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New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the identification-and-credit-report-please dept.

Cloud 62

First time accepted submitter Adam Oxford writes Nigeria's National Identity Management System — which aims to bring together citizen information databases as diverse as driving licenses and tax returns — was introduced last week and includes a prepay MasterCard wallet. Civil liberties groups are naturally wary about the project, but proponents see it as a way to get financial services to the masses. From the article: "The director general of the commission which will implement NIMS, Chris 'E Onyemenam, said at the launch that the card will eventually be used for border control as well. 'There are many use cases for the card, including the potential to use it as an international travel document,' Onyemenam said. 'NIMC is focused on inclusive citizenship, more effective governance, and the creation of a cashless economy, all of which will stimulate economic growth, investment and trade.'"

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419 (1, Funny)

MPAB (1074440) | about 3 months ago | (#47801287)

'nuff said!

Re:419 (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47801469)

While the "419 scam" is associated with Nigeria, many of the scammers are not actually Nigerian. The Economist published an article [economist.com] about why. For the scammers, a major cost is leads that turn out to not be credulous enough to actually send money. So many non-Nigerian scammers claim to be Nigerian, figuring that Nigeria's reputation for corruption and crime will weed out all but the stupidest respondents.

This CC/ID should help with the corruption and crime. It is easy for a corrupt official to take a bribe in cash, but much harder with a CC. Likewise, a thief wants to steal cash, not a pre-paid CC without knowing the PIN. It will also make collecting taxes easier. In poor countries, pervasive tax evasion means not enough money for infrastructure, or to pay sufficient salaries to government employees so that they work for their salary rather the opportunity to extort bribes. A broader tax base will also pull more people into the formal economy, rather than low productivity work in subsistence farming or running small street stalls.

Re:419 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801847)

A broader tax base will also pull more people into the formal economy, rather than low productivity work in subsistence farming or running small street stalls.

That assumes there are jobs for them in the "formal economy". Otherwise it just puts them out of work, period.

Just sayin'.

Re:419 (1)

russotto (537200) | about 3 months ago | (#47804029)

In poor countries, pervasive tax evasion means not enough money for infrastructure, or to pay sufficient salaries to government employees so that they work for their salary rather the opportunity to extort bribes.

Right, because government officials are all pure and good and if they got all the taxes that selfish individuals are evading they would definitely use them for infrastructure rather than, say, off-shore "exit funds" or 400 pairs of shoes for their wife or palatial estates in their otherwise squalor-filled country.

The prevalance of the informal (untaxed) economy is a symptom, not a cause. Cracking down on it misses the point and makes things worse.

Re:419 (1)

jandersen (462034) | about 3 months ago | (#47805097)

The prevalance of the informal (untaxed) economy is a symptom, not a cause. Cracking down on it misses the point and makes things worse.

Just like the financial crisis was not caused by corrupt bankers being given far too much freedom, but instead by 'too-much-regulation', as the mantra goes? I really would have hoped that the banking crisis at least would have put an end to the anti-regulation ideology.

It really is quite simple: the sort of freedom that means nothing more than 'anti-regulation', favours the strong, ruthless and un-conscientious at the cost of everybody else, particularly the most vulnerable. This is not just speculation - we have seen it over and over throughout history in all societies; it leads to massively corrupt gangster-rule. Much like what you have seen in, eg. Nigeria. Things like freedom and democracy only work if everybody involved is willing to live by the agreed rules, and voluntarily restrict their own freedom to some extent.

Even the vikings - those hariy, brutish barbarians - knew this; to quote from Codex Holmiensis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Holmiensis):

With law shall land [nation] be built. [...] And if all men would keep [be content with] what is theirs, and let others enjoy the same rights, there would be no need of [a] law. [...] If the land had no law, then he would have the most who could grab [by force] the most

Re:419 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801521)

Dear Sir,
I am an attorney for a very wealthy person, actually a member of Nigerian royalty
We are sincerely requesting your assistance in a matter of the greatest urgency
My client has lost the ability to withdraw money from his national id card wallet, and we require your assistance in this manner
Apparently he has deposited too much money for his account to work properly and we need for you to withdraw the money from the American account and forward it to us
You will be well rewarded for this service
Thank you for your help in this time of need,
Notanother Fouroneninescam esq

Re:419 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801613)

whatz teh acount nombre ?

