Monday, May 04, 2009

Life with a Punecard

Punecards is round the corner if you wish it. It may no longer be a dream of the distant future. But we need to desire it strongly enough before it happens. What will a Punecard world look like? What will you be willing to do to make this a reality?
  1. I travel to Zensar. Ganesh has already intimated the security at the gate of my meeting with him and my Punecard number. When I mention my name the security pulls up my photograph retrieved from Punecard in the visitors expected list he has. I can just pass through as the picture matches. He can also quiz me with any profile details if he is in doubt.
  2. I exchange my Punecard – my digital visiting card – with the people at the meeting. My visiting card is now current even when my mobile or email change.
  3. At the admission desk of the university I provide my Punecard number- the clerk uses that to fill up my form. I could well have filled up the form online from home through Punecard. In one click I am able to provide all the details that are required by the admissions committee.
  4. All educational institutes are now uploading my educational certificates to my Punecard account. I can now provide a digital degree certificate to those who ask it of me.
  5. My privacy is now better controlled. I provide information digitally to whom I may want. Every provision of information also leaves behind an audit trail so I know anytime who took what information from me.
  6. My data on Punecards is scattered between multiple servers and strongly encrypted. I can have a premium account to increase transaction security.
  7. The RTO just needs my Punecard number to register my vehicle. My neighbor, who is still at the silver card level and not a platinum cardholder like me, has to add certified copies of various certificates along with the PuneCard number. I can just provide the number!
  8. My Punecard now facilitates cashless bus travel- All I need to do is flash my card and enter my PMPML pin into the small machine next to the driver.
  9. Surprise- Just after few weeks of using the Pune Card on PMPML busses and the bus routes and frequencies seem to have improved to match my needs!
  10. My kids have got enrolled into a free “Yellow Bus” service to take them to school automatically. The pickup and drop of points have been intimated to them and me on the Punecards account.
  11. My neighbor who works at the Magarpatta IT park has automatically got enrolled to a “Red Bus” service to take him back and forth at a time that he specified!
  12. The Municipal and Cantonment bodies now offer me all civic interactions on my Punecard account. Now all the documents that relate to me automatically available to me on my account - the birth records, properties I own, their approved plans, NOC’s, building permissions, the licenses I have obtained; all digitally certified – I can even back them up on my computer if I wish. No longer do I need to run around for these services.
  13. At parking lots I simply provide my Punecard number and my PIN – no more cash to dole out here!
  14. The parking lots have got reconfigured over the year to accommodate the short and long park vehicles and cope with the loads. Nice to see a responsive local body!
  15. I just moved houses- Thanks to Punecard I just update my profile on PuneCard and all relying parties that I transact with automatically update my address. A verification intimation is sent instantly to my email and mobile.
  16. Applying for an insurance policy is a click away- my Punecard profile simply fills up the form here as it does for the mutual fund I apply for.
  17. Lol! I could just walk away with the new mobile phone in 5 minutes with my Punecard! With dynamic “KYC” provided by the card, telecom companies now use this for fast track mobile and internet account registration.
  18. The police are happier now that Pune is a safe city. Crime prevention is now far easier. Tracking a criminal is minutes away.
  19. Voting online will soon be possible with the integration of Punecards into the ECI’s voting system.
  20. Whenever my profile changes, I start with an unauthenticated profile. As I provide my details to different organizations the authentication count of my profile increases.
  21. My Punecard account tracks the use of my information- I now have a record of who I have shared my profiles with. I can opt to stop sharing update details of my profiles.
  22. When I sign up for my club I provide my Punecard number. My club uses Punecard’s premium services that allow them to provide club-members directory, calendars, alerts and much more.
  23. My company can now allow me to manage my profile- no more request letters or repeated form filling for expense reports, travel indents, reimbursements, address, phone, email changes; all of these are filled through Punecards.
  24. My company can now provide a digital certificate for employment- My supervisor can endorse the projects I participated in. My references are people on Punecards, themselves with a public profile on Punecards.
  25. As a Punecard holder I now have a firm reference of my city backing me for getting a job, for being an entrepreneur and doing good business.
  26. With Punecard premium services I can have my own home page with a public profile and opt to be listed in a searchable directory as a punekar!
  27. To upgrade my Silver Punecard to Gold I can visit any of the Gold Relying Parties. They simply sign me up as a subscriber to their services and verified at least three of the documents required by Punecard.
  28. I got my Platinum Card by visiting a certified authority who uploaded my photograph and fingerprints and verified the certificates I had carried with me. I don’t need to leave unsecured photocopies of these certificates anymore- all Punecard relying parties can just access them online now, and I know who accessed them.
  29. I registered myself for postpaid charges on various services. I now use my card in the bus, parking lots, public phones etc with my PIN or thumb-print to authenticate my use. At the end of the month I pay for the services I used. My Punecard account page lists my usage and the amounts.
  30. My Punecard allows third parties to provide me applications around my secure identity- I am glad that my bank, hospital, insurance company are now allowing me to bank my information with them on my Punecard account.

