A couple of days back I got an e-mail from my bank saying that to be able to operate my account from Apr1st, I need to obtain a UIN (Unique Identification No.), they sent me a complete legal document with the mail explaining why, what, where and how of the number. All in all, it said this number would uniquely identify me as a customer for certain kinds of transactions. Are we customers identified by just getting Painted in Numbers they assign?
Unique Identification No. – Painted in Numbers
Now let us see how many numbers uniquely identify me:
PAN (Permanent account number): To uniquely identify me as a taxpayer in India and I should be able to use it as identification for any financial transaction.
Passport No: Uniquely identifies me as a citizen of India in the world, acts as identity proof
Driving License Number: Uniquely identifies me as one of the millions of drivers in the world, and acts as a identity proof
NSN (Nation Security Number): yet to be issued by the Provident authorities, I am yet to figure out what it would uniquely identify me as. This is on top of the PF No. that is already unique to me.
NI No: Uniquely identifies me as a taxpayer in the UK, though they owe me tax refunds for the last two years
SSN No: Uniquely identifies me as someone permitted to work in the US, though I have been there only twice each time for only three weeks.
Life in Numbers
Life identified by numbers started when I got my first roll number in school. Since then at every step looks like I am required to have a unique identity in numbers. Apart from these unique numbers, there are other numbers that play an important part in your life every day:
Employee Number: Have to mention it at least 10 times each working day. Which uniquely identifies me as an employee of my organization.
Car No, House No, Telephone Numbers – All are unique to me, though not forever.
Credit Card Number – Hopefully unique
Bank Account Number – Hopefully unique
Frequent Flyer Numbers – Supposedly Unique
Loyalty Program Numbers – Supposedly Unique
And not to miss all the user ids and passwords to uniquely identify me in the cyber world. Various membership numbers of various institutes, organizations, forums, etc. again to uniquely identify me as their member.
Would life have been simpler if I was given one unique number when I was born? Which I could have used for everything for the rest of my life, just wondering:-)