Re:419 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47802083)

Dear Mr Anonymous,
Thank you for your reply
First, allow me to impress upon you the need for utmost secrecy in this transaction
It would be very embarrassing to my client for this information to become public
We will certainly reward you for your discretion
Please respond with your home address and social security number so that we can verify your information
When that is complete we will send representatives to work with you
Once again, than you Mr Anonymous,
Notanother Fouroneninescam esq

Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (5, Interesting)

Wootery (1087023) | about 3 months ago | (#47801293)

Are Mastercard paying for the privilege?

Re:Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 3 months ago | (#47802529)

Are Mastercard paying for the privilege?

I wouldn't be surprised if they are. Of course, they are likely also anticipating that long-term, the flow of cash will turn the other way around.

Re:Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47802583)

It'll certainly come in handy for both mastercard AND the government later on when "outstanding balance" becomes a reason you can't cross the border. All you have to do is add a little 'flag'...

Either way MC's gonna be swimming in the dough, as like with most gargantuan financial institutions, they make much of their money by taking the money put into them (including in this case debts and interest) and investing in stocks with it.

Re:Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47803353)

They can start 'charging up' the card with cash for those expensive ZMapp Ebola treatments... and, well, if they don't make it that long then Mastercard will be booking great profit$ off that money sitting on their cards. Timing is everything.

Re:Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (2)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 3 months ago | (#47804599)

Is MasterCard a bank or a franchise? In South Africa, I cannot get a MasterCard or Visa that isn't an offering by a separate financial services provider, unlike American Express or Diner's Club. MasterCard gets transaction fees from vendors and the annual anniversary fee from myself. The FSP holds the account and the actual credit/debit balance.

Re:Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 3 months ago | (#47805133)

Mastercard is the network that ties together you, the merchant, and your account provider. I don't think Mastercard have ever offered their own accounts, though Visa used to (I remember UK credit cards that were nothing but the Visa logo).

Re:Are Mastercard paying for the privilege? (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 3 months ago | (#47805917)

Either way MC's gonna be swimming in the dough, as like with most gargantuan financial institutions, they make much of their money by taking the money put into them (including in this case debts and interest) and investing in stocks with it.

Um, no. That's not how credit cards works at least in the US. In the US, credit cards don't have float that they can invest in the stock market.
You can't invest "debt and interest" in the stock market. You can sell "debt and interest" to other people but you can't invest a negative.
Insurance companies have float and some (like warren buffet) are grandfathered in and allowed to invest in the stock market.
Credit card companies have "reverse float". They are giving away float to their customers so they have nothing of value that they can
invest in the stock market. They give away this float to their customers with the hopes that the customer overspends and they can
profit from the fees/interest.

Excellent move for the government (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801309)

What simpler than to require everyone to carry a minimum positive balance lest the card is not valid? What simpler idea than for the government to help itself to said balance in case of fines?

I honestly expect this to be touted as a corruption curbing measure as well as humanitarian aid and access to financial services, and then to turn out to be effectively a modern day debt bondage tool. That is, your identity is literally worthless if there's no money on the attached "prepaid" card.

Very cunning move, Nigerian Government. Putting a Royal face on underhanded crookedness, indeed. I salute you, my dear valued friends!

Re: Excellent move for the government (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801345)

Sad that a sovereign country needs to rely on a multinational for this type of thing. What access dies MasterCard have to the data of citizens?

Re:Excellent move for the government (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47801409)

That is, your identity is literally worthless if there's no money on the attached "prepaid" card.

Heh. Kind of like how if you want to do anything with significant amounts of money in the United States, they require that you allow them to do a credit check on you first?

Neighbors were getting solar put on their roof. We figured it wouldn't hurt to talk to the salesman since he was there. He wanted to run a credit-check on us. We laughed in his face. We'll consent to a credit check only when we're at the stage of seeking to actually borrow money, and basically that means only for the purchases of vehicles and real property, and we do it on our terms, through our bank, in advance, not on the terms of some merchant and certainly not through their financing people.

Most people here don't do that. They will go in cold, without having any sort of in-advance approved financing from a lender that they already have a relationship with, and will get screwed. Makes me wonder if this situation in Nigeria will work out the same way for the vast majority of people there, as they won't have sought in-advance to get the backing they need, and will ultimately pay more for whatever because of it.

