Gov’t-issued electronic ‘One Card’ for all transactions soon – President Ali


Similar to technology already proven successful in places like India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President Dr Irfaan Ali on Tuesday talked up the introduction of a “one card” technology that will form the basis of all transactions to be conducted by adult Guyanese in the future.

The President was at the time laying out his government’s vision for the future of information and communication technology (ICT) in Guyana.

Part of the plan is to introduce a national data management platform that will see citizens being issued the “one card” on which all their bio-data will be loaded to provide a verification basis for other transactions.

“The one card, an electronic card you will be able to conduct all transactions. Banking, social benefits, identification, licensing, taxes, everything,” Dr. Ali said.

Dr. Ali referenced the Aadhaar system out of India which currently provides a single source of offline/online identity verification across the country for the residents.

He said the UAE has a similar card and Guyana has been able to partner with authorities there and other international companies to bring the technology to Guyana.

“The one card will drive all transactions.

“This card will force the banking, insurance, government and everybody to migrate to an electronic platform,” President Ali said while addressing a ceremony to mark the expansion of Teleperformance – a regional BPO outsourcing company operating in Guyana.

Dr. Ali said he envisions this becoming a major support for conducting business, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, improving transparency and advancing a modern governance architecture.

The conversation on merging citizens’ information in a central database started with the introduction of a Taxpayer Identification Number, commonly known as TIN, in 2006.

It is a unique computer-generated number allocated to each taxpayer.

Already, every person conducting business with a government department, public authority, public corporation or local banks is required to have a TIN.

Additionally, Dr. Ali reminded of plans to introduce a patient management information system and a health management information system for the local healthcare sector.

“That work had started,” Dr. Ali said while noting that the system will be global in nature.

The President talked about introducing legislation and the necessary infrastructure to support these plans which expand to the creation of more tech-driven jobs in the country.

“We cannot build in a straight line.

“We have to skip the hurdles and get to the best and work backwards to get people to accept the best,” the President said.

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