Emirates government begins NFC national ID project

The Emirates Identity Authority is to work with mobile network operator Etisalat to develop a new version of the United Arab Emirates’ national ID card that will allow both UAE nationals and expatriates living in the country to store their ID on an NFC mobile phone.

EIDA, the Emirates Identity Authority
EIDA: Testing NFC for proving identity

Abu Dhabi-based mobile network operator Etisalat has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), the United Arab Emirates’ government agency responsible for administering the country’s national ID card system.

Under the terms of the MoU, the two organisations will study the possibility of enabling Emirates ID card data to be identified and transferred using NFC-enabled mobile phones, the Emirates News Agency reports. Etisalat and EIDA will begin by assessing the feasibility of providing such services to both nationals and expatriates in the UAE. They will then begin a  pilot project, due to last for several months, before launching the service on a commercial basis.

“NFC can assist in providing creative, convenient and safe services for customers, while presenting new opportunities for data integration and communication,” EIDA’s Nasser Al Mazroui explains. “Our partnership with Etisalat continues our efforts to provide the most modern communication infrastructure for Emirates ID cardholders, who can benefit from the connectivity and compatibility of their smart cards.”

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