Recently, Cova was spotlighted in a news report discussing customer concerns over having their IDs scanned in Canadian cannabis dispensaries. Canada takes consumer information privacy very seriously, and so do we — which is why we invest in premium data protection measures to safeguard our customer data.
We know that customers sometimes have questions about having their IDs scanned in connection with purchasing cannabis. So today, we’re discussing exactly why ID scanners are beneficial for cannabis retailers and consumers, and how you can communicate with your customers about their personal information privacy concerns.
The Benefits of ID Scanners in Cannabis Dispensaries
In our digital day and age, consumers have valid concerns over their personal information being compromised. But the truth is that ID scanners in dispensaries serve both the retailer and the customer. How?
1. Expediting the check-in process.
No customer likes waiting in line. ID scanners make the dispensary check-in process a breeze, which means customers can get in, out, and on with their lives faster and with less headache.
2. Eliminating human error in verifying information.
Dispensary owners can end up in hot water if front-line personnel fail to properly verify customer information or spot a fake ID at check in. Along with speeding up the process, ID scanning eliminates the potential for human error in verifying info and ID validity.
3. Supporting public safety by preventing underage cannabis sales.
ID scanners also support public safety by preventing underage sales. Not only does this help keep cannabis out of the hands of minors, but it also keeps dispensary owners from breaking the law and committing a severe compliance infraction.
Addressing Consumer Data Privacy Concerns
In Canada, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act requires organizations to obtain consent before collecting, using, or storing any PII, which stands for personally identifiable information. PII is defined as any information that can be linked to a specific person, such as a name, age, or ID number.
In accordance with Canada’s federal privacy guidelines, the default setting on Cova’s cannabis retail POS system — including ID scanners — is to not store or keep any record of customer PII. However, customers may choose to keep a personal profile in the system for the purposes of loyalty reward programs.
Canadian dispensary customers who do opt in to a loyalty reward membership can be assured that their information is safely stored and protected. Cova — a Canadian company — is a subsidiary of iQmetrix, a leading cellular retail management provider with an extremely robust data protection program. That means Cova clients have access to the most sophisticated and secure data infrastructure in the cannabis market at a fraction of the cost, thanks to iQmetrix’s economies of scale.
What’s more, all Canadian PII is hosted right here in Canada, in the Azure Canada-Central server.
Here are three key takeaways for budtenders on the front lines answering questions about data privacy from customers:
- ID scanners expedite the check-in process and protect both the customer and the retailer by preventing underage sales.
- ID scanning is for information verification only, and no personal data is stored without customer consent.
- Customers who do choose to create a reward membership profile will have their data securely stored in the most robust and sophisticated infrastructure currently available in the cannabis market; Cova and its parent company, iQmetrix, have never experienced a privacy breach.