Re:Excellent move for the government (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47802997)

As best I can tell, 'credit check' either has, or is rapidly, mutating into a polite euphemism for 'background check with slight additional emphasis on personal finances'.

It's one thing that somebody might want a credit check if they are loaning me money; but anyone who won't STFU about it(or does; but then runs one anyway) if you offer to pay in cash or a suitably-blessed transfer from a reputable bank is either running directly from a script or interested in something other than credit-worthiness.

Re:Excellent move for the government (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 3 months ago | (#47806659)

When buying something expensive (like a home solar array) the salesman wants a credit check up front to know that you actually have some chance of paying for it. If you can't afford it he's not going to waste his time talking to you. If you can afford more he knows to push hard for an upsell. It's a shitty way of doing business, but that's how it's done.

Re:Excellent move for the government (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 months ago | (#47801429)

there's no reason to carry positive on it, it's a prepay card.

besides, if mastercard shafts them, they could just implement the backend themselves.

HOWEVER.. having such card would make it rather easy for them to move official business to using said card for payments and that might cut 95% of sticky fingers.

Re:Excellent move for the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801627)

I strongly suspect that MC is running call centers in Nigeria and has given partial ownership of said centers to members of Nigerian government for the privilege

Your vote of confidence in the Nigerian Government (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 3 months ago | (#47802443)

Clearly there is so little actual malfeasance on the part of the Nigerian government these days we are reduced to speculating on fictional malfeasance of the future.

Re:Excellent move for the government (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47802951)

Why would you nuke an ID with a negative balance on it?

Even assuming arbitrary malice, it's just not efficient. A debt that the debtor can't afford to pay is a debt you don't get to collect.

In legally and organizationally primitive contexts, like premodern governments or Big Vinny's extralegal lending operation, you do see unproductive means used(debtor's prisons, kneecapping, death); because there simply isn't a way of keeping a debtor on the hook otherwise. In some premodern society where you can move a few towns over and nobody's ever heard of you, playing collections agent is unrewarding. If the loan was extended off the books and doesn't legally exist, your ability to get it paid back by anything other than extralegal means is similarly curtailed.

The ideal situation, for the lender, is one where the target's earning capacity is not impaired, so they'll be able to pay as much as possible; but where they find it either impossible or undesirable to just walk away from the situation. In the case of debt peonage, the debtors are usually at approximately slave levels of human capital investment anyway, so punitive measures don't reduce their(already miserable) earning capacity much; but in almost all cases of better qualified debtors, you really want to touch them as little as possible; but make it impossible to walk away from the debt.

A nice, functional, modern bureaucracy is perfect for that. Without a valid ID that correlates to a suitable history of references, educational credentials, clean criminal record, etc. your life gets a hell of a lot more difficult, and probably poorer, even if you can evade any formal state action against impersonation/non-documented-persons. This provides a considerable incentive to remain at the table; and makes it relatively hard to escape your past. Why shove somebody who owes you money out of that place(where they can still hold a job and make payments, and have a lot to lose if they try to fake their own death or something) and into the underground economy, where they'll probably earn next to nothing and have much less interaction with formalized institutions?

The ability to keep tabs on people across time and place, without necessarily imprisoning or killing them, is about the biggest advance in history for anyone looking to profit from credit.

Re:Excellent move for the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47804795)

Even assuming arbitrary malice, it's just not efficient.

It's called corruption, and will happen quite entirely without any regard whatsoever to efficiency. In fact, I'm sure the corrupt don't see it as malice, merely as a convenient way to turn the power they have into the money they don't have yet want to have, despite their victims having even less to start with. Since the power came free with the job, or perhaps cost a lot in bribes to get ("goodwill") meaning the investment has to be paid off, it'd be madness or even outright impossible to not make good use of it. That it's bad for both the victims and the system overall ("everyone is doing it, so why shouldn't I? I can't change the system anyway!") is not their problem.

A debt that the debtor can't afford to pay is a debt you don't get to collect.

An identity card made mandatory for a great many things that isn't (effectively, regardless of what the law says) worthless unless all debts are paid, suddenly is a problem shoved onto the bearer. Of course bearers with good cashflows would pay off quicker, but those aren't in the landscape, so induce an incentive to pony up and a goodly many will. That not everyone will pay up, well, that's too bad and the damage done through debt crushing is no skin off the collector's nose. The collector can just sit back and wait for the victim to pony up. In fact, the collector is a big American company (who'll shovel any and all transaction data to A Certain Agency in bulk) and the recipient already has the money. It's pre-paid, see?

The point is exactly conflation of several things that shouldn't be conflated, as it is the combination that opens up the door to very insidious abuse against the bearer of the card. With the very best of intentions, everyone'll assure anyone who'll listen of that.

The ability to keep tabs on people across time and place, without necessarily imprisoning or killing them, is about the biggest advance in history for anyone looking to profit from credit.

It seems a bit one-sided, though. To the point that it practically invites abuse in a landscape already notorious for corruption.

And a skewed power balance, requiring the bearer to trust the government and all its actors within, plus rampant corruption, is not a solution for corruption, no.

Re:Excellent move for the government (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47805851)

Oh, don't get me wrong, I have no expectation that this rollout will go well, at all. Y'know all those cautionary tales about throwing technological solutions at human problems? Well, Nigeria has a hell of a lot of human problems and I doubt that the technological solutions will work better than usual.

My observation was narrower: overt violence, imprisonment, or other radical life disruptions among debtors are symptoms of an immaturesystem of credit and interest extraction. Now, since large parts of Nigeria have symptoms that suggest such a system(high levels of local corruption, massive inequality, minimal social infrastructure and documentation, etc.), it is likely that such relatively primitive debt mechanisms will persist, at least for a time.

However, the cards are unlikely to be the ideal mechanism: electronic transactions are traceable, to a degree, and the only greater enemy of corruption than an honest man is a dishonest man's boss who is wondering why he isn't getting his cut of the take. This(as much as any rule of law) helps discourage excessively overt bribe-taking. There's always a bigger fish you'll have to pay off if it becomes clear that you are worth targeting. Ground-level corruption will prefer to deal in cash, or some 'cash equivalent'(if I had to bet, it'd be a local cigarette or phone top-up card, or some other item that is both intrinsically useful and relatively nonperishable if purchased and returned to local vendors: people who need to pay bribes will buy this good, people receiving bribes will receive them 'in kind'; but be able to return, likely minus a small restocking fee, any excess that they don't need. All electronic transactions legitimate, works even if cash if phased out, still transfers value. Something like what happens in prisons with commissary goods).

As for the rest, I stand by the basic conclusion: brutalizing your debtors is inefficient unless there is no other way of keeping them from escaping, or they are so helotized that their value as slave labor is about as high as it could be. Maximum efficiency is somebody able to live a 'normal' productive life while desperately paying the minimum balance on their credit card every month. (Note, I don't say that this is a good thing, it bloody well isn't; but it's the ideal and most advanced form of interest extraction. All other methods, even if scarier or more theatrical, are less efficient and ultimately contrary to the interest of the lender, if they can achieve this one.)

Re:Excellent move for the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47810417)

Oh, don't get me wrong, I have no expectation that this rollout will go well, at all. Y'know all those cautionary tales about throwing technological solutions at human problems? Well, Nigeria has a hell of a lot of human problems and I doubt that the technological solutions will work better than usual.

That's one part. Another is that it redefines the populace/government interaction interface in hopes of improving the mess internal to the government. You see this everywhere, and is a major reason why government IT is so quandarious.

And why I say that if a fully "gone digital" government can no longer deal with handwritten petitions from its citizens, it can scratch the "digital" part, it's just gone. Because automation shouldn't be about the trappings, but about replacing the internals with better, more flexible, more adaptible processes instead. Making this a simple, useful litmus test for usability of government, quite regardless of continent.

However, the cards are unlikely to be the ideal mechanism: electronic transactions are traceable, to a degree, and the only greater enemy of corruption than an honest man is a dishonest man's boss who is wondering why he isn't getting his cut of the take.

On the individual level, yes. But corruption knows many faces. As an institutional example: Councils putting up speeding cameras to fill up the treasury while still claiming it's for safety, honest, even fabricating reports with preconceived conclusions as "evidence" are entirely above water according to the rules, but still corrupt. And for such constructions, tying identity to ability to pay is an ideal vehicle for a subsequent power grab. I don't know the situation in Nigeria, but the old Roman "tax farming" (mal)practices come to mind.

Re:Excellent move for the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47803211)

The Nigerian people will embrace this glorious project as National Identification Guards our Government's Economic ResourceS

I feel guilty about this. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801361)

This feels like a cold and calculated enrootment of evil and suppression. And I feel partly to blame. It's clearly our plague that's spreading. :(

Re:I feel guilty about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801713)

Why do you feel guilty? Are you a banker?

Re:I feel guilty about this. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47801915)

This feels like a cold and calculated enrootment of evil and suppression.

How so? Is this just a mindless anti-American rant, or did you have a point?

This is a pre-pay card, so it's not like it's a devilish scheme to tempt the innocent into the evils of debt, and it's is in a country where is can be difficult to use a credit card because there's little trust that the card wasn't stolen. This is a clever solution: for once, the merchant will actually see a picture ID associated with the card! When's the last time that happened? Should cut back on fraud a bit, and make day-to-day commerce a bit easier.

The real question is: will there be some way to easily transfer money between people directly, using the cards. That would put Nigeria one up over the west!

Placing all your eggs in one basket (2)

Technician (215283) | about 3 months ago | (#47801365)

Placing all your ID travel documents and cash in one basket is a really good idea.. Not.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47801389)

Placing all your ID travel documents and cash in one basket is a really good idea.. Not.

Given that all of the above would be in the same wallet anyway, I don't really think you have a valid concern.

The government confiscating all your cash in a time of financial turmoil however... that's pretty much guaranteed to happen.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801579)

They don't need digital wallets to do it.

They'll just seize the gold if they want. It didn't stop FDR after all.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47802283)

They don't need digital wallets to do it.

They'll just seize the gold if they want. It didn't stop FDR after all.

Thats why you turn all your gold from coins and bars into heavy bulky jewelry which is has historically never taken of taxed the same as coins and bars the Spanish did just that to avoid heavy crown taxes and jewelry was exempted under FDR's gold seizure as well.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#47801889)

The government confiscating all your cash in a time of financial turmoil however... that's pretty much guaranteed to happen.

If they had wanted to be truly innovative... the card would not be a Mastercard, but a Bitcoin hardware wallet, where the user would have to program it with their Public/Private key pair, and each citizen would be given at least three... one pair of e-cards primary/backup, and a paper document that could be used to prove ID in order to replace documents in case the other two were lost, so they could carry the first, lockup the second someplace safe, and put the third in a safety deposit vault.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47802679)

The government confiscating all your cash in a time of financial turmoil however... that's pretty much guaranteed to happen.

If they had wanted to be truly innovative... the card would not be a Mastercard, but a Bitcoin hardware wallet,
where the user would have to program it with their Public/Private key pair, and each citizen would be given at least
three... one pair of e-cards primary/backup, and a paper document that could be used to prove ID in order to replace
documents in case the other two were lost, so they could carry the first, lockup the second someplace safe, and put the third in a safety deposit vault.

It's Africa, the later 2 likely do not exist for the majority of citizens. I went there a few years back and it changed my entire world view. The people are poorer than you could possibly imagine compared to the US. You could be literally dieing in the street and nothing could be done for you. Fall out of a tree and no-one you know is around? you're screwed. (I actually witnessed a man die in this very way) But despite that incredible poverty, everyone has a feature phone with built in calculator, messaging, calander, etc... which, unlike the US, they actually use to run their lives. They barter with cellphone minutes, transferring money via their phones. Completely homeless people rent slots in cinder block buildings to run shops off their phones selling whatever they could find to locals and tourists alike. I felt great despair and overwhelming hope for humanity all at the same time.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47803013)

It's also the case(not just in Africa; but across jurisdictions) that if 'Oh, sure, just put it in the safe deposit box' is a sound strategy, your banking system is probably sufficiently un-doomed that bitcoins are mostly a hobby.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801417)

Sure... I bet you keep each credit card on a different pocket, your passport in your fanny pack, driver licence and money in your socks... I just wonder where do you stick your coins?

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47802409)

That's easy: up his ass, in a well lubed tube. Don't you?

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 3 months ago | (#47803069)

That's reserved for things that truly deserve such treatment. That's where I keep my Slashdot password.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (1)

Technician (215283) | about 3 months ago | (#47803503)

Is that sarcasm? In reality, I don't generaly carry credit cards at all. I do have some, but they are used very sparingly.

Learn the credit card company's tricks. Have a high balance card? Get a great cash advance offer for 6 months? Beware. All your payments go toward the main balance and the great cash advance is untouched and then jumps to high interest after the introduction period. Buy a pair of socks or other purchases? Guess what your paymnets go towards while your cash advance at the higher rate continues to roll over month to month.

