The concept of debt is as old as money itself, if not older, and many Americans dread the word “debt” automatically. They may associate it with crushing expenses for medical bills or college loans or late car payments, and while that can and does happen, many debts aren’t nearly so urgent. In fact, Americans experience new debts nearly every day, but we hardly think anything of it. Whenever a person buys groceries, fills their or car’s tank with gas, or hires a plumber, they incur debt, but that is not a problem in itself. Items and services rendered produce debts that are paid almost as soon as those debts are created. Debt is, in fact, so mundane it is almost invisible.
How to pay those debts? Sometimes, consumers may for services or products with cash or even checks, but in other cases, scanner-friendly items such as credit cards, debit cards, and even gift cards are used. Ordinary handheld id card scanners can be used, meanwhile, to scan state-issued ID cards or passports, and many other plastic cards can also be scanned with these handheld id card scanners or even ballot scanners. Scanners are quite useful for debt payment, identifying oneself, or even voting.
One may first consider how barcode readers, credit card readers, and more are used, and why. Many Americans pay for smaller transactions with cash, but larger purchases typically call for a credit card or a debit card instead. What is more, many Americans take out credit card loans both to pay for items and to build up their credit scores, and the total credit debt in the U.S. is sure to be quite large. But as long as a consumer is smart and careful about taking out loans and paying them off, a credit card can be very helpful both for making purchases and building up one’s credit score.
Credit score is a different topic, though. Americans use credit and debit cards alike in place of cash for many transactions, and nearly all stores feature cash register that can read magnetic strips in cards as well as smart chips implanted in the bodies of those cards. This allows for the quick and easy payment of debt, and that debt collection will be logged by all the relevant agencies from the store to the credit card company the consumer got their card from. What is more, smart credit cards and debit cards have chips in them that transmit the card holder’s personal information, which helps prevent fraudulent use of a stolen card. What is more, the purchaser’s age may be noted in that chip for when that person attempts to purchase age-restricted goods or services such as alcohol or tobacco.
A person may also call their credit card or debit card company if their card was stolen, and have it frozen to prevent any unauthorized person from spending the money on it. A card’s holder may also cut apart their credit card with scissors to destroy it if they no longer plan to use it, preventing theft.
Americans often interact with scanners and chip readers in the context of debt payment, but there’s more. Common handheld id card scanners may be used by police officers, for example, to confirm a person’s identification, and these handheld id card scanners may use lasers to read the content on the card for easy data collection. ID scanners may also be used at election sites, to help prevent voter fraud. What is more, a voting area will probably have a large ballot reader machine, shaped somewhat like a fax machine. These devices collect specialized ballot papers that a person has marked up with a pencil, and these machines automatically scan the contents and log them for the purpose of ballot counting. This makes elections easy and fast, and these machines, combined with ID scanners on the premises, help keep voter fraud rates to a minimum. Today in the U.S., voter fraud rates are quite low.
Finally, scanner tech may be used at airports, when a person’s passport must be read to authenticate their identification. Airport staff may make use of handheld scanners or larger ones that are set on counters to get this scanning done.