Digital security provider Gemalto is supplying three million electronic multi-application ID cards for Kuwaiti citizens embedding contact and contactless smart card technologies, as well as plastic cards for foreign residents that include secure printing features. The national ID card program has been commissioned by the country’s Public Authority For Civil Information. In addition, Gemalto will provide support and training services, project management and smart card-related software.
The card rollout began in June 2009 and resident cards will be deployed in the coming months. The national ID card is compulsory for all Kuwaiti citizens. Al-Kharafi, an international private Kuwait-based company, is prime contractor.
The national ID card program complies with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regulation designed to allow citizens of all GCC countries to travel between member states. This card will serve as the official ID document for Kuwaiti citizens and will also be used as a travel document in the GCC region.
The Gemalto contactless technology included in the card increases speed and security of identity verification at border crossings. In the future, the contact functionality will allow cardholders to access e-government services and perform transactions securely. Foreign residents will use their card as their national ID document within the Kuwaiti territory. In the second phase, it could be upgraded to a microprocessor card.