The Maldives immigration department has introduced a single ID card that combines the functions of a passport, national ID card, driver’s license, and health and insurance card, it was announced. Citizens may also make payments with the card.
The card conforms to international passport standards, and can be used as a regular passport since it contains biometric fingerprint data. It is certified by both the Bank of Maldives and MasterCard, which means that users will be able to use this card for payments anywhere in the world.
Mohamed Anwar, the Controller General of Maldives Immigration, said that “the door is open” for government departments and private companies to use the new Passport Card to deliver services in the future.
The card features contactless and contact card reading, and is made of a polycarbonate material that lasts up to ten years – much longer than standard bank cards.
Similar attempts by countries in the Asia Pacific region to introduce multi-purpose ID cards have seen mixed success. Indonesia was to have launched electronic ID cards last September, but progress was hampered due to corruption, noted Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
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Livio S. Nespoli has been a broker, registered investment advisor, and financial publisher since 1985.