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Gearing Up Malaysia’s Readiness for Digital ID (Part 1)

21st September 2022

In recent years, we have seen an exponential acceleration in digitisation and technology adoption. Not a day goes by without any of us hearing of new partnerships and launch of digital solutions due to the ever-increasing demand from businesses and consumers in the new normal. As we push forward towards the recovery and growth of our nation, we need to redefine the way we live, work and play.

The future of businesses and industries in Malaysia will be driven by digital technology as unveiled in our government’s MyDIGITAL blueprint. It requires everyone to gear up our readiness in leveraging these technologies, especially in promoting the safety, security, efficiency, and equality of society. Just as we are familiar with the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), there needs to be a validated representation of humans in the digital world. The fact that we need to register individually every single time we access separate government and private services. Imagine if every bank and company including conveniences store in Malaysia introduce its own identity system; there will be a lot of enrolling happening, which can make the identification process very inefficient. We can save a lot of efforts and cost by having a single digital identity and a single national bio-hub digital identity that validates all the information required from a person to prevent repetitive process from happening.

The process of digital inclusion includes a digital replica of physical assets (physical twin), processes, people, places, systems, and devices that can be used for various purposes. The digital representation provides both the elements and the dynamics of how an IoT device operates and lives throughout its life cycle. A person’s identity needs to be safely and accurately replicated in the cyber world.  A digital ID is an electronic equivalent of an individual's identity card. It can be presented electronically to prove an individual's identity and his or her right to access information or services online. This is made possible with the aid of biometrics technology which traditionally only has fingerprints - now it includes advanced and perfect face recognition and voice.

We need to embrace the enabling of a digital twin of individuals using the vast potential of biometrics technologies across industries, especially in enabling the adoption of Digital ID in Malaysia. Biometrics is currently taking centre stage in MedTech and potentially witness the development of a digital health pass that uses face recognition system to alleviate congestion at tourist sites and event venues. This is currently being tested by NEC in Japan utilising NEC’s new face recognition capabilities that can authenticate users with high precision, even with a mask on. 

Similarly, adopting face recognition system in aviation and land transportation can ease travel protocols and enhance passenger safety, while speeding up the immigration process for improved experiences for travellers. Malaysia’s National Registration Department (JPN) is on the right track with plans to implement a biometric registration system for all official identifying documents to boost national security. The National Digital ID (NDI) does not only serve as a trusted digital certification and verification for individuals, but it also ensures flexible and secure online transactions while reducing administrative costs and improving user experience.
Globally, the biometrics industry is estimated to generate a revenue of USD104,959 million by 2028 and grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15 per cent over the forecast period from 2021 to 2028. There’s a growing integration of biometric systems with IoT devices, increasing the use of smartphones and incorporation of rapid biometric security in both tablets and smartphones. These are contributing significantly towards the adoption of global biometrics market. If we look at the travel and cross-border industry, there will be significant demand for biometric systems due to the widespread usage of e-passports across the globe.
In APAC, experts reveal that biometrics markets are projected to reach a revenue of USD29,787.5 million by 2028 and to continue witness lucrative growth throughout the forecast period. It is interesting to note that biometrics is attributed to the broad usage and incorporation of retina scan, face recognition, and fingerprint mapping as the systems are dependable, rapid, accurate and highly secure.

(Part 2 - To be continued) 

Chong Kai Wooi
Managing Director
NEC Corporation of Malaysia

Mr. Chong Kai Wooi is the Managing Director of NEC Corporation of Malaysia. He has over 20 years of experience in sales and business specifically in the field of information and communication technology. He leads his 300 staff with an effective business culture making NEC Corporation of Malaysia a contributing force and partner to the growth of the Malaysian economy. 

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