Commissaries to start scanning IDs

Panzer Commissary customer Rose Brown shows her ID card to cashier Lilian Grajo Nov. 7. Starting this month, Stuttgart commissaries will scan shoppers’ ID cards at the checkouts.

Defense Commissary Agency news release

Commissaries will soon begin scanning customers’ Department of Defense ID cards at checkouts as the Defense Commissary Agency continues its efforts to deliver a 21st century benefit.

The commissary at Fort Lee, Va., became the first store to scan ID cards on Oct. 22 as the first part of an agency-wide rollout to all stores that begins Nov. 10 and will be completed by mid-January. Stuttgart stores will start scanning on or about Nov. 18, according to Jeff Rose, the Patch Commissary store director.

Commissary shoppers are used to showing their ID cards to establish their eligibility to use the commissary. By scanning the ID at checkout, DeCA will no longer need to maintain any personal information on customers in its computer systems, such as the system used for customers who write checks.

Scanning will also help improve the commissary benefit for all patrons, according to Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and chief executive officer.

“In addition to verifying customers as authorized commissary patrons, we’ll gain information that will give us a better understanding of our patrons, allowing the agency to provide the commissary benefit more effectively and efficiently,” Jeu said.

Cross-referenced with other DOD data, the scan data will give DeCA useful information about patron usage by military service, along with customer demographics that do not identify specific personal data of an individual.

This will eventually help the agency identify shopping needs and preferences — information that is essential in today’s retail business environment. It will also allow more accurate reporting to the military services on commissary usage.

The demographic information DeCA will use is strictly limited to card ID number, rank, military status, branch of service, age, household size, and ZIP codes of residence and duty station. DeCA will not be using any personal information such as names, addresses or phone numbers.

“The methods, processes and information we’ll use will not compromise our customers’ privacy — they can be sure of that,” Jeu said. “We’re putting technology to work to better understand our customers and ensure the commissary benefit continues to remain relevant to them now and in the future.”

ID Card Scanning FAQ

Why is DeCA Scanning ID Cards?

To help improve your commissary benefit. Scanning ID cards allows DeCA to verify patron eligibility and collect information to measure and report commissary usage by eligible shoppers to the military services, who contribute to DeCA’s operating budget.

What information does DeCA collect?

Basic demographic information such as military status (active duty, retired, etc.), branch of service, ID card number, household size, age, residential ZIP code, and duty station ZIP code, if applicable. All collected information is secured and safeguarded.

Why does DeCA need this information?

Demographic information will allow us to better understand our patrons and their preferences. This will enable us to provide products and services directly related to the patron base at specific locations.

Who will use this information?

The information will be used only by the Defense Commissary Agency.

I am an agent for an authorized shopper. Can I still shop for the authorized patron?

Yes. You will still present the same documentation as before, based on guidelines for your respective installation. Required documentation is normally an Agent Letter or an Agent Card.

Why do I have to both show my ID and scan it at the register?

Showing your picture ID verifies that you are indeed the ID card holder.

Why does the cashier have to scan my ID card and my Rewards Card?

These two cards are independent of each other. The reason for scanning the ID card is explained in question #1. The Commissary Rewards Card is scanned to apply digital coupon discounts to your total shopping purchase.

Do I have to have my ID card scanned at checkout? Can I opt out?

Commissary customers are long used to presenting their DOD ID cards to cashiers to verify eligibility for the commissary benefit. Now we’re able to verify eligibility by scanning the bar code on the back of the ID cards. Since only authorized patrons can use the commissary benefit, and scanning the card is the means of verification, no patron can opt out of having their ID card scanned.

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