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Survey shows UK support for smartcards in services



Using cards to prove identity comes out top in questioning of more than 1,000 people in Britain as part of four-country research  

A majority of UK citizens are in favour of using smartcards for a range of public services, according to new research carried out across four European countries.

Identity and secure payments company Matica Technologies Group has published a briefing showing that 83% of survey respondents would see the cards as useful for validating their identities, with 79% in favour of using them for concessions and discounts, 78% for accessing health and social services and 76% for using local transport.

While most of the purposes attracted ratings between 60-75%, even the three that came in below the range still showed more than half of respondents were in favour: 56% would use the cards for accessing university education services, 55% for processing fine payments, and 52% for using schools’ services.

The company questioned more than 1,000 people in each country – the UK, France, Denmark and Spain – with the results pointing to the most enthusiasm in the latter, where the lowest figure was 67% for accessing parks and gardens, and the highest was 86% for obtaining concessions and discounts.

Identity factor

The strongest levels of support across the four countries were for proving identity, while the French and Danes shared the UK’s lukewarm attitude to using smartcards for educational services.

One of the other key findings was that people liked the idea of using a single card for a range of services.

Sandro Camilleri, chief executive officer of Matica Technologies, said: “Our study indicates that there is significant public interest in using one smartcard per citizen to better access a number of public services.

“In turn, this suggests that a city that creates a way of offering these services through a digitally connected world will garner popularity from its residents. This constitutes an ideal, yet practical, way to ascertain smart city status. 

 “Aside from citizen convenience, we also live in a world of big data. As long as big data is secured, the city’s governing authority can improve services and reduce delivery costs through unprecedented market insights collected from smartcards, which also proves to be incredibly cost-effective. This is much more useful than assessing people’s habits and the success of services in artificial silos.”

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