheld will automatically delete the oldest transaction data so that only the last 9000 (with code released Jan 2009) swipes are held in memory.

Q. How will I know the battery status?

A. The handheld has a built in battery meter which is visible at the top from the main launch screen.  When the battery voltage gets too low, the handheld will start issuing warnings advising that the batteries should be changed.  There are 'mild' and 'severe' warnings.  If the batteries drain to the point where your handheld does not operate, it enters a hibernation mode and stores your data safely for a couple days. There is enough residual energy in the batteries to store the data, but not enough to turn on your handheld. If your handheld does not turn on when you press the power button, you should replace the batteries immediately.

Q. Can I change the batteries without loosing the transaction data?

A. Yes - There is a built in back up power supply that provides approximately 1 minute of power while you change the batteries.  Just make sure you have new batteries ready when you remove the old batteries and replace them one at a time.

Q. What are the system requirements for the desktop software?

A. Either a Windows (98, ME, Win2K, XP for USB; or, 95/NT for Serial port) or Macintosh computer.  See the right column on the software page for details.

Q. What kind of connection is required on my computers?

A. A USB port is the standard approach.  If you have a computer without a USB port, a serial HotSync cradle is sold separately. 

Q. Can the CardVisor ID Scanner use rechargeable batteries?

A. Yes, you can use any standard AAA rechargeable battery.  We suggest you use NiMH batteries instead of NiCAD for the greater power capacity and lack of memory effect.  Alternatively, there are two versions of Handspring Visor computers (Handspring Pro or Handspring Prism (Color LCD screen)) that have an internal lithium ion battery that recharges in minutes—and it does it while resting in its Hotsync cradle. 

Q. Can the CardVisor ID Scanner run on AC power?

A. Yes, The CardVisor II-BC-Pro, CardVisor III-BC-Pro & CardVisor IV-BC-Pro packages operate on AC while the batteries are charging and can be plugged in 24/7.  The CardVisor II BC Edge, CardVisor III BC Edge, CardVisor IV BC Edge must be plugged in to operate. 

Q. Will CardVisor help detect a fake ID?

A. It will certainly help.  For example, if the printed date of birth or expiration date is altered using a pen, then the ID scanner will read the encoded information and display an underage/expired warning.  Another possibility is the encoded information doesn't match what is printed on the front of the license (e.g. John Smith is printed on the front, but Mary Jones is encoded on the stripe).  In this case, the ID scanner will not produce a warning so the operator will need to cross check the displayed information. 

However, if somebody spends enough money to create a very good fake ID, then no ID scanner will be able to detect that it is a fake.  For example, if an exact copy of the front and back of a license is printed with changes only to the photo, and the person using the license matches the photo and physical descriptors (e.g. weight, height, eye color) then it is almost impossible to detect.   

The bottom line is that merchants serving age sensitive products are expected to make a reasonable effort when checking IDs.  They are not expected to detect a 'perfect' fake ID (one that would fool most fake ID experts).  That is why many states provide an affirmative defense when using an ID scanner to check IDs.  See the next section for more details.   

Q. What does 'Affirmative Defense' mean?

A. Affirmative Defense: It is a defense that all of the following occurred: (a) a cardholder presented a driver's license or an identity card; (b) a transaction scan indicated that the license or card was valid; and (c) the alcohol/tobacco was sold, given away or otherwise distributed to the cardholder in reasonable reliance upon the identification presented and the completed transaction scan. A seller or seller's employee must still exercise reasonable diligence: the use of a transaction scan device does not excuse a seller or seller's employee from exercising such reasonable diligence to determine whether the purchaser is eighteen years of age or older and whether the description and picture appearing on the driver's license or identity card presented by a cardholder is that of the cardholder. 

Q. Do your age verifiers read 1D barcodes as well as magnetic stripes?

A. No, we do not read 1D bar codes since they have very limited amounts of information and the industry is moving towards 2D bar codes which store significantly more data.

Q. Will the CardVisor ID Scanner work with Military ID cards?

A. Yes. As of January 2005, Military ID cards can now be read.  Existing customers may upgrade for free by downloading new software available in the software download section.

Q. What color handheld computers are available?

A. We buy and resell Handspring Visor PDAs that come in blue, red, smoke, silver metallic and graphite.  If you'd like a particular color, please let us know when you order.  We will make every attempt to supply the requested color, but can't promise to have every color in stock.

Q. What are your warranty and return policies?

A. Click here to see our store Payment, Shipments, Warranty and Return policies.



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