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“Pull over and show me your smartphone”

I-O-What!? Yes, IOWA will do it first!

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found in the Beyond the Bank blog—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found in the Beyond the Bank blog—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission.

It’s coming, with the Iowa Department of Transportation leading the way. It was only a matter of time.

Soon, when asked for identification, residents of Iowa will pull out their smartphone, activate their Digital Driver’s License app, and show it to the person requesting the I.D.

How cool is that?

First in the nation to go digital

Now you can leave home without your purse or wallet and still do anything you naturally could do with it.

Appropriately, this story broke in the Des Moines Register, in an interview with the Department of Transportation regarding the 2015 Budget for the department and its needs.

Funding to develop the app is being requested for 2015 and it is expected to cost around $14 million to deploy within the state. Benefits of the app include increased security, convenience, and replacing the plastic card—all obvious—but there is more …

On the lighter side, servers in restaurants always struggled with computing how old a patron is when serving alcohol. Now, inside the Digital DL would be a “21” icon and when the server presses the button one of two graphics would be displayed ... Yes or Not!

For drivers with a suspended license, when activated it might flash “SUSPENDED” in bright colors.

For those individuals who have not paid child support, the ID feature of the app could be deactivated until they pay up!

Hey, what about unpaid parking tickets and more ...

Imagine “No pay, no drive.”

Making it work reliably

On the technology side, the what ifs include … what do I do if my phone dies, is stolen, or accidentally wiped clean?

No doubt the license will be stored on a Department of Transportation server and with the appropriate authentication, the user will be able to access, download, and restore the Digital Driver’s License to a replacement phone.

Looking ahead, the new app may take a year or two to be available to residents in Iowa, but it does reinforce the trend associated with smartphones and our digital lifestyle.

No doubt, when the Digital Drivers License is rolled out it will be adopted in large numbers and will be the envy of Digital Natives in other states.

Ultimately, due to the many benefits of the app, you may soon see this sign posted as you enter a retail establishment:

“Cash and Plastic NOT ACCEPTED! No Smartphone… No Service!”

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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