The Egyptian government is the latest to select NXP’s SmartMX contact security chip as the basis for delivering government services via smart card. They’ve chosen to use SmartMX to power its Family Card – a welfare scheme that gives subsidies on basic foodstuffs, like rice and sugar, to low-income families.

As part of a joint project, run by the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Ministry of Administrative Development, the card manufacturer Misr Security systems is using SmartMX as part of a system that is easy to use, efficient, and secure for everyone, from card holders and merchants to governmental administration authorities.

The new Egyptian program is just one of many around the world that has government agencies turning to technology to deliver national services. SmartMX is powering some of the most significant forms of electronic documentation, including national ID cards, healthcare, and even voting cards. That’s because the SmartMX technology keeps the user’s vital data secure, and because it’s quick to verify and validate, especially in high-traffic environments such as polling stations and retail outlets.

NXP’s SmartMX security chip 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.

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. 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 point-of-sale terminals, and will 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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