NXP’s SmartMX Chip Powers Egyptian Welfare Scheme

Smart card technology enables faster, more secure transactions on Egyptian Family Card

Eindhoven, The Netherlands – NXP Semiconductors today announced that its SmartMX contact security chip has been chosen by the Egyptian government to power its Family Card – a welfare scheme which offers subsidies on goods such as food to low-income families. The joint project, which is run by the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Ministry of Administrative Development, is working with card manufacturer Misr Security Systems, to introduce smart card technology to deploy a system, which is easy to use, efficient and secure for card holders, merchants and governmental administration authorities.  

NXP’s SmartMX security chip, which is proven in hundreds of millions eGovernment applications such as health cards, ePassports and ID cards, protects cardholder information such as address details and national ID numbers, which permanently link the card to its holder and cannot be changed. Utilizing advanced cryptography the device offers the strongest protection of sensitive data at both a hardware and software level along, with breakthrough authentication speeds. 

“There is a definite trend toward governments turning to technology to enable them to deliver national services. With millions of SmartMX chips already in circulation, smart card technology is powering some of the most signification forms of electronic documentation such as national ID cards, health cards and even voting cards,” said Günter Schlatte, general manager, eGovernment, NXP Semiconductors. “Smart card technology offers significant benefits for eGovernment applications: Not only is the user’s vital data kept secure, it’s also extremely quick to verify and validate, particularly in high-traffic environments such as polling stations and retail outlets.” 

“By basing the Family Card scheme on smart card technology, the Egyptian government has been able to deploy a highly secure, entirely automated system throughout the country,” said Amr Rashad, Chairman Misr Security Systems. “Previous schemes were paper-based systems and not as efficient. By utilizing NXP’s SmartMX chip, the Family Card will enable users to easily verify their eligibility for the scheme at the point-of-sale, and enable retailers to quickly claim the funds back from the government.” 

Started in 2005 in the Suez region, the Family Card scheme was designed to offer low-income families financial support when purchasing basic foodstuffs such as rice and sugar. To support families regardless of geographical location, the infrastructure supporting the Family Card, consisting of cards, point of sale units and the related applications designed by Misr Security Systems, have been rolled out throughout the entire country to ensure access to subsidies in both rural and urban areas. In total, the government is planning to roll-out the scheme to ten million households in Egypt.

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