National Bank of Kuwait launches metal card

National Bank of Kuwait launches metal card

IDEMIA, the global leader in augmented identity, has been chosen by National Bank of Kuwait as a partner to transform metal cards with Card Connect offering an intuitive, easier and secure experience

In line with its commitment to provide extraordinary services and best banking experience to customers, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) is providing NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card, a top-notch metal card that offers a variety of rewards and connectivity that caters to customers’ needs and lifestyles, featuring a cutting-edge design tailored for the people of Kuwait.

NBK has chosen to collaborate with IDEMIA for an intuitive, easier and secure activation experience of metal cards. A first-of-its-kind in Kuwait, IDEMIA’s Card Connect allows NBK Customers to activate the metal card using an NFC Card activation feature. The cardholder can simply tap the card on their smartphone and be redirected to the activation page on NBK Mobile Banking App, reducing card activation time significantly.

NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card comes in two unique vertical designs tailored for him and for her, with an embodiment of national pride through placing Kuwait’s map and flag. The metal card is the most flexible card in Kuwait, giving customers the freedom to choose the KWT Points earning options based on their lifestyle; either the “Spends Tier” or “Merchant Category” option. The earned rewards can be redeemed easily through NBK Online Banking whether as cashback up to KD 1,000, travel booking, e-vouchers, and points exchange.

We are pleased to partner with IDEMIA to enhance our customers’ activation and payment experience. The new NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card reflects NBK’s commitment to offer a variety of special rewards and services through a unique banking experience. IDEMIA’s top-notch card connect service is a perfect fit to the lifestyle and needs of our Kuwaiti customers.
Mr. Mohammed Al-Othman, General Manager of Consumer Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait

As a market leader in card technology, IDEMIA strives to provide financial institutions high-quality products, especially for those looking for a unique banking experience. We are delighted that our Card Connect service has been chosen by NBK to cater to Kuwaiti nationals’ needs and lifestyle. This highlights NBK’s trust in IDEMIA to deliver high-quality products that reflect their commitment to their customers.
Hennie Duplessis, Senior Vice President (Middle East and Africa), Financial Institutions, IDEMIA

IDEMIA’s long trusted business partner in Kuwait for two decades, Apex International Trading Company, has played a key role in facilitating NBK and IDEMIA in achieving their joint goals on this digital journey. With Apex’s partnership, IDEMIA has been able to achieve invaluable milestones in Kuwait’s banking sector.

“We are extremely pleased through our partnership with IDEMIA to offer exclusive metal cards with card connect service to National Bank of Kuwait. Apex considers this launch as a benchmark in the strong digital transformation among the banking sector in Kuwait”, said Arshad Iqbal CEO, Apex International Trading Company (Kuwait).

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Veridos and GSI Sertracen partner on Costa Rica ePassport solution

Veridos and GSI Sertracen partner on Costa Rica ePassport solution

Veridos, a world-leading provider of integrated identity solutions, and the Latin American systems integrator GSI Sertracen have announced the signing of a major contract with Costa Rica. The General Department of Migration and Immigration of the Republic of Costa Rica has entrusted Veridos and GSI Sertracen with the supply, installation, and implementation of next-generation electronic passports and the personalization system. Veridos will also supply its CLIP ID solution for outstanding color image performance.

The contract between the Costa Rican government and Veridos along with GSI Sertracen will allow the country to elevate its ID technology thanks to the delivery of ePassports with a polycarbonate data page as well as the software and hardware for personalization. The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) compliant passports include Veridos’ CLIP IDhigh-tech color personalization technology to ensure the ultimate color brilliance of each ePassport holder’s image, improving visual verification. CLIP ID creates vibrant color photos using the advantages of both laser engraving and ink-jet printing.

Marc-Julian Siewert, CEO of Veridos, says: “We are very honored to have been chosen by the General Department of Migration and Immigration to be part of the modernization of their ID landscape. Together with GSI Sertracen, we will successfully transform the current machine-readable passport system to a fully-fledged biometric travel document solution. Costa Rica is one of the most advanced countries in Latin America and their passports with our cutting-edge CLIP ID color picture solution will soon reflect that, too.”

