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Bahrain to overhaul ID card system with Thales contract

Bahrain to overhaul ID card system with Thales contract

The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) of Bahrain has taken steps towards modernizing the country’s ID card system with the recent signing of an agreement with Thales, a global technology company. The agreement, aimed at revamping Bahrain’s ID card infrastructure and improving the cards’ biometric features, reflects the commitment of both parties to advancing the nation’s digital capabilities, according to an announcement by the country’s official news agency.

Signed by Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, iGA chief executive, and Yousaf Ghous, Thales’ vice president and head of identity and biometric solutions domain — Middle East and Saudi Arabia, the agreement underscores Bahrain’s commitment to enhancing its digital infrastructure in line with governmental directives.

The ID card is a key element in Bahrain’s national digital identity strategy.

Al Qaed emphasizes the importance of this agreement in aligning with the government’s vision for digital transformation. He highlights the iGA’s determination to collaborate with international technology leaders to support Bahrain’s development goals.

Key to this agreement is the comprehensive overhaul of the ID card printing systems, with a focus on bolstering biometric and security features. Al Qaed adds that these enhancements aim to streamline processes, facilitate data exchange among government entities, and ultimately provide more efficient services to citizens.

A study conducted by the iGA on ID card system renewal procedures emphasizes the need for adopting modern and sustainable technology, which promises cost-reduction benefits in printing system support and maintenance expenses, leading to medium and long-term savings, according to the report.

Al Qaed reiterates that the upgraded ID card system will be in line with the latest technologies and adhere to global standards for digital transformation. The goal is to ensure that Bahrain remains at the forefront of technological innovation, providing secure and reliable services to its citizens and residents.

In response, Ghous expresses the company’s commitment to supporting Bahrain’s digital initiatives.

“We are pleased to partner with the iGA in an endeavor that aligns with our mission to develop advanced solutions and products for public and private entities, enhancing their service quality,” he adds.

“The ID card system revamp is one of many digital initiatives the iGA anticipates this year to improve customer satisfaction among citizens, residents, business owners, and organizations. This project reflects Thales’s unwavering commitment to a safer and more sustainable world with secure identities for all. We proudly support Bahrain’s 2030 Economic Vision to transition towards a more digitally driven, knowledge-based economy.”

Bahraini officials report a significant increase in the utilization of digital identification and civil registration services via online platforms in 2023, with a total of 743,000 identity transactions successfully processed digitally.

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