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Posted On: 6 July 2009 06:50 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Smart card for expats nearer with deal

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Qatar came one step closer to issuing Smart ID cards for expatriates with the signing of a QR31m agreement with a local IT company for the project. According to the agreement, signed between the Ministry of Interior and Itqan Holding last week, the latter will assist the Ministry in issuing the smart ID cards, specifically for expatriates. The project is to be implemented in 12 months. Qatar has already introduced Smart ID cards for nationals and transition from the traditional ID cards to the smart cards is currently under way. Itqan provides information technology solutions and services to private and public sector companies and government establishments. The agreement was signed by Brigadier Abdul Aziz Al Ansari, Director of Logistics and Supply Department at the Ministry while Itqan was represented by Maad Al Khatatba, Executive Director of the company. The company will assist in updating the data system including e-gates and in the issuance of the smart ID cards and electronic passports The new, National Identity Smart cards (NIS) offer a host of features such as the ability to perform several transactions electronically and storage of biometric data such as iris scan, fingerprint and image, all on an embedded microchip. The iris is a part of the eye. The smart card, which will be the size of a credit card, will serve as the official ID for both Qatari citizens (above 16 years) and expatriates. In addition to the personal data available in usual ID documents such as name, date of birth, address, the microprocessor will also store the person’s fingerprint, iris and image. The biometric data remains on the chip and will never be erased even when the identity verification is being performed, respecting the privacy of the cardholder. With these new features, the cardholder will be able to access e-government services and perform transactions in a simple and secure manner. Using a smart card reader connected to their Computers or laptops, expatriates can use them to perform several functions such as requesting for official documents.