California enters into a 12-year MDL contract with IDEMIA

California enters into a 12-year MDL contract with IDEMIA

 IDEMIA, the global identity leader behind TSA PreCheck enrollment and the principal issuer of physical and digital driver’s licenses in the U.S., announced today that California has awarded the company a contract that will last up to 12 years and cover delivery of not only traditional driver’s licenses, but also services and technologies that will bring the state further into the age of the digital DMV.

IDEMIA has provided physical ID cards and technology to California for more than 64 years.

IDEMIA’s partnership with the state of California, beyond the production of physical ID cards, includes:

  • Mobile tablets which will extend the reach of the DMV to California citizens in remote areas
  • Several new technologies including new card design and security features which will improve the DMV experience and reduce fraud
  • Support of the California “Cloud First” policy

“It’s a pleasure to work with such a forward-leaning, innovative state and we look forward to continuing the development of new services for residents together,” said Donnie Scott, CEO of Identity and Security, North America at IDEMIA.

US set to unveil new ePassport design this summer

US set to unveil new ePassport design this summer

The US plans to roll out a major ePassport overhaul over this summer with the so-called “Next Generation Passport”  (NGP) set to include a wide range of new security and design features.

More than 2 million Next Generation Passports have been already issued to Americans since last March, but the issuing will really step up this year, according to the State Dept.

The Next Generation Passport book (NGP) uses new technologies to produce a more robust passport with enhanced security features, such as a polycarbonate data page, laser-engraved personalization, and updated artwork.

The most noticeable changes to the new passport book are the polycarbonate data page and the location of the endorsement page (now page 3). Visa pages have also been updated with detailed linework and ink colors that showcase imagery of U.S. architecture, history, culture, landscapes, and traditions.

The standard size of the Next Generation Passport is 26 pages. If you frequently travel internationally and need more visa pages, you may choose the larger, 50-page book when you apply. The ePassport has 28 pages in the regular-sized book and 52 pages in the larger book.

The passport number in the NGP book begins with a letter, followed by eight numbers. It is located in the top right corner of your data page and is included throughout the NGP book on the bottom of each page.

The State Dept added that it is only gradually replacing existing ePassport printers with NGP printers at our passport agencies and centers. Since ePassports continue to meet and exceed international passport security standards, both ePassports and the NGP can be used for international travel.

The US is also only issuing the NGP for passport books. It plans to “soon” upgrade and modernise the passport card.

Costa Rica to adopt ePassport

Costa Rica to adopt ePassport

Costa Rica’s immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), will issue a new biometric passport, reports local media.

The biometric passport will cost US$75 plus ¢250 colones, and is valid for ten years, reports Q Costa Rica. It is a document that has a chip with biometric data, as well as personal information. The document includes the latest mobility trends at a global level, since its security measures prevent the falsification and alteration of information.

Each personalized chip provides advantages in cases of loss or theft of the document, and would allow the eventual speeding up of border procedures when traveling, due to its easy verification, opening the doors to Costa Ricans to a greater possibility of flexibility in terms of travel.

The biometric data will now consist of fingerprints of the ten fingers (previously there were only two fingers), a passport number different from the cedula (identity card) and personal data, such as the self-perceived gender of the Costa Rican people who made the change in the Civil Registry.

Among the main differences between the new biometric document and the conventional passport used up to now is its validity period, which goes from six to ten years.

The new passports will have holograms, visible figures in intaglio prints, 3D drawing, latent image, “Esencial” (Essential) mark, security polycarbonate sheet with personal information, and other features.

“The realization of this project has been an arduous process for our institution, it has been thanks to the perseverance of the officials of the DGME that make up the Bicentennial Biometric Passport Project team, that today, in an emotional moment, we disconnected the system to make way for technological modernization processes with biometrics and digitization,” said Raquel Vargas, Director of Immigration.

 

Identity Week Europe early bird deals to end

Identity Week Europe early bird deals to end

 

Zimbabwe to issue 2 million ID cards

Zimbabwe to issue 2 million ID cards

The Zimbabwean government has revealed plans to issue 2 million national identity cards following a drive to be launched over Spring.

Mobile voter registration booths will be sent to various parts of the country in two phases – Feb 1 – Feb 28, and 11 Apr to 30 Apr, reported The Chronicle.

During a press conference in Harare on Wednesday, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe said Government does not want to leave anyone behind during the coming identity documents exercise.

