Thursday, 9 January 2014

Emirates ID To Function As Bank Card? Oh Horrors...

English: Close up of contacts on a Smart card ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There's no end to the things you can do with a smart card and the Emirates ID card is no exception. Gulf News reports today, in all seriosity, on a banking executive from Noor Bank who has commented on the announcement, made apparently on December 31st, that the Emirates ID card will be integrated with bank cards to create a single, seamless customer service experience paradigm excellence luminance entity.

Given my UAE bank has over the years managed to screw up every single service it offers, from failing to make transfers through to issuing cards, from honouring cheques through to failing to call me before blocking Visa transactions and so on through a litany of incompetence and befuddling idiocy, the very idea of integrating such a bunch of hooning nitwits with my biometric identity chills me to the marrow.

And while it may sound attractive to pool a range of services into a single smart card, the practicality of it all is that the more things you load onto a single transactional device, the more shocking the consequence of that device's failure are. It's a little like passwords - we're constantly told by security experts that we shouldn't have a single password for every service we use. Similarly, a single card with multiple functions is inherently less secure and more prone to visits from Mr Cockup.

Added to that, the ID card now requires renewal every two years, which would mean that you forsake access to your bank account for the period between expiry and renewal. And - as we all full well know - when you for some reason fall off the rails and become an exception to the system for some reason, you could well find yourself bereft not only of identity but funds as well.

This whole integration thing comes hot on the heels of the recent ATM outage in the UAE, where customers from at least two banks found themselves unable to withdraw money from ATMs but - in many cases - found their accounts debited by the amount of the failed withdrawals.

The executive quoted by GN apparently "Admitted that there could be certain issues". You can sing that, buddy...
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1 comment:

Grumpy Goat said...

Douglas Adams foresaw this egregious abomination:

"There are so many different ways in which you are required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life can easily become extremely tiresome just from that fact alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an ambiguous universe.

"Just look at cashpoint machines, for instance.

"Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant genetic analysis.

"Hence the Ident-I-Eze.

"This encodes every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you can carry around in your wallet, thereby representing technology’s greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense."