Gemalto, a provider in digital security, announced it is delivering electronic ID cards to the National Information Center (NIC), the IT entity of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior. The Identification Card-Phase 2 program extends the country's initial electronic ID initiative launched in December 2007. As part of the new contract, Gemalto provides NIC with e-ID cards for the next three years, as well as support and maintenance for the centralized personalization center in Riyadh. The national ID card is mandatory for all citizens above 15 and valid for 10 years.
The Saudi Arabia national ID card is a wallet-sized card that embeds a microprocessor containing the cardholder's digital information such as demographics, facial image and fingerprints. It also features a bar code and an optical stripe to ensure enhanced security to citizens. The national ID card can be used as a travel document that facilitates legitimate travel within all GCC countries. In addition, the e-ID card offers strong authentication to enable citizens to prove their identity. Digital signature is also available through a public key infrastructure application.
In the first phase of the ID program, Gemalto delivered high-end e-ID cards and its Coesys Issuance personalization solution. Gemalto's Coesys Issuance consists of the combination of software, hardware and integration services to enable NIC to personalize and issue the e-ID cards with the highest level of security. The company also installed the centralized card personalization system operated by NIC in Riyadh.
Gemalto's references in e-ID programs include notably the following countries: Bahrain, Belgium, Finland, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Sweden and UAE. In addition, Taiwan has selected Gemalto's digital security technology for its smart card-based resident card, the electronic Alien Resident Card (ARC).