Earlier this week, ZEC said lack of identity documents especially among youths is one of the reasons for low voter registration in Matabeleland North.

Civil Registry Offices across the country have been saddled with a backlog of documents for some time as Zimbabweans try to get identification documents.

 

South Africa to deploy smart driving licences

South Africa to deploy smart driving licences

South African government officials have confirmed the country will be introducing smart driving licences by October 2023.

The existing documents will be phased out over five years, with a new licence that has advanced security features and that meets international standards taking their place.

“We are in the process of seeking cabinet approval for the design of the new card this year. This will then be followed by a procurement process that will enable us to pilot the card and introduce the new card in October 2023. Once we start issuing the new card, we will phase out the current card over a five-year period, which should allow the current cards to expire,” Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said last Thursday.

The Automobile Association welcomed the new driving licence cards but said that existing problems around applying and issuing of cards must be resolved.

“We therefore eagerly await the introduction of new online procedures, which are slated to come into force on 17 February, as a way of dealing more effectively with the procedures around driving licence card renewals,” it said.

The AA welcomed Mbalula’s announcement that research is being conducted into extending the validity period of driving licence cards from its current five-year period.

“The AA has urged government to extend the validity period of driving licences from five to 10 years as a way of dealing more effectively with renewals,” it said.

 

Saudi Arabia reveals e-passport

Saudi Arabia reveals e-passport

Saudi Arabian officials on Thursday launched a new electronic passport for Saudi citizens.

Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif said it featues advanced security features and a new aesthetic design.

“The passport is a step forward in the country’s digital transformation process — one of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” wrote the Arab News.

In his speech during the ceremony, Director General of Passports Lt. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya, said his directorate has witnessed “a great and rapid development over the recent years, thanks to Allah and then thanks to the directives and support of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and with continuous follow-up from Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud, minister of interior.

Al-Sikhan added that the electronic passport’s data card contains the passport holder’s information, three photos with different technologies, and the possibility of digitally verifying the passport through digital portals.

The identity of the Kingdom has been included in all pages of the electronic passport by placing drawings of all the vital tourism attractions in the Kingdom.

Citizens can now obtain the new passport by the usual way to request a passport until the readable passport is stopped during the transitional phase, Al-Sikhan confirmed

UK sets out best practice for using e-signatures

UK sets out best practice for using e-signatures

The UK government’s expert Industry Working Group on Electronic Execution of Documents has today (1 February 2022) published their interim report, which: sets out their analysis of the current situation in England and Wales; identifies simple best practice guidance based on existing technology, including for vulnerable individuals; and makes recommendations for future analysis and reform. The report can be found on GOV,UK. You can watch Lord Justice Birss, Mr Justice Fraser and Professor Sarah Green discussing the report and its findings below:

Electronic Execution of Documents – Industry Working Group interim report

The Industry Working Group was convened following a recommendation by the Law Commission, which the Lord Chancellor welcomed and implemented. More details, including the Group’s membership and full Terms of Reference, can be found on GOV.UK.

The Ministry of Justice welcomes the interim report and is grateful for the Group’s work, which will assist in informing the future use and uptake of e-signatures by government and others. The Group’s work is also central to ensuring that the UK remains a centre for legal excellence and that the English and Welsh jurisdiction continues to lead the way in enabling the adoption emerging technologies and in supporting and facilitating digital trade and commerce.

Lord David Wolfson, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, said:

I would like to thank the Industry Working Group for this important report on electronic signatures. We in Government are excited about the potential benefits of new, digital ways of working and I welcome in particular the best practice guidance put forward by the group, which will help increase confidence in and encourage uptake of electronic signatures. I am committed to ensuring the UK jurisdiction remains at the forefront of adapting to digital innovation, so that we can best capture the opportunities this offers for our businesses and citizens.

In the next phase of its work, the Group will focus on its remaining Terms of Reference, namely to consider the challenges arising from the use of electronic signatures in cross-border transactions and how to address them, and how best to use electronic signatures so as to optimise their benefits when set against the risk of fraud.

Tintin to feature on new Belgian ePassport

Tintin to feature on new Belgian ePassport

The new Belgian ePassports celebrate the country’s most famous comic strip characters, including Tintin and the Smurfs, alongside new security features

From February 7, the country now issue passports defined by images of its comic strip heroes.

In a statement, the Belgian government said, “The new Belgian passport will be recognizable thanks to its original design, which honours one of the jewels of our culture: the heroines and heroes of comic strips.” The statement also said the new passports, which were developed with the help of anti-fraud specialists, will be safer than the previous ones.

Tintin’s famous moon rocket and the Moulinsart mansion of his friend Captain Haddock will feature in new passports, as well as the Smurfs and cowboy Lucky Luke.

In a related development, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted, “On the occasion of the launch of the new passport, a temporary exhibition on the history of the Belgian passport will run at the Comics Museum (Zandstraat 20, 1000 Brussels) from January 28 to March 6, 2022.”
South Korea to trial mDLs

South Korea to trial mDLs

South Korea has launched trials of a blockchain-enabled mobile driving licence (mDL), saying the pilot digital version is as powerful a credential as the physical version.

Participants simply need to download a mobile ID app to create a digital version of their current driving licence, and then verify their identity in person at a driving licence test centre.

“A person with a mobile driving licence no longer needs to carry the plastic one and the digital licence can also be conveniently used online,” the Korea.net government news agency says.

“It can also prevent leaks of personal information as it merely provides data sought by a third party like driver qualifications when someone seeks to rent a car and age verification when buying cigarettes or alcohol.

“The ministry pledged to ensure safety by applying security technologies such as blockchain and encoding.

“If a mobile licence bearer reports the loss or theft of his or her smartphone, the licence is immediately locked. Even without such a report, a password or biometric authentication is required to access the licence.”

“The ministry will expand the types of mobile IDs starting with a driving licence, and eventually issue such IDs to identify people of national merit, the disabled, youth and foreign residents,” Korea.net adds.

Passage raises $4M

Passage raises $4M

Passage, an innovator in the rapidly growing passwordless identity space, today emerged from stealth announcing the availability of its public beta along with $4 million of new funding led by LiveOak Venture Partners with participation from Next Coast Ventures, Tau Ventures, Secure Octane, and various angel investors. Passage takes a developer-first and biometric-first approach to passwordless authentication, enabling users to log in to web applications with Face ID, Touch ID, Windows Hello, and other biometrics built into their devices.

Compared with other forms of user authentication, biometrics offer improved security and a smoother login experience for users. Passwords and magic links introduce friction at critical conversion points in the user journey, but biometrics allow businesses to reduce cart abandonment, user churn, and password-related support costs by introducing quick login with no context switching. Biometrics also protect users by eliminating phishing and account takeover attacks, while protecting businesses from the risks associated with storing and managing passwords.

“Passage delivers an exceptional developer experience for a technology that’s easier to use, more secure, and ultimately the future of authentication. There’s often a tradeoff between security and user experience, but Passage offers a unique combination of both with low implementation complexity,” said Cole Hecht, Passage’s Co-founder and CEO. “This financing will allow us to introduce Passage to more developers, and deliver more ‘ah-ha’ moments when people sign up for websites with Face ID, Touch ID, or Windows Hello for the first time.”

Consumers are increasingly comfortable using built-in biometrics to log in to mobile applications, particularly for banking and other highly sensitive transactions. In parallel, biometrics are just becoming accessible to developers in the browser, which is expected to create a flurry of opportunity and innovation. Passage brings the consumer experience of biometric authentication to web applications as well. With a few lines of code, developers can enable their users to register and log in to websites with only their face or fingerprint.

“Passage is poised to change the fundamental way we interact with the Web,” said Creighton Hicks, LiveOak Venture Partners. “Imagine a world where you seamlessly signup, login, and checkout online – no matter which device you’re on, without having to remember or lookup your password. A world where password breaches simply don’t matter as they can’t be used on other sites and the biometric data itself never leaves your device. Passage, backed by the right team and technology, empowers developers to easily give this experience to their users, and make our world a little simpler and more secure.”

Passage is built on technology that eliminates passwords and provides two strong authentication factors – something you are and something you have – with a single quick gesture. Further, Passage does not store any face, fingerprint, or other biometric data about users, making it the best solution for security and privacy-focused companies and users. Anna Pobletts, Co-founder and CTO of Passage said, “After decades of passwords and multifactor requirements, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are excited to lead the way for developers wanting to implement better authentication for their users.”

