At the signing ceremony held at the InfoSpan offices in Dubai Silicon Oasis, H.E. Darwish Ahmed Al Zarooni, Director General, EIDA, said, “EIDA already has a cutting edge electronic identity card with a smart card having biometric identification and security features already integrated into the card. InfoSpan will enable additional functionality to the ID Card so that it can be used at an ATM and at Points of Sale. Moreover, by linking the card to a telephone number, a whole suite of domestic and international payment and money transfer functionalities will be created, allowing the UAE ID Card holders to benefit from such services.”
H.E. also pointed out that this association was not only in line with EIDA’s vision to be a role model and reference point in proofing individual identity, but it would make the card a one-stop money exchange vehicle for every citizen within the UAE, with money always flowing through secure banking channels. It would also provide the required information to the government for supporting decision making, strategic planning and the allocation of resources in all vital sectors in the UAE, he added.
Commenting more on the wider scope and reach of the National ID Card after having the SpanCash technology linked to it, Larry Scudder – Senior, Vice President, Operations, InfoSpan INC. said, “Going forward, not only can individual salaries be ‘loaded’ onto this SpanCash card, but money can flow both ways between individuals and organisations – especially the Government. For example, pensions can be paid, marriage disbursements can be made, educational grants to foreign students can be credited, and medical and labour insurance, electricity and water bills, Salik and other payments can be made – all through a simple phone call, SMS, interactive voice response and also the web”.
EIDA’s overall strategy – which will continue till 2010 – includes the establishment of a modern population register in order to facilitate the obtainment of government services as well as issuance of electronic identity cards for the whole population in the country – nationals and residents – in order to verify and confirm the identity of each individual through the unique identity number and the smart ID card related to the biological features of the individual. With the addition of the SpanCash technology, not only will the m-commerce suite of applications be brought to each citizen and resident, but a huge regulatory benefit will also be possible with respect to streamlining salary payment issues linked to the underbanked blue collar population across the country.
The strategic vision of both EIDA and InfoSpan envisages a “One Card One Nation” culmination point with multiple functionalities embedded in the ID Card. This synergistic combination will truly help in not only the way people “move money”, but also play a significant role in the sustainable development and economic growth of the country through a nationwide and accurate population register that supports the government in its strategic planning, which will contribute in elevating the UAE to its well deserved position amongst the advanced countries in the world.
Wednesday, March 19- 2008 @ 15:34 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.