If you use a cash advance or other promotion, put the card in a safe and don't touch it. Pay it off. Don't carry the card. If I had only one card, and it was tied to everything, I could not take advantage of great offers when they come up without being taken to the cleaners. Rotate the cards. Use the perks, but know the game. Using them carelessly is very expensive.

Ever have a card company call you to find out why you are not using a card with a 0 balance? I have. Told them their interest rate was too high. I was using other cards instead. Got a much lower competitive rate. Now another card is in the lockbox unused. Can't do this with only one card. Use the leverage.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (2)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 3 months ago | (#47802383)

I seem to have missed the part where Nigerians were prohibited from having any other financial instrument. Could you please quote that part?

The actual problem was Nigerians who couldn't get access to *any* instrument at all, i.e. they didn't even have one basket to put anything in, so now they are guaranteed at least one. There is nothing here stopping those who can get something under more favorable terms from doing so.

Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 3 months ago | (#47803103)

Placing all your ID travel documents and cash in one basket is a really good idea.. Not.

5 minutes ago I would have said you're a Luddite that fears the modern age of convenience.

u no i nt in my phon n my ih m topp okin [slashdot.org] .

Oh hello, submitter and author of original article (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801369)

This appears to be a trend on /. recently: Plugging your own writing, often no more than polished blogs, published on some web-rag. Not that much a problem if you both have something to say and don't over-use the plugging. If either, or increasingly, both aren't true, then it gets grating. Even worse if the website is unreadable due to incessant reinventing of the wheel, badly, using gobs and gobs of javascript where a little html3 would have done Just Fine. But even if that's all sorted, it still would be courteous to admit your affiliations.

Re:Oh hello, submitter and author of original arti (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47801919)

You must be new here -- Roland Piquepaille (rpiquepa)
Yeah, no shit -- Michael Cooney (coondoggie)

I'm a Nigerian Prince (0)

dpreformer (32338) | about 3 months ago | (#47801505)

And I can't access my government ID wallet. Please provide me with your banking information and I'll transfer $2,000,000 to you for your assistance!

Beastly (0)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | about 3 months ago | (#47801525)

Every card will have 666 in its number.

Re:Beastly (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | about 3 months ago | (#47801573)

You do mean 616, don't you? Its bad enough when governments break their promise to pay money for currency.. the ability to take all of your money and your identity in one fell swoop seem to be the ultimate tool for sorting out Serfs and Lords.

Bank account in Sweden (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47801603)

In Sweden you atomaticly get an account a a bank when you have a SSN, paid taxes. Think you get it in Nordea issued by the goverment. They are 100% free by law. So Nigerian goverment have parted with MasterCard, and this is a story?

Bank account in Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47802109)

Apples and ... not apples.

Can you -really- say that the corruption in swiss government is the same as pretty much any african government?

Also, I've never been to Sweden, but I am willing to bet there are far more stores who take cards (credit/debit) as a valid form of payment, than they have in Nigeria, same for ATM's.

Also, Sweden most likely don't store biometric information in your card's chip... Can anyone say "Identity Theft"??

(sorry about being AC, don't have an account yet)

Re:Bank account in Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47804901)

This just in: Switzerland and Sweden are the same place. Also Washington D.C. is in Washington State. News at 11.

Re:Bank account in Sweden (0)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 3 months ago | (#47802417)

Americans get a glimpse of how the civilized world operates, and the only word they have to describe it is "witchcraft".

Can I have the opposite? (2)

davidwr (791652) | about 3 months ago | (#47801945)

Can I have an ID card that is JUST and ID card, with a driver's license that is a separate piece of paper/plastic?

When I present my ID card to cash a check, clear airport security, etc. it's none of anyone's business if I have a driver's license.

After all, other government-issued licenses like concealed-handgun permits, hunting permits, and professional licenses (engineering, medical, etc.) typically aren't on the same piece of plastic as your state-issued ID card. My bank doesn't know or care if I have (or don't have) a gun permit, a fishing license, or an license to practice medicine, and that's A Good Thing.

Splitting the driver's license from the ID card would also be good for military families and college students who didn't have a previous driver's license but who want to keep their "legal residence" where they previously lived - it would allow the state where they actually live to issue them a driver's license (valid in all 50 states) without either forcing them to surrender their existing ID card or giving them a second state-issued ID card whose information (address, etc.) may conflict with the existing card.

