In the 21st century, the plastic card has really come into its own. So slight, light and used in an instant, we rarely give it a second thought in our daily transactions and interactions. And that is how it is supposed to be – designed and styled for convenience, it really is at the core of how we market our businesses, keep secure, give a snapshot of our credentials, transfer money and buy products and services, and provide identification or evidence of qualification.
The plastic card has become an essential factor that brings ease of living. Take a step back and consider for a second what you may have in your wallet or your purse. There is more plastic cards there than just your debit and credit cards. Your driving credentials are now provided on a card, you may have a loyalty card from the last time you just sat down at your local coffee bar, then there is that business card you need to hold onto for the extension you have planned, and, if you lose the “Lazy Afternoon” membership card you so highly prize, you won’t be playing golf this Sunday afternoon! So let’s look at how they are used in today’s society:
There is an element of security about them all. They are individual to us and they hold information unique to who we are, but in some instances they are used to ensure security in our homes and places of work. The plastic hotel key is a prime example of how they are beginning to overtake the traditional metal key we have all become used to. Or there are the internal door “keys” which employees will use within an organisation to ensure confidential data is protected and only accessed by those have the right to see them. They are now used to access individual workstations such as Personal computers
Membership and Qualification
In today’s society we expect tradesmen and professionals alike to carry cards which evidence they are from the organisation they say they are from, and also that they have the qualifications that suggest they will be able to deal with our needs. In all our businesses and leisure group’s plastic cards are used as a token to show you have been approved and are part of a larger community.
This is a growing area, and if you are a business start-up or a thriving organisation they can be used for endless marketing projects. The business card in itself is an essential part of a salesman’s armoury. The fact that the card is made of plastic will ensure that this piece of information will be durable and around for some time. Shops and retailers, in order to encourage customer retention are consistently using Loyalty cards to ensure their customers return to them again. Other cards which need to be carried around on a daily basis are also now a prime place to have adverts (i.e. adverts on the back of a hotel key). In the same way there has been an enormous rise in Gift cards – again encouraging re-use of the business.