COLOMBO: The new multi-purpose Maldives ID card released by President Abdulla Yameen in Male on Wednesday, is unique, and the first of its kind in the South Asian region.

It is a truly multi-purpose card, to the extent of being the holder’s passport also!

Touted as the world’s most advanced ID card, it is virtually everything rolled into one - a payment card (linked to Mastercard), a driving license, an insurance card, a health card, besides being a passport catering to all international requirements, its designers, DERMALOG of Germany, said in a release.

It is the Maldivian Department of Immigration which has introduced this card, aptly designated as the “Passport Card.”

“Citizens of the Maldives do not need to carry many cards around anymore,” DERMALOG said.

The new card is certified by the Bank of Maldives as well as by Mastercard, allowing it to be used internationally like any other Mastercard.

It is also long-lasting.

“Today, most ID cards have a durability of maximum of three years. But the new card of the Maldives is the world's first bank card which is made of Polycarbonate material that can last up to ten years,” DERMALOG said.

Furthermore, it contains a unique dual-interface chip for contactless and contact card reading. It is also the most secure with ten fingerprints of the owner in it. The data in it can be accessed only by the concerned departments and institutions.

“What makes the new card more secure than any other payment card is the inclusion of additional passport security features, which no other bank card provides. It contains ten fingerprints for secure verification,” said Gunther Mull, CEO of DERMALOG.

The "Passport Card" is already working at all borders of the Maldives, including the new electronic gates.

“We are very proud about this very innovative and secure biometric card,” Gunther Mull said.

The Controller General of Maldives Immigration, Mohamed Anwar, said that the door is now open for other government departments and private companies to use the new card.

(Cover Photo: The Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen receiving the new card from the Director General of Immigration Mohammed Anwar:Photo:President’s Office)