Singapore testing iris biometrics for border efficiency

Singapore tests eye scans at immigration checkpoints (Reuters)

“The trials will help us in our consideration of whether and how we should implement such technology at our checkpoints,” the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in an emailed statement.

The move will be implemented at two checkpoints on its northern border with Malaysia and one at a ferry terminal running services to nearby Indonesian islands.

The Singapore-Malaysia border is extremely busy and has been a hotbed of early biometric adoption for years. The map and photo below gives a flavor of the relevant geography. The red dot on the Singapore map is the approximate location of the Johor–Singapore Causeway pictured at right below.

Citi unveils bank branch-in-a-box

Citi launches new ATM in Asia (Banking Business Review)

Citi has rolled out a new ATM in Asia, Citibank Express, which enables customers to perform nearly all banking jobs including opening accounts and applying for loans, cards and cashier’s checks, without visiting a branch.

New machines are already being installed in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, while installation at in-branch and out-of-branch locations across Asia and globally will follow later this year.

For customer identity authentication, the new machine is outfitted with an online banking connection, video-conferencing and biometric capability.

Malaysia & Singapore are already at the forefront of biometric deployments so it’s no surprise Citi is rolling out the machines there first.

Biometrics Making Life Easier for Malaysia & Singaporeans

It’s been a while singe we checked in on the Malaysia-Singapore border biometrics deployment(s), but it looks like things are going well.

No more disembarkation cards for Singapore to Johor travellers (The Star)

Effective today, those entering the state from Singapore will no longer have to fill up the Immigration disembarkation cards or white cards.

This will ease the hassle faced by thousands of foreigners, especially Singa­poreans.

Thousands of Singaporeans and people of other nationalities enter the state daily.

In the early stages of implementation, Malaysia’s border initiatives were not met with universal acclaim. Now, it seems that having the new technology in place has allowed for far more efficient border management that is both more rigorous and less consuming of time and paper than the system that used to be in place.

The increased efficiency should also serve to increase economic activity in the area which will have benefits of its own.

Congratulations to Malaysia and to the Singaporeans that make frequent visits. My condolences to whomever prints the immigration disembarkation cards.

This map and photo gives a flavor of the relevant geography. The red dot on the Singapore map is the approximate location of the Johor–Singapore Causeway pictured at right below.

Malaysia Map & Singapore Map Source: CIA The World Factbook.
Johor–Singapore Causeway Source: Wikipedia
(Click Image to Enlarge)
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