IVAC: Enhance safety using access control with ID verification


Patronscan’s Identity Verification Access Control (IVAC) technology enhances security for businesses aiming to integrate door access control and ID validation into a streamlined, frictionless and convenient solution.  



Increased shoplifting and other crime rates have hit the retail industry hard, forcing large chains to resort to extreme security measures, including hiring security guards and ex-cops, and even chaining their doors at certain locations.

The situation is even more challenging for smaller establishments, including vape resellers, cannabis dispensaries and convenience stores (C-stores also sell alcohol, especially in the US).  

For instance, C-stores were the fourth most common location of violent crime in the US, according to data released by the FBI in 2020. That same year, convenience stores accounted for almost 10% of the robberies. 

NACS, the US-based trade association for convenience stores, has even cited access control as a crucial safety and security practice. 

However, traditional access control solutions have primitive hardware options and require additional onboarding.

Identity Verification Access Control (IVAC) allows customers to autonomously confirm age and verify the authenticity of their ID for access to a location, a door or age-gated products within display coolers and cabinets.


What is access control? 

Access control in simple terms refers to a system or a process that determines access to a resource, data or an asset in set circumstances. 

For example, online passwords, having a key fob, RFID ID card or a pin code to access data or a building or a parking garage. The same is the case with airports and government buildings. 

Access controls are the most basic form of security measures any facility or organization puts in place to ensure that unauthorized people don’t have access to data or premises. 


Challenges with traditional access control 

Despite widespread access control measures, businesses and establishments that implement them still face issues and many don’t find the solutions viable enough. 

For instance, access control only works with internal teams because you have verified each of the team members.

However, access control will only work for unknown users if the location vets and onboards the guests before providing them access using pin codes or key fobs/cards. To make this work, you will need a reception or a security process that checks in unknown guests.

In its current form, the latter only works when the number of unknown guests is limited, and customer service and convenience are not crucial for your business.

Businesses, like convenience stores, need to have quick, effortless, simple and, most importantly, convenient experiences for the customers.  

Here are a few reasons why traditional access control systems and processes fall short: 

  1. Limited implementation: Traditional access control systems are effective only with internal teams and personnel since businesses have typically verified them. This, however, creates a roadblock for unverified guests and unknown visitors.
  2. Time-consuming: Setting up traditional access control systems requires an elaborate process to ensure that you only have authorized people on the premises. Think of an office building or a hotel where staff must individually go through an identification document of the visitor, before adding them to their internal system and then providing them access. At Identity Week in 2022, through informal discussions with fellow participants, we discovered that this process takes almost 6 minutes, depending on the facility.
  3. Inconvenient: Elaborate and time-consuming processes don’t foster great customer experiences. In the services and retail industries, where speed and convenience are crucial to customer service and experience, traditional access control systems are unviable.
  4. Staff expectation: With thousands of different IDs in North America alone, it is unfair to expect that your staff has the knowledge and the expertise to manually spot fake IDs. It is also unrealistic to train your staff for ID verification. Add to this, the expectation that your staff must ensure a great customer experience for them.
  5. Privacy concerns: Considering that access control systems require your staff to verify each piece of identity documentation and record it, it opens you up to liability because of privacy concerns.


What is IVAC?

Identity Verification Access Control (IVAC) is a pioneering technology by Patronscan that integrates access control and ID verification in a streamlined, frictionless and convenient solution.

The idea behind the solution emerged from Patronscan’s reliable forensic ID verification solutions.

We have provided ID verification solutions since 2005 and have grown to over 200 cities worldwide, with more than 220 million ID verifications.

IVAC integrates access control and ID verification in one autonomous solution. By doing so, it definitively addresses concerns around the management of unknown users, including customers and visitors, for businesses that offer age-gated products or want to create a safe environment for their staff and customers.

Our IVAC solutions have been known to bring down thefts at liquor stores by up to 97%.

At SNDL (formerly Alcanna) stores, there was even an increase in revenue as customers felt safer shopping at participating locations.