“Passage makes biometric passwordless authentication accessible to all developers and makes the open source standard WebAuthn easy to integrate in any environment,”  said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, Linux Foundation. “Improving security practices should be top of mind for everyone and I highly encourage all developers to support passwordless authentication in their applications.”

Mobai and Keesing Technologies partner on ID verification

Mobai and Keesing Technologies partner on ID verification

Mobai AS and Keesing Technologies team up to prevent identity fraud and enhance KYC processes by launching frictionless end-to-end identity verification. The partnership adds cutting-edge face verification technology to one of the world’s premier identity verification platforms, providing a highly secure and trusted means of customer screening and onboarding for both on-site and remote settings.

Mobai, provider of leading biometric solutions, and Keesing Technologies, a leading global identity verification provider, announce a partnership to support businesses all over the world to securely onboard customers face-to-face as well as online with seamless end-to-end identity verification. By joining forces, they offer (online) service providers a frictionless and highly secure Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process that is based on Keesing’s trusted identity verification and state-of-the-art face verification technology from Mobai.

In 2019, Keesing introduced biometric technology to its roster of identity verification solutions. The partnership with Mobai enables the identity verification provider to boost its AuthentiScan product suite with the latest biometric technologies for facial verification. By adding Mobai’s technology, Keesing accommodates the surge in requests from its customers and the market for a secure solution that supports seamless identity verification for both remote and on-premises customer screening and onboarding.

“Businesses around the world are faced with the need to verify identities – whether digital or document-based – to protect their business and ensure the right person has access to their service.  As the user experience in the verification, validation and onboarding process is crucial to the success of a business, we see it as our responsibility to provide them with best-in-class identity verification to prevent fraud in a way that’s user-friendly, secure, and effective for them and their customers, and that’s one of the benefits of teaming up with Mobai,”

Jan Lindeman, Managing Director of Keesing Technologies.

AuthentiScan is Keesing’s flagship solution for automated identity verification. It offers reliable and real-time results, guiding the customer through a seamless identity proofing process– using Mobai’s facial verification technology – and Keesing’s extensive ID document verification technology. Based on a comparison of a selfie with the photo on the ID document the face verification technology ensures biological identifiers are from the proper user and not from someone else. As this check is seamlessly integrated in the process and ease-to-use, it instantly boosts efficiency and does not interfere with the user experience. Keesing’s identity verification offers the highest level of document authentication and verification by submitting the document to several thorough cross-checks and verifying it against Keesing’s ID reference database including ID documents from over 200 countries. This accurate and comprehensive document verification process allows for extremely reliable results that contribute to security and fraud prevention for the business and its customers. Together, the Norwegian and Dutch companies bring a unique combination of best-in-class technologies that allows businesses to establish someone’s true identity from anywhere in the world and brings trust in business relationships again.

“We are thrilled with the integration of our face verification technology in the Keesing AuthentiScan product suite and are excited to see how our partnership results in a holistic solution for businesses looking for a highly secure means of ID verification. It’s fantastic to see that regardless of the situation, whether it’s face-to-face or remote, we can contribute to the security of a business and at the same time give their users a convenient user experience when onboarding. During the integration project over the past months, we have learned to appreciate the expertise, transparency, and professionalism of Keesing Technologies, which is really reflected in the low friction and modern user experience of the solution we are now bringing to market”, says Brage Strand, founder and CEO of Mobai AS.

  “We are confident that Keesing’s longstanding expertise and trusted business combined with Mobai’s innovative and advanced face verification services are a perfect fit for existing and new clients”.

Brage Strand, Founder and CEO of Mobai AS

Jan Lindeman adds to this: “We know how crucial a secure and smooth onboarding process is for users, and that a trusted means of identity verification is key in this respect. The solution enabled by this partnership reflects the core values Keesing stands for: security, trust, accuracy, and ease of use. Mobai is known for providing its customers with safe and accessible biometric services and we are very pleased with the addition of Mobai biometrics to our solutions, increasing the level of trust in identity for our customers and the customers of our customers.”

Mobai’s mission is to make digital services safe and available to everyone. “By introducing face verification as a means of identity proofing, we may also offer support to groups that struggle with more traditional password-based solutions such as elderly. In addition, face verification reduces the need to physically touch and handle keyboards tokens and other devices. By doing so, we can contribute to enabling a wider range of non-traditional and new users to join our digital society,” says Brage Strand.