It would also solve much of the "short-term visa/expired visa/illegal immigrant" problem at least with respect to immigrants who still possess a valid, recognized non-US-government-issued ID card such as one issued by a foreign Consulate: States would be able to ensure that people who are driving can pass a driver's test, are paying the appropriate drivers-license-related taxes/fees, and are properly insured without having to face the political heat that comes with issuing an official ID card that is valid for purposes other than proving you are legally qualified to drive. If "political heat" is a concern, the document can be stamped "Valid as a driver's license only. Not valid for any other reason. Only valid on days in which the person has a legal right to be in the United States of America [this is for frequent tourists who use non-contiguous successive short-term visas but who want to pay for a multi-year driver's license]. While driving licensee must posses a valid government-issued photo ID card recognized by the United States, the state of [state issuing the driver's license], or the state in which the person is operating a motor vehicle. Licensees not possessing ID cards issued by the US government or a US state government must possess a valid travel or residency document or proof of an exemption [e.g. an ID card issued by a government with a no-visa treaty with the United States] while driving. Not valid after [expiration date]."

Re:Can I have the opposite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47804563)

Can I have an ID card that is JUST and ID card, with a driver's license that is a separate piece of paper/plastic? ...

I've always wondered what happens on the east coast in the New York metropolitan area where 50% of the adults don't have a driver license.

Here, on the west coast, the police can generally stop anyone and ask for their "papers" which then proceeds to an enforced discussion involving an agenda. If you don't have a driver license, then it becomes an issue that can get heated, especially since anyone without one is considered tramp-trash that can be jerked around. (Can't afford a 5 year/$15.00 document requiring a test that any moron can pass? Never going to rent a car? Never going to drop off a girl friend and take her car to a repair shop? Then you must be a problem. What is your problem? Did you just lie to me? Did you you know I can put you in jail for lying to a cop? Adnauseum.)

I guess there they just wait until someone does something wrong or sees a suspect accused of doing something wrong. Otherwise, could there actually be a case where they think "Oh, I'm not witnessing anything wrong so I'll just leave them alone."

"and the creation of a cashless economy, " (4, Funny)

triso (67491) | about 3 months ago | (#47802241)

Nigeria already hes a cashless economy Nobody has any money.

Re:"and the creation of a cashless economy, " (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 3 months ago | (#47802565)

You obviously have not encountered the traditional Nigerian "Cash Madame" (Ola Iya) or been to any Nigerian parties - there is a Nigerian tradition of "spraying money".

Breathalyzer as ID PIN? (1)

kolbe (320366) | about 3 months ago | (#47802675)

I always wondered why we have not advanced to the point of using our DNA or similar as a PIN. Exhaled breath condensate is a non-invasive method for detecting a wide number of molecules as well as genomic DNA in the airways and could easily be a source of information usable as an ID Verification technique.

Re:Breathalyzer as ID PIN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47804777)

How do I change it if it gets compromised?

Will this .... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47803009)

... push other prepaid cards out of the market?

I can see one problem: If it is known that you carry a combo ID/cash card (because the law requires it) other cash cards may no longer be accepted. And those other cash cards might have been anonymous.

One possible benefit (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about 3 months ago | (#47803043)

I've worked in a couple of African countries near Nigeria and saw many very shoddy ID cards. They were so bad that people would share them for a variety of unsavory reasons. If they have some money tied to it, perhaps they will look good enough to actually identify people and those people will have a strong incentive to actually hold on to their own IDs. That said, after dealing with various government officials, I imagine the system will be used for evil due to rampant corruption.

MODERN SLAVERY AND A RECKLESS GOVERMENT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47822689)

Do you people have any sense at all.....this card will hold all vital statistic and personal information of the entire population. Such info should be safe guarded and secured by the Federal government and not by a foreign company.....Your lives, privacy and security have just been sold out by your Government. No country currently existing on Earth, have allowed this type of invasion of privacy and personal information, that should be safe guarded and secured by the Government of a Nation....Soon your Passports will be issued by VISA....IT IS A SAD DAY FOR NIGERIA, IT IS HIGHLY UNFORTUNATE AND YOUR SOULS HAVE JUST BEEN SOLD.

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