Madeira digital ID pilots with Tactilis biometric cards to begin ahead of 2020 roll-out

Madeira digital ID pilots with Tactilis biometric cards to begin ahead of 2020 roll-out

The Government of Madeira and Tactilis are proceeding with pilots of the new digital identity platform the company has completed development of under a partnership announced last year. The platform is intended to enable a wide range of safe, secure, and efficient ID-related transactions for citizens in Madeira, according to the announcement.

The platform is based on Tactilis’ high security biometric system-on-card (BSoC) product, which incorporates a fingerprint sensor from Next Biometrics, along with 4GB of internal storage, a powerful microprocessor, and a standard smartcard chip which enables support for all conventional terminals. The partnership includes a consortium of Medeira’s leading system integrators, under the name The Power of Touch Ltd. The Power of Touch has now placed an initial purchase order for 3,400 cards and 600 wireless card readers, which will be used in first twelve projects of the government’s ‘Smart Island’ program, covering education, healthcare, port security, transport, payments, tourism and other government services.

Tactilis says it plans to work with local partners in Madeira and mainland Portugal on card manufacturing and the development of user applications.

The card is easy to use with passwordless authentication, while the system’s decentralized architecture, with biometrics stored and matched on the card, mitigates the risk of data breaches, according to the announcement. Tactilis also offers its slim card reader and carrier product to provide seamless operation in workplaces, homes, stores, or outdoors, if there is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC or USB connectivity.

“The Government of Madeira is very enthusiastic about the vast possibilities for this technology and its ability to make the life of Madeirans more convenient, safe and secure,” comments Madeira President Miguel Albuquerque. “At the same time, it will enable our government and related agencies to deliver a wider range of services securely whilst managing their operations more efficiently. Madeira is well positioned to pioneer this technology to the rest of the world. We now look forward to seeing the first pilots start early next year and the full roll-out commencing later in 2020.”

The ’Smart Island’ program is supported by the Government of Madeira and the European Union.

A proposed acquisition of Tactilis by Global Invacom Group (Ginva) with a proposed total purchase price reported to be at or near $200 million was mutually abandoned in April.

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