These solutions work round-the-clock, backed by our 24/7 support, and focus on forensically scrutinizing every ID document using pixel-level processing. 

This autonomous solution easily links into a strike system for either a door lock, turnstile, or cooler/fridge door, providing patrons with access in a secure and hassle-free manner. 

Our scanning engine takes a two-pronged approach to verify identity documents from around the world. 

The technology works by forensically comparing the scanned ID against two extensive libraries of real and fake ID templates built in by our team of ID experts.


Benefits of IVAC 


Patronscan's Effectiveness Graph

The Patronscan pilot project was launched on January 20, 2020. Three high-theft locations in Edmonton, Canada, had Patronscan technology installed to create controlled entrances. 


  1. Advanced forensic ID verification: Fake IDs get better every day, so does Patronscan. Our proprietary software scans the front of the ID and identifies which IDs are authentic and which are fake. Scanners that only scan barcodes are easily fooled.
  2. Reduce shrinkage: Shrinkage refers to loss of product from causes other than sales, including thefts and robberies. A pilot project done in January 2020 showed a massive reduction in thefts and robberies at three high-theft locations in Edmonton, Canada (Fig 1). While thefts were reduced by 94%, they saw an increase in profit due to customers feeling safer shopping at participating locations. Other clients have reported seeing a 98% decrease in thefts with staff feeling safer.
  3. Safety and security: Not only is IVAC a massive deterrent focused on the prevention of incidents that cost businesses money and peace of mind, but it also upholds accountability. Having to identify oneself using a genuine identification document to gain access to a business or even an alcohol cooler maximizes the risk for bad actors. Also, the staff can focus on customer service and experience, while IVAC can handle the verification of government-issued IDs.
  4. Hardware options: From indoor touchscreen-enabled systems to outdoor weather-resistant options, IVAC comes in different forms. Depending on whether businesses want to set up access control for an entire location, individual entry points or display units that store age-gated products, IVAC can handle it all.
  5. Shared Flagged Network: The Patronscan network will alert you when someone has been flagged by another location for fraudulent behaviour. Your locations are notified of exactly when and why the flag was placed, preventing further damages.
  6. Web admin portal: You can even review your demographics, capacity updates and scan history.


Privacy and Data protection 

At Patronscan, we take privacy and data protection very seriously. We are committed to being transparent about what information we collect, how we use it, and how we keep it safe. 

Data Collection 

Depending on the jurisdiction, we only collect the minimum amount of personal information needed to provide our services and are allowed by the law. This includes information like name, age, ID expiry date and photo. We do not collect any sensitive information like address, driver's license number, or financial or healthcare data. Each state/province has a strict retention policy which allows us to only keep the data for a specific amount of time before it is automatically deleted.

Data Use 

The personal information we collect is used solely for the purposes of age verification, security purposes, and for other purposes as permitted or required by applicable law such as confirming the validity of the ID. We do not sell or share customer data with any third parties, outside of law enforcement if a case number has been submitted. 

Data Protection 

We utilize industry best practices to keep customer information secure. Data is encrypted both in transit and at rest. Our systems are compliant with SSAE 16 standards and undergo regular audits. We believe we are fully compliant with all applicable privacy laws and regulations in North America. 


Real-world use cases

Age-gated products

Liquor theft was a massive issue causing millions in lost revenue for the US-based convenience store chain, QuikTrip.

After multiple iterations, we have started rolling out IVAC solutions that grant access to coolers only after a customer goes through an autonomous and seamless step of ID verification.

These locations have seen a 96% reduction in thefts, while a flagged network has allowed them to mitigate bad actors from returning. According to internal feedback, the staff from other locations are eagerly awaiting implementation at their respective stores.



Patronscan’s access control solutions have also found favour in legislative buildings in North America. Working in tandem with our forensic ID verification solutions, the security personnel ensure seamless access to public services and offices.


Want to know more about our pioneering IVAC solutions? Talk to our experts here.