Labels: , , , ,


  • hodo i get a pneCard ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 PM  

  • why punecard why not something like a social security number... punenumber is okay for people who r going to b in pune rest of their life..

    seems not so useful to me...

    By Blogger Sushrut, at 10:39 PM  

  • Terrific! How can we make this happen?

    By Anonymous Joshi, at 10:51 PM  

  • This will save so much pain for Punekars- This should be made to be implemented in other cities across India too. Would be nice to use this all over India like the credit card! Pune has yet another feather in its cap by thinking this out! Good work!

    By Anonymous netblazer, at 10:55 PM  

  • Awesome! This is a city I would love to live in!

    By Anonymous AnneMarie, at 11:36 PM  

  • Given the amount of investment each vendor and agency will need to make it definitely looks like some time away. But the more important issue is what if mumbaicard follows a different standard and a delhicard uses yet another.

    I believe the only economically viable and in the long run a sustainable way would be to have a central IndiaCard. Technology requires a lot of standardisation and while PuneCard could be a brand, the essential offering will need to be an IndiaCard.

    There is some evidence to this also. My driving license has been a smart card for more than a decade (apparently Baroda where it has been issued from was the first city in India to issue such a card). It contains my blood group, my finger prints etc. But if I was to hypothetically get into an accident and be unconscious, is there any card reader around which can pull that information off it (thats the reason all the medical info is on the card) ? And this is a technology which is more than a decade old.

    I am aware of a few cities in Germany, US which attempted these quite some time back, and again I am not sure if the adoption has been any significant. The issue isn't technology - its the ability to agree on a standard initiative. And even if that were to happen, it would result in more questions from a perspective of privacy - after all wouldn't the Indian IT act then make the entire information on the card and all the transactions it enables available to government access ? The sheer amount of privacy issues of such a card usage information being accessible by the government are again too staggering at this point in time to imagine.

    I am going to pass the optimism stage and settle on the cynical stage - unless we can really make it work in a standardised way across India, and unless the government can provide sufficient legal guarantees of being able to access its information only in case of a court order - it ain't likely to take off.

    By Anonymous Dhananjay Nene, at 4:47 AM  

  • Even if ten percent of this scenario can happen it would be a huge success for Pune! It should make Punekars proud to set an example for the rest of the country!

    By Anonymous Rajesh, at 5:01 AM  

  • Good to see your desire for realizing this scenario. that is the first step to make it happen. Once there is a company that takes to running the day-to-day operations of the card (signing on relying parties, supporting your queries, providing value-added-services) this can happen.

    AnneMarie, are you from Inda/Europe/USA? For many years now Europe has had integrated Information Systems in many of their cities to connect different agencies on resident information. I have not come across such a system in the USA. As you rightly noticed Punecards is an city-wide integrated Information System.

    Dhananjay, clearly you have missed my earlier post . You would have seen the linkage to a country-wide Information System delivering services to all the card holders.

    The point of this blog is to give you a scenario of what would life be with Punecards.

    You are free to add value by improving the scenario or even painting a picture of Pune once Punecard becomes part of a One India Card as described in my earlier blog. Or suit yourself with a dystopian scenario of either if you will!

    Do you need to imagine Pune without Punecards? You are familiar with the seperate identity you maintain with different government agencies, businesses and other institutions. The countless forms, the need to validate your claims over and over again, the painful business processes that require long wait for completion before the agencies "know their customer" are all too familiar. The resulting unsafe, unplanned and often unlivable cities result from the absence of a Punecard like shared Information System.

    Be careful what you dream, it may turn out to be true!

    By Blogger Anupam Saraph, at 5:51 AM  

  • Sushrut, Have you used SSN's? The purpose of an SSN is just to serve as a social Security Number for the Social Security Administration. Using it as a shared identity is a nightmare as anyone who has one will tell you.

    Hey, how long does the average Global Citizen live anywhere these days? Does that mean you live without caring to improve the lot of the people living in your current home because you may not live there next month? We will leave the world a poorer place if we live like tourists and not residents.

    If you like the scenario that a Punecard gives you, take it with you and make it work wherever you go!

    By Blogger Anupam Saraph, at 6:12 AM  

  • wowww thats amazing!!!when will it be launched??

    By Blogger padma, at 9:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home