First Multi-application Smart Card System in Saudi Arabia managed by Bell ID's ANDiS Management Solution

Final phase of ANDiS multi-application smart card management system including e-purse and biometrics featured on Saudi Arabia nation’s first multi-application ID scheme, went live in June 2005 at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Rotterdam, September 20, 2005

The King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia has implemented Bell ID’s ANDiS© Card and Application Management System (CMS/AMS) for the central life-cycle management of smart cards issued to students and staff. The KFUPM Smart ID Card holds the first electronic purse in Saudi Arabia and is being used not only for electronic payment but also for access control as well as a means of identification throughout the campus.

Since the roll-out started in 2002, KFUPM has issued over 15,000 cards to students, staff and visitors including KFUPM alumni. All cards have a contactless chip including a digital fingerprint from the cardholder for verification of the cardholder’s identity and for access control to specific highly secured areas. Some card types hold a contact chip as well in which the digital photograph is stored. In addition, the chip contains e-purse functionality for electronic payments to be used in cafeterias and restaurants throughout the campus. The cards are personalised by ANDiS with the graphical personalisation being done using desktop printers with integrated smart card readers. The cardholder’s photograph is printed on the card, of which one side is personalised in English and the other side contains the cardholder’s data in Arabic characters and Hindi numbers. Furthermore, the KFUPM Smart ID Card is also used for library applications and for use of the University’s medical centre.

Bell ID, who primed this project and delivered not only its own ANDiS products, but also desktop card printers, smart cards, biometrics equipment, an access control system securing over 300 points as well as an electronic purse solution, implemented this project successfully. The new state of the art KFUPM smart ID card represents not only one of the most advanced University ID cards in the world, but also leads the way for national ID card projects in the region, as the design of the KFUPM system is far more than a typical University ID scheme. A full card management system, post-issuance personalisation capability, using biometrics to access certain parts of the building and the capability to extend this scheme at any time, make this project a ground-breaking solution for the entire region. In adopting such a high-end smart card solution, KFUPM, the leading University in Saudi Arabia, has set the benchmark for ID solutions in the entire Middle East region.

The contact chip used in the project caters for future plans, including an open electronic purse which could be used as means of payment all over the country. The current chip also allows the generation and download of digital certificates, securing electronic (data) communication. The complete smart card scheme is also prepared to support future applications like logical access control for computers and protected databases as well as electronic voting for student elections.

ANDiS© enables the University to manage centrally the complete life-cycle of all cards and the on-card applications with potential Post-Issuance Personalisation functionality. This means, the University is able to add, change and delete applications after the cards have been issued. The authorised administrators may apply for cards via a standard web browser, whereas changes in status of cards and their applications are automatically communicated to the relevant application providers.

Dr. M. Kousa, Associate Professor Electrical Engineering and Director at Telecommunications Department at KFUPM says: "The vision of KFUPM is to become a leading University in IT-empowered education, research, outreach, and administration. Adopting the smart card system with multiple applications is another milestone on this road. Bell ID, with its distinguished experience, professional team, cooperative and flexible administration managed to implement the project successfully. Moreover, Bell ID was always willing to be as open as possible to respond to our technical enquiries and discussions. No doubt, this project enabled the University to become a centre of excellence around smart card implementations in the Kingdom and we are looking forward on building further on this pleasant working relation with Bell ID"

Erik Wellen, General Manager Professional Services at Bell ID, commented: “The completion of this project is an important milestone for the delivery side of our business. We were proud to be appointed prime contractor for a turn-key campus card project of this scope and faced different challenges as the ones we usually come across as ANDiS technology provider. We are also happy that such a prestigious University has taken advantage of Bell ID’s technological advancement and are looking forward building further on our pleasant and constructive working relation with the KFUPM team into the project's next phases and extensions.

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