The new service, Keesing AuthentiScan with face verification, is available from today. Initially, AuthentiScan will use Mobai Face Verification that includes liveness detection checks from Mobai’s Presentation Attack Detection Service (PAD). Future AuthentiScan releases may include Mobai Morphing Attack Service (MAD) providing customers with a unique and enhanced protection of personal data and privacy by using biometric template protection technologies.

Sevenoaks District Council modernises document processing

Sevenoaks District Council modernises document processing

In a bid to modernise its document processing, Sevenoaks District Council has today announced a move to implement digital signature technology from Yoti across its Housing department.

The Council, located in Kent, is keen to cut admin-intensive processes using a secure approach. Currently an organiser of public services for 120,000 citizens and employing approximately 425 staff across 16 departments, the decision to incorporate Yoti’s eSign and eWitnessing platform will ensure smoother operations council-wide.

The move will support the council in reducing time and costs relating to sending, signing and managing documents, as well as reducing daily paper use, providing a more environmentally friendly approach to their work.

Previously, officers relied on printing and sending documents via post – both proving time absorbing and difficult to manage during remote working. Yoti’s eSignature platform allows documents to be managed from a central location and for a digital copy to be sent to the customer via email.

On average, businesses using Yoti benefit from improved document signing speeds with 85 per cent of documents being signed within the first 24 hours.

Given customers will now be able to access sensitive documents via email, enabling them to sign quickly and securely, the entire customer experience promises to be a more seamless one.

Based in London, Yoti provides identity verification, eSignature and age verification technology. It  boasts a rapidly growing eSignature division delivering services for several prominent organisations including Connells group, RIBA, GiGroup and Countrywide. The company has recently launched its ground-breaking electronic witnessing solution.

Cllr Kevin Maskell, Sevenoaks District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We’re always looking for more efficient and innovative ways of working, and Yoti’s eSign technology ticks both of these boxes. At a time when there is greater demand for our housing services than ever, eSign is speeding up the processing of applications while providing a more convenient service for our clients. It also cuts down on paper, helping with our ambitions to become a Net Zero carbon council by 2030”.

Matthew Gilbery Commercial Director at Yoti commented: “Our collaboration with Sevenoaks District Council follows the successful transformation of Ashford Borough Council in 2020, another local authority in Kent that adopted Yoti’s eSignatures platform and saw a reduction in costs and increase in efficiency. It’s exciting to see just how transformative digital identity services can be – and the citizens of Sevenoaks District Council should expect to see greater efficiencies moving forwards.”

Greece to launch mobile ID, mDL

Greece to launch mobile ID, mDL

Greek citizens will be able to download a digital version of the full identity card and their driving license to their mobile phones by next Easter, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis revealed on January 6.

Pierrakakis told SKAI TV that, “We aim to have the biggest part of this work at the end of the first quarter of 2022, surely before Easter we will have these changes in terms of the new identity card … and in terms of the driving license.”

Currently, only part of the ID can be put on cell phones now to help people get into stores easier where showing a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery from the Coronavirus is required.

The new service will allow citizens to use their digital ID in any transaction with the state or institution requiring identification.

The launch follows the success of a COVID-19 free GR Wallet App which lets people put certificates of vaccination and other identification on their cell phones, which saw more than one million responses shortly after it was launched.

India ePassports to be rolled out ‘soon’

India ePassports to be rolled out ‘soon’

India’s Ministry of External Affairs on January 7 signed an agreement with Tata Consultancy Services Limited for the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP), one of the several Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) of the Government of India.

The $1 billion agreement will focus on faster delivery of passports to the citizens and aims create a more effective integration between various government ministries.

“India will soon introduce next-gen ePassports for citizens,” Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary of the Consular, Passport & Visa (CPV) Division at the external affairs ministry, tweeted. The new e-passports will be based on secure biometric data and will ensure smooth immigration process globally, Bhattacharya said in his tweet.

“Smooth passage through immigration posts globally. ICAO compliant. Produced at India Security Press, Nashik,” Bhattacharya tweeted.

