Smartcards provide cost -effective solutions.

October 99 Access Control & Identity Management

As crime and the abuse of state social benefits in this country escalates, Integrated Card Technology (ICT) believes that the smartcard can assist the government in implementing a cost-effective administration process that will reduce the massive costs of bureaucracy.

Correctional services for example, could make use of the smartcard in a variety of applications - identification, storage of a prisoner's personal records, including their privilege status and an electronic purse.

"The fact that prison authorities could store all this information on one smartcard makes effective prison administration possible and could also significantly reduce bribery and corruption," says Stirling McBride, Product Manager at ICT.

"How do prisoners manage to bribe corrupt prison staff? With money. It is a universal language, and if you have enough of it, it can buy freedom. However, if cash is made illegal within the correctional services, what will the prisoner have to bargain with? On entering the prison, any cash that the prisoner has is taken and loaded onto the smartcard and any cash earned during the incarceration period, is also loaded directly onto the smartcard. The card can then be used to purchase food and other necessities from the prison shop. In effect then, the prison environment would be a cashless society.

Making prisons cashless societies

"The fact that release dates and prison records can be stored on the card assists with the administration process - making it quicker and easier. It can also assist with administration in prison transfers and court appearances. If a prisoner is transferred from a medium-security prison to a high-security prison, or from one prison to another, he or she will take their allocated smartcard with them. This system is currently being used in the Australian prison services.

"Not only can the smartcard technology be applied to correctional services, but it can also be used in a military environment where it has been successfully implemented in certain parts of the US military. The smartcard's ability to provide identification (biometric), data storage (medical, personal and training records) and payment facilities (electronic purses/credit), has prompted many positive inquiries from defence forces around the world.

"In addition to these two applications, smartcard technology can be used in national identification systems, welfare and pension payments and for regional and national voting."

As there are so many advantages to smart cards, the technology employed by ICT as well as our German shareholders Orga and Giesecke & Devrient will continue to change as we find new, exciting and really smart ways of improving the smartcard's functionality!"

For details contact Integrated Card Technology on tel: (011) 608 1803.

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