The new smart ID card features enhanced security, built-in RFID technology and higher-resolution photographs to support facial recognition. A see-through window bearing the card number has been included, while an image of the city’s skyline appears on back of the card under an ultraviolet light. The RFID transmission technology has also been improved, boosting security and data retrieval speeds.

The card supports wireless technology and has an expanded storage capacity for higher-resolution photos to support facial recognition technology, in a move to provide a platform for alternative biometric authentication on top of fingerprint verification. Fingerprint templates have also been upgraded for more secure and accurate identity verification.

The Immigration Department has set up nine replacement centres across the city, equipped with self-service registration and collection kiosks. At the kiosk, an applicant only needs to insert his or her existing ID card, verify two fingerprints and then input or verify the application data. The machine will then print out a form so the applicant can move on to taking a photo. The whole process takes no more than 30 minutes. It takes about 10 working days to receive the new card. Almost nine million Hong Kong residents are set to receive the new documents in a phase replacement programme over the next four years.

The new smart ID card was launched on 26 November 2018, so it was precisely one year later that it won this accolade. The awards were presented to Tin Chee Chan, assistant director of the Personal Documentation Branch of the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China by Martyn White, chairman of Reconnaissance International.