Smart cards that would speed up purchases in city shops could soon be introduced across Adelaide's CBD.

The proposal is being considered by the city council and builds on an existing electronic card scheme available to ratepayers using council services.

The multi-purpose cards would be loaded with money, similar to a debit card, to allow people to make purchases in the city.

The council says the card could be used in Rundle Mall shops, Central Market stalls, hotels and to buy parking tickets.

Councillor Anne Moran admits the success of the scheme would partly depend on the cooperation of retailers but hopes the cards would encourage more people to do their shopping in the city.

She says similar cards are already in circulation in interstate capitals and could be introduced locally later this year.

"It came from a card that we issued called a Residents Reward Card which acknowledged the fact that [ratepayers] paid for pretty much everything in the city and gave them a discount at the council aquatic centre, car parks and so forth," she said.

"Technology has really caught up since we issued our original rewards card just to residents and now with one card we could replicate the residential rewards system.

"We can also extend that to shoppers who aren't ratepayers.

"Customers who are loyal to the city and come often we'll look at discounting. We'll ask businesses to come on board."

Mr Moran says if retailers decide not to participate the card would still be useful.

"The council still runs golf courses, aquatic centres, car parks and so forth and meters out fines. So even without anybody on board, the council's a big enough destination in the city that it would still be very handy."


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