The United Arab Emirates is the newest country in a long line of nations to establish a national ID card program. National ID cards help identify citizens and also may guarantee services like healthcare, or serve as a driver’s license. The difference with the new UAE national ID card? ATM functionality.

That’s right, citizens of Dubai and other UAE cities will be able to withdraw money from their bank accounts with their national ID cards. A technology called SpanCash will link Emirati citizen data from their ID cards to their individual bank accounts in the hopes that the new cards will be more efficient and beneficial for Emiratis.
SpanCash doesn’t just grant bank access either – pensions, disbursements, grants, refunds, water and electric bills and more can be paid with and refunded through the SpanCash/UAE ID program, and the new functionality will allow Emiratis to make payments through SMS/text, by web, or over the phone. It’s also hoped that the new, streamlined card system will help resolve payroll issues that have plagued the country’s booming blue collar industry for years.