One card is enough

In a cashless society, proliferation of cards can be counterproductive. But what's the solution?

A cashless society is convenient if implemented smartly. Christopher Pike / The National

The idea of a cashless society is to enable people to pay for various things without them having to carry currency. But this also means that they have to fill their purses and wallets with a bunch of cards, each of which serves a different purpose. All of that is counterproductive.

Yet, there seems to be no respite. As The National reported yesterday, a new rechargeable card, Hafilat – Arabic for buses – will come into effect in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

While the scheme could make life easier, it will also mean a fatter purse or wallet for those already burdened with credit and debit cards, parking and loyalty cards, driving licences, health cover, and identity cards and so forth.

To solve this issue, how about introducing a universal payment card that will allow people to access all sorts of commercial services across the country? If you think a universal card is a good idea, tell us this: what should it be called?