Gemalto is delivering national eID cards to Kuwait as part of a government programme commissioned by the country’s Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI).
Under the terms of the agreement, Gemalto is delivering multi-application eID cards which use both contact and contactless smart card technologies. A spokesperson for Gemalto confirmed to SDW that the smart cards will carry 64KB of memory. The smart card giant is also delivering plastic cards for foreign residents that use high security printing features.
Additionally, Gemalto is providing support and training services as well as project management and smart card related software.
Rollout of the cards began in June 2009 and is compulsory for all Kuwaiti inhabitants.
Kuwait is deploying the eID cards to comply with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regulations to allow citizens of all GCC countries to travel freely between member states. The card will serve as the official ID document for Kuwaiti citizens and will also be used as a travel document in the GCC region.
According to Gemalto, the contactless technology in the card increases speed, convenience and security of identity verification at border crossings. In the future, the contact functionality will allow cardholders to access eGovernment services and perform transactions. Foreign residents will use their card as a national ID document within Kuwait. In the second phase, it could be upgraded to a microprocessor card.
“For PACI, it was important to fully use the region’s most established population registry and provide citizens with a secure travel document and convenient platform for additional services,” says Musaed Al-Assoussi, Director General, PACI.
Al-Kharafi, an international private Kuwait-based company, is prime contractor for this nationwide programme.