The current Indian passport is a printed booklet that falls under the category of machine-readable passports. The new regulation is to upgrade to international standards of the ICAO.

The ePassport will have a security chip embedded on the second page of the passport with personal data, including the biographical information of the holder. It will also have a digital signature unique to each country that can be verified using a certificate. In India, the ePassport was under trial and the government had issued about 20,000 of them for officials. The Indian Passport Authority issued the first ePassport to the then President of India, Pratibha Patil, in 2008.

 

Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport launches facial recognition trial

Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport launches facial recognition trial

Aena, together with Vueling and the group of technology companies formed by Easier, IDEMIA, Indra, Materna-ips and Mobbeel, has launched a pilot boarding test through facial recognition at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport. It is the first time that it has been carried out in Europe integrating in a single process all the steps to be carried out by a passenger at an airport, including the check-in of the suitcase as a novelty. The objective is that passengers can make the entire route to the plane without having to show identification documentation.

Based on an identification technology through the recognition of the physical and non-transferable characteristics of people, the biometric systems equipment has been located in the check-in area, allowing self-check-in luggage; at the access to the security filter and at the boarding gate, where the biometric data of the passenger, their facial features (image of their face) and documentation (ID or passport) will be validated. This makes it possible to streamline the process and increase security from the moment the traveler registers online at home until he catches his flight. The validation of documentation with biometric data is carried out only once during the pilot, provided that the passenger gives his consent for subsequent flights.

Currently Aena is the sole owner of the biometric database and, therefore, responsible for its management, and the information obtained is treated in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD) established in European Regulation 2016/679 regarding treatment of personal data and the free circulation of said data.

Joint project of Vueling and Aena

This collaboration project between Vueling and Aena began several months ago with airline passengers on the Barcelona-Malaga route. This is the most complete pilot test being carried out at an Aena airport, as it includes biometric technology in 4 travel processes: check-in, baggage check-in, security filter and boarding.  

In order to access the plane “by the face”, the passenger must access the Aena app, enter the “facial recognition” section and complete the form. The registration can also be carried out physically at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport in two kiosks located in front of gate B35 and in the Vueling self-check-in area. 

Thus, passengers will be able to exclusively access both the security control filters and the boarding gate on the Barcelona-Malaga route and enjoy more agile access. In addition, they will have the option of leaving their suitcase at the agentless self-check-in belt (self bag drop), simply with facial recognition. 

Passengers can take part in this pilot program on a voluntary basis and travel in a more agile, efficient and contactless way. 

The Director of Innovation, Sustainability and Customer Experience and CGO of Aena , Amparo Brea, has pointed out that “this project, framed in Aena’s Strategic Innovation Plan, is the last step in a set of actions led by the company since the beginning of 2019 and aimed at testing the use of biometric systems at different points of the airport. We are convinced that this technology will significantly improve the passenger experience at our airports and these projects allow us to advance in its deployment. We provide passengers with tools that allow them to carry out part of the documentation checks that are currently being carried out in airport procedures, so that their passage through the airport is safer, more fluid and more comfortable ”.

According to Calum Laming, Vueling Chief Customer Officer , “being able to offer such a complete biometric experience confirms our desire to improve the experience of our customers at the airport, and also favors a much more agile and modern flow of customers. This is a project with a high technological component, a key element in Vueling Transform and in our digitization strategy to improve service and so that customers can manage their travel experience with greater autonomy and flexibility ”. In this way, Vueling has become the first airline in Europe to offer a complete contactless travel experience thanks to the use of biometric technology.

On the other hand, the companies in charge of developing, supplying and installing the necessary equipment to carry out the test have used automated systems that include advanced biometric and document validation technologies, which optimize performance in passenger access time. 

Indra  has been commissioned in this pilot of the platform that allows integrating the equipment and different systems that make up the solution. Thanks to it, it is possible to guarantee the collection of identification and biometric data at the enrollment kiosk and CUSS, filter and boarding gates for their treatment and integration with Aena systems, ensuring the perfect functioning of the complete solution. 

The biometric system of self-check-in luggage (Self Bag Drop) of  Materna IPS  takes an image of the passenger and contrasts it in real time against the database of those enrolled in the biometric program. In this way, it is able to identify if that passenger is part of the program, allowing at that moment that it can proceed to check in its luggage by itself. Maternal IPS biometrics . 

