Self Check-in is usually facilitated by stand-alone units which allow patrons to return items and remove them from their accounts without staff assistance. Typically, the self check-in process involves (1) scanning the items (while depositing them into a slot or bin), and (2) ending the transaction (with the option to generate a receipt). In addition to saving staff time, this process gives peace of mind to patrons who might otherwise worry about late fees.
The first self check-in units relied on reading barcoded items using a stationary laser line. More recent units utilize Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on items, removing the difficulty of finding and properly aligning barcodes. Some RFID units are paired with an Intelligent Sorter, which automatically places items in separate bins according to pre-defined rules.
Sometimes, Self Check-in units are paired with Self Checkout and units for a complete self-service system.