Taiwan is making big progress toward its new digital card for the 24 million citizens. The most recent development, according to a report, is that the country’s cabinet in late August approved a plan “to issue electronic identification cards that combine the functions of the existing national ID cards and Citizen Digital Certificates starting October 2020.”
This newly approved Taiwan digital ID reportedly comes with a budget of some $155.5 million
Nothing happens without money, of course, and this newly approved digital ID reportedly comes with a budget of some $155.5 million. Besides serving as a national ID for citizens, the Taiwan digital ID will also serve as a driver’s license and national health care service card. According to another recent report, card features will also include digital signature capabilities, state-of-the art privacy protections and anti-counterfeiting protections.
Last year, a blockchain-based digital ID trial was announced in Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei.
Taiwan being Taiwan — that is, locked in generations-long political tension with China — the design of the digital ID reportedly was a hot topic of consideration. But authorities reportedly have decided to include Taiwan’s flag on the digital ID after some speculation that they would go a different design route.
Taiwan digital ID to replace existing national ID
According to that first report, “a sample of the new digital ID will be unveiled in April or May 2020, and a card production and issuance system and card center will be established in September next year. The government aims to help an estimated 23.59 million people replace their national ID cards with the new digital cards by March 2023.”
As for China, the realms of digital ID and mobile payments are steadily merging. A recently project involving Chinese e-commerce and digital payments giant Alibaba — along with facial recognition — illustrates that trend. The effort has a goal of putting the country’s all-important and mandatory national identification card inside Alibaba’s payment app. Launched in 2004, Alibaba now stands as the world’s largest mobile payment platform.
The move comes amid a similar program that weds digital ID with WeChat, the social messaging app designed and operated by China-based Tencent.