The new polycarbonate e-ID card is a purely contactless smart ID card – and this is the first time in the world that a public body has made the switch straight from a contact-based to a contactless card system.

The smart ID card features multiple applications, in particular a legally binding digital signature. In combination with smartphones, the implemented security mechanisms can also be used for a mobile authentication of the card holder.

As well as providing visual and secure electronic proof of identity, the ID card allows citizens to handle dealings with the authorities electronically, saving them time and offering added convenience. It is one of the first ID cards worldwide which technically supports secure electronic signatures with a purely contactless solution.

Faster data transfer rates when reading the new card will also help speed up processing of the large number of people travelling between Macau, Hong Kong and China.

The prime contractor for the manufacture and delivery of the new ID cards was Veridos with Gemalto supplying the cards.