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Vietnam, Kenya, Philippines expanding digital ID uses in different sectors

Vietnam, Kenya, Philippines expanding digital ID uses in different sectors

The government of Vietnam has highlighted the importance of its population data resource as a tool for creating a digital identity ecosystem where citizens can have access to a variety of public services. Kenya has announced plans to soon make the controversial Huduma Namba digital ID card a requirement for all digital financial transactions, and in the Philippines, public and private entities are being encouraged to accept the PhilID card as the single source of truth for people’s identity as well as a tool for financial inclusion. Many elderly citizens in Uganda will soon be able to claim national ID cards as a special campaign has been rolled out by the government to allow them benefit from a social welfare scheme. Meanwhile, in the Maldives, a biometric national ID system will soon be in place, according to a government announcement.

Vietnam to accelerate digital transformation

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security says the use of digital ID for public services will expand from this month as the national population database will be leveraged to facilitate processes such as the issuance of ID cards, permanent residence registration, registration of temporary residence, declaration of temporary absence, registration and issuance of license plates for motorbikes, collection of administrative fines, birth registration, death registration, marriage registration, issuance of ordinary passports, and making new seals and issuing certificates of seal sample registration, writes Vietnam Net.

Per the report, this move comes after the Prime Minister in January gave the nod for the development of applications for population data, identification and digital authentication as part of efforts to push ahead the country’s digital transformation agenda for the period 2022-2025.

The population database, the report notes, has been integrated with the national insurance database, and five more databases of important government institutions will also be integrated under a national data sharing and integration platform controlled by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

A data sharing network has been built to enable the sharing of data between ministries, departments and agencies as this integration is expected to set the pace for a fully functional digital government, according to Vietnam Net.

A deal was signed between Vietnam’s government and Thales last November to advance the country’s digital ID infrastructure, including with a digital wallet.

Kenya to require digital ID for digital money transactions

The Huduma Namba will soon be mandatory for transactions using the hugely popular mobile money platform M-Pesa as well as for other financial operations, the Central Bank of Kenya has said in its National Payments Strategy report for the period 2022-2025.

Soko Directory reports that the principal reason advanced by the central bank is the need to tighten security around digital payments which have surged following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The bank notes that there were about 2.2 billion digital financial transactions in Kenya in 2021.

“The expected rollout of the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS commonly known as the Huduma Namba will provide a key impetus to further deepen the adoption, safety and robustness of digital payments…There will be a need for increased vigilance and alertness in a post-COVID payments world to protect systems against increasing cases of cyber-attacks and AML/CBT risks,” a portion of the report reads.

The Huduma Namba has been a subject of controversy in Kenya as many activists have picked holes in the digital ID scheme.

Importance, acceptability of PhilID reiterated

The need to establish the biometric national ID card issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as the unique tool to identify citizens has been emphasized by the national Statistician Dennis Mapa, reports The Manila Times.

According to the official, the ID is important because many registrants for the Philippines Identification System (PhilSys) used alternative ID documentation to confirm their demographic information.

“This shows that there is a need for a national ID…The issuance of PhilIDs ensures that Filipinos have a valid and secure proof of identification that they can use in their transactions in various public and private establishments, making it a viable and secure option for an ID,” Mapa was quoted as saying.

He added that the PhilID system is making public and private transactions much safer, easier and efficient as it enables access to many services including financial deals, social protection, healthcare and education, among others.

In the same vein, public and private entities including financial institutions have been urged to accept the PhilID as the unique proof of ID to facilitate access to public services by Filipinos.

The Inquirer reports that this follows a fresh call from President Duterte in an Executive Order signed last month.

The president’s order states that no other proof of identity should be required when a user presents the PhilID card, its number or the PhilSys number.

The financial inclusion drive in the country is expected to be bolstered by this move as many Filipinos will be able to open bank accounts. About four million accounts were opened as of last year thanks to the PhilID.

National ID system soon for the Maldives

Following recommendation from the Cabinet, the President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, has given the green light for the establishment of a National Digital Identification System.

Per online newspaper Avas, the establishment of the system is part of the implementation of the National Resilience and Recovery Plan 2020-2022.

The report mentions that the new identification system, to be developed and managed by the National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT) and the Department of National Registration (DNR), will make use of biometrics and contactless technologies.

Ugandan elderly to get IDs for social welfare program

Uganda’s National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) says it is working to issue national ID cards to some elderly citizens to enable them have access to the government-run Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE).

As KFM reports, the move will be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

The country’s State Minister for Elderly Persons’ Affairs, Dominic Mafwabi Gidudu, told reporters at a press conference that the idea is to let seniors easily access government programs intended for them.

The minister mentioned that about 54,000 elderly people do not benefit from SAGE because of a lack of national ID.

A date for registration is yet to be fixed.

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