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March 27, 2013

G&D to supply Macau’s biometric contactless ID cards

The Munich-based technology company Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) will manufacture and deliver contactless, multifunctional smart ID cards to Macau.

By Sandra Nielsen

The Munich-based technology company Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) will manufacture and deliver contactless, multifunctional smart ID cards to Macau.

The company will be developing the smartcard applications and modifying the existing infrastructure to accommodate the new technology, which will be introduced from October of this year.

The company says this will make the Macau government the first public body in the world to make the switch straight from a contact-based to a contactless card system.

The multifunctional ID card can still be used as conventional ID, while personal data and biometric features such as the card holder’s photo and fingerprints are stored securely on the chip in digital form.

"Not only does the card offer the ultimate in security and comfort, but faster data transfer rates when reading the card will help speed up processing of the large number of people travelling between Macau, Hong Kong, and China," stresses Hans Wolfgang Kunz, head of the Government Solutions business unit at G&D.

The security of the contactless data transfer is to be assured according to the PACE (Password Authenticated Connection Establishment) security protocol developed by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). This protocol was first applied to the new German ID card introduced in 2010 and will become mandatory for all newly issued EU passports from December 2014 at the latest.

Alongside the smartcard technology, G&D will be supplying its JavaCard operating system, Sm@rtCafé Expert 7.0, equipping the new ID card to support additional features such as contactless payments.

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