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Coming Soon – PADI® Certification Cards Transition to PADI eCards™

Discussion in 'Scuba Certification Agency Q&A' started by Pedro Burrito, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Riles2226

    Riles2226 Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tucson, AZ
    For some history here, while we are all passionate about diving, it is also a business. As such, the shops, instructors, agencies, etc. need to look at how to make it profitable. We can argue if PADI or anyone else is doing the right thing here or not but I'd like to add some historical context.

    PADI was the first training agency to add the diver's photo to the cert card. This change was HUGE and drove even more certifications as it created a more personal connection. Those increased certifications turned more revenue for PADI but also for the instructors and shops...not just in certification and training fees but also in gear sales, trips, etc.

    While I agree that its a good thing for PADI to move to eCards, we can't discount the emotional bump that has historically been tied to a person getting a plastic cert card. I, personally, have seen the pride on a person's face when they get their card in the mail or walk into the shop to pickup their card...there is a strong personal value to this for many people and it also helps further drive new divers to dive more and more and more.

    Again, I'm not saying PADI is all roses and does everything right...I'm just saying the cert card has a tremendous promotional value that changes when it goes electronic.
    dead dog and Hoyden like this.
  2. Ben_3

    Ben_3 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    I understand, what I was going for was thinking maybe they would include the ecard fee (if there is one) with the course materials to the shop or instructor. Then they could set their price accordingly. We work a lot with elearning and each elearning code includes a pic now, i guess they could include the ecard the same way. For me I like better seeing an all included price instead of getting told during.. oh if you want this or that you must pay extra.

    Just my opinion.
    NothingClever likes this.
  3. Rickk

    Rickk Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    I just took pictures of my cards, front and back, and have that electronically on my phone, laptop, tablet. I also imported these into my electronic dive log app and have copies on all mobile devices as well as in my cloud account and on my USB drive on my key ring..

    I also printed out these and keep a copy in my gear bag in a plastic bag as well as copies in the lining of my suitcase along with copies of all my critical documents like passport, driver license, important visas etc.

    The actual plastic cards are stored separately and never really used.

    You can call it double belts and triple suspenders, but you might be calling it that on shore while I am diving in case we are at a dive shop that is picky about these things. If you listen closely to my bubbles you will hear me having the last laugh.

    I did pay PADI for my AOW card in e-format but that was a while ago before I adopted this approach.

  4. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    For everyone wondering whether e-cards will be free:

    I was working in a big law firm in Washington DC in the mid-1990s, right around the time that email was becoming a way of transmitting documents as attachments. The law firm for years had charged clients $3 a page for faxing documents to clients or on their behalf. It was a huge profit center. When email came around, the firm told clients that it would charge $3 a page for email attachments. They got away with that for a couple of months, until corporate clients understood that the marginal cost of an email attachment was ZERO, and they started howling with outrage and threatening to switch firms.

    The moral is: PADI will charge as much as it can get away with for e-cards, until they see that it’s losing them business.

    Personally, I just took pictures of my plastic C-cards and uploaded them to the cloud. Have never had a dive operator of any kind question the photo.
    wetb4igetinthewater and Ben_3 like this.
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Very good example. Reminds me of a time (in the 70s?) when phone companies really no longer had to send a guy out to install the wire to the wall because most dwellings now had them already there. The customer still paid the full price for getting a visit by a person even though the customer just bought a phone and plugged it in themselves. I recall my mother saying "Geez-- all they're doing is pushing a button and it works, what's the installation charge for nowadays"?
    nippurmagnum likes this.
  6. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    For me the problem with ecards is that they often are in that agency's app. I hate single purpose apps because those are invitations into data harvesting for no purpose. Oh you need to see my AOW, let me boot up the PADI App, oh you need my nitrox that is in the SDI app, Trimix that is in the IANTD app, cave that is in the NSS app.

    I prefer from that stand point just to have plastic cards. Now if they were available as PDF, and I can easily store them and move them around yeah I can support that.
  7. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    There's undoubtedly a high cost of replacing these cards when someone loses their original card... Hunt down and verify the record, manually prepare one card, one envelope, one postage. The labour alone is likely more than the $21.
    rhwestfall likes this.
  8. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    SDI/TDI doesn't have an app that I can find. Once you log onto their website, you can access your card in PDF form. I just saved it to my photos app on phone in a separate folder.
    dead dog and Paul M like this.
  9. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    Actually a bit more than “push a button”. Need to set up an account, program an ESS switch, create a circuit on the MDF, and more. That was how it was back in 70’s thru 90’s. Now a bit different with fiber optic networks widely available.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Good point. Didn't know that. I wonder how much work that entails compared to issuing an e-cert. card? Or compared to making a plastic one? I don't know.

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