Morpho moving into Chile

Safran has been chosen by Chile to renew its identity cards and passports. Yet another achievement for Safran in South America where the Group is already firmly established in the biometric identity field.

Chile's national records administration (Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación) has chosen Morpho (Safran) to produce e-ID cards and e-Passports for the country's twenty million inhabitants. Signed in late 2011, the ten-year contract came into force on January 20, 2012. The Chilean government is currently modernizing the system for issuing identity and travel documents and this contract is an important part of this program. "This is a major achievement as Chile was one of the few countries in Latin America where we were still to gain a foothold," said Robert Vinco, Morpho's head of sales and marketing in Latin America.

An end-to-end service
Morpho will supply the entire document issuing system including the identity data management solution for the entire population, document production and one thousand enrollment stations for capturing biometric data. Installed across almost five hundred sites, these stations are equipped with high resolution fingerprint sensors and readers. "We shall also be training the 2,500 clerks in charge of enrollment," Vinco added.

Why polycarbonate?
The ID cards and passport data pages will be manufactured in polycarbonate, the toughest material on the market today, at highly secure production sites. "Polycarbonate offers very high UV and impact resistance, low flammability and an exceptionally long life, and has also proved to be very difficult to forge," Vinco explained. Chile is the first Latin American country to adopt this material for its citizens' ID documents. "As Chile often plays a pioneering role on the continent, it would not be surprising to see other countries follow suit over the coming years." This is already the case, in fact, as Morpho signed a contract with Panama in early 2012 for the supply of biometric passports containing polycarbonate pages.

Enrollments are due to begin next year and the new ID documents will be issued as and when they are renewed. With this new contract, Safran is strengthening its position on the South American continent where Morpho already manages 60 percent of existing identity systems.

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