Free Idea: Universal Loyalty Cards

I don’t know about you, but I already have too many cards in my wallet. I actually have a immediate use wallet with the critical cards, a secondary use wallet with cards I only use sometimes, and a tertiary use wallet with everything else, plus a bonus wallet for cards I use when traveling in the States. So, when some innocent, hardworking clerk asks me if I have or want to apply for their store’s loyalty card, I usually feel like screaming and causing general carnage and mayhem. What usually comes out is “No.” 8) One of the very last things I want is another card to carry around and unless I get significant kickbacks for your extra marketing data collection, I will not be applying for your card.

It’s not that I object to the process, mind you. Helping shops give me exactly what I want, ‘tis a good thing. It’s the endless cards that’s the problem. It’s the phone book sized stack of cards they want us to lug around that inspires thoughts of destruction and wailing laments. So, what if I only had to carry around one card? How would that work?

What’s I’m thinking is this: a central service issues a number upon request. Ideally, each subscribing business would be able to print up this card (magstrip? bar code? QR code? something else, not RFID, please), or better yet key tags.

Now, I don’t want to create some megalithic database that knows what size my hat is, my favourite cereal brand, and how often I visit The Turks and Caicos. The central service should serve only to issue uniquely identifying numbers and remember only enough about me to reissue a card if I’ve somehow lost mine. The information gathering and storage would lie with the individual retailers.

Some thought might be necessary to prevent the creation of big brother, or we can ask them to sign an agreement that they’ll not share our information with anyone else, etc, etc and trust them…

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