David Birch suggests, in the above TED video, that for most transactions requiring an ID, a name is not only unneeded but may serve to only aid identity theft. And, he’s right. (Please watch the video—the concepts he touches on are very interesting.)

Wait! Before you yell at us for providing you with ID cards with names on them, this seems a good opportunity to explain why “most” and not “all.”

Your ID badge program most likely serves to facilitate social transactions as well as technical ones. And, of course, trying to instill confidence in a client without remitting your name would prove less than successful. And, furthermore, how you present your name on your ID badge can change a client’s (or colleague’s) perception of you.

Take for instance the following ID cards:


(OK, the first one is a slightly humorous extreme inspired by the video)

Which would you say is most inviting, and why? Not only can displaying a first name separate from last increase approachability, but typography significantly changes how welcoming a badge feels.

This is all to say, it’s worth thinking about how you present names on your badges. And, it might be even beneficial to have separate ID card templates designed specifically for client interaction. Perhaps if you’re going to a trade show, your RFID, zip-reel badge isn’t ideal. Perhaps it would be good to have something a little more welcoming.

And, in a fit of shameless self-promotion, I might mention that we offer unlimited ID card templates (all designed for free, of course.)

A New Way to Stop Identity Theft

David Birch explains why knowing someone's name isn't really needed for identity verification; and can, in fact, lead to more identity theft.