Easier  has integrated biometric devices and their middleware for enrollment and verification at each control point by supplying dual equipment (common self-service kiosk and biometric registration in the same device), as well as electronic gates with detection of uniqueness of more accurate passengers from entering the security zone to boarding. 

For its part,  IDEMIA will  provide high-quality facial image capture at the registration kiosks, the electronic access gate to the air area and the electronic boarding gate. The identification of passengers will be carried out using IDEMIA’s biometric engine, recognized in the market as one of the best for its high precision.  

Mobbeel  provides the mobile application that allows travelers to enroll their biometrics and verify their identity through the scanning of a DNI or passport with NFC and a  selfie  with proof of life to verify that that person is who they say they are. Pioneers in mobile biometrics, the company has been offering digital identity verification solutions for more than 12 years.

IBMATA welcomes BioRugged

IBMATA welcomes BioRugged

The International Border Management and Technologies Association (IBMATA) today announced that BioRugged, the international specialist for mobile and rugged biometric devices, has joined the association as a corporate member.

“IBMATA provides an excellent forum to get direct input from experts and policy makers.”, says Arnd Langguth, CEO of BioRugged. “Gathering the exact needs and detailed procedures of usage is the first step in our product development process. Our products are sold by system integrators worldwide, therefor it is important to us to have the access to the end users through IBMATA on a non-commercial basis. Any product for the Border Control market will be first and foremost benchmarked by the ease-of-use for the officer under a wide range of usage scenarios.”

The not-for-profit organization IBMATA brings together experts, practitioners, academics, policy makers and technology providers. Its internationally recognized summits in Brussels and Singapore review and analyze the latest requirements and challenges in the border control market and how technologies can help to address those.

“We are delighted to welcome BioRugged to the IBMATA family” said Tony Smith CBE, chairman of IBMATA and former Director General of the UK Border Force. “Border Force Officers are constantly adapting to new risks and issues, and it is important that the private sector and the public sector work together at both national and international level to support them in their mission. Biorugged brings specific mobile and biometric capabilities to border control, which are increasingly relevant in the world of modern day border management strategies.”

IDEMIA ID2Travel delivers biometric travel experience in North America

IDEMIA ID2Travel delivers biometric travel experience in North America

IDEMIA I&S North America, the leading identity security and authentication solutions provider, announced today the first-of-its-kind travel platform, ID2Travel is launching in North America. ID2Travel is the only interoperable traveler identity platform covering the entire passenger facilitation ecosystem, already proven by IDEMIA and partners around the globe.

Based on identity management and biometric identification, ID2Travel is a passenger facilitation solution that improves the traveler experience to deliver efficient, secure and frictionless travel. The platform is interoperable and can be deployed as part of the airport, airline, port or any travel-based infrastructure, or through IDEMIA’s patented and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-rated biometric capture solutions. The passenger experience from check-in and across every touchpoint in the travel experience uses identity proofing that leverages mobile enrollment with secured digital credentials on the traveler’s mobile device, biometric devices, and technology back-end services.

“ID2Travel is transforming the entire travel experience,” said Lisa Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Travel and Transport, IDEMIA I&S North America. “Prior to COVID, Americans took approximately 2.3 billion trips, over a one-year period, and this makes the need for the passenger experience to be even more frictionless and seamless as we return to pre-pandemic travel patterns. With that experience and privacy in mind, the timing couldn’t be more ideal to launch our ID2Travel offering in North America to improve passenger flow and maintain a touchless experience, while balancing interoperability throughout the broader travel ecosystem.”

Passengers can enroll using a mobile device from home by scanning a state ID or passport, and then taking a selfie to do a 1:1 match. Once submitted for enrollment, travelers will be able to use biometrics to securely and simply move through the airport to their gate and beyond in their travel experience.

The IDEMIA solution also allows passengers to opt out and remove their enrollment at any time and all data is immediately removed from the system, empowering the traveler to take full control of their personal identity information (PII). IDEMIA is the only company that has successfully delivered a complete biometric enrollment to gate frictionless passenger facilitation solution ( Fast and Seamless travel at Changi by IDEMIA, Aéroport Paris Orly, a biometric journey from check-in to boarding, Iceland’s Comprehensive Entry/Exit System with IDEMIA ).