The immigration department has introduced a new multi-functional ‘passport card’ that can be used to make payments and serve as a national identity card, a health card, and an insurance card.
Developed by Germany’s Dermalog and launched by President Abdulla Yameen at a ceremony Wednesday morning, the passport card can be linked to the holders’ account at the Bank of Maldives and insurance plan at Allied Insurance.
“The new card of the Maldives is the world’s first bank card which is made of polycarbonate material that can last up to 10 years,” Dermalog noted in a statement.
“Furthermore it contains a unique combination of a called dual-interface chip for contactless and contact card reading. The new card is certified by the Bank of Maldives as well as by MasterCard, allowing the card to be used internationally like any other MasterCard.”
The additional passport security features make the card more secure than other payment cards, it added. The card can also be used like a regular passport at all Maldivian borders and the new e-gates at the airport.
“The door is open for many other government departments and private companies to use our new passport card in future,” said Controller of Immigration Mohamed Anwar.
Gunther Mull, the CEO of Dermalog said: “This is why the cards also contain 10 fingerprints for secure verification. Together with Maldives immigration, we are very proud about this very innovative and secure biometric card and system.”
Dermalog also designed the new biometric Maldivian e-passport and automated e-gate service introduced in January 2016.