#Biometric Authentication

Holistic ePassport solutions for Bangladesh

Insights
4 Mins.

Pandemic or no pandemic, supplying ePassports to the world’s eighth-most-populous country is no easy task.

In 2020, over 150 countries were using ePassports – two and a half times as many as in 2008.1 Containing enhanced security features, state-of-the-art ePassports help to counter identity fraud, while making airport logistics more convenient: instead of lengthy, manual identification processes, ePassports allow for simpler and more secure immigration processes at border controls with automated passport readers. The implementation of ePassports has many advantages – for airport staff, airlines, governments, and travelers – and travel is made more secure and more efficient for everyone involved. With regard to social distancing measures introduced by the pandemic, eGates channel passengers, allowing for these measures to be better upheld.

Creating high-security, next-generation ePassports for the world’s eighth-most-populous country is no easy task, and it’s quite an undertaking to do so in the midst of a global pandemic. In summer 2018, back when the world was pandemic-free, Veridos won a contract to supply and implement ePassports and border control systems in Bangladesh. The scope was large – a holistic project along the entire value chain, from the establishment of a local production facility, to the supply of components and equipment for passport offices in Bangladesh and around the world, as well as the implementation of a border control system, including eGates.

A mammoth undertaking

The scope meant providing the highest output of passports with color photographs on the PC data page worldwide, and to upgrade the country’s border control infrastructure by realizing innovative, pioneering systems and top-notch technologies. A production site was set up in Dhaka, ensuring local production and personalization of ePassports that are tear-proof, biometric, and highly secure, using advanced technology. This includes state-of-the-art security features such as MAGIC-ID and CLIP ID (for colorful pictures on polycarbonate) – which make the passports virtually impossible to forge.

 

A complex mission, the project required considerations that far exceed the supply of ID solutions. Veridos had to install security systems, central air conditioning, and a canteen at the production site, and manage the face-to-face training of staff while considering health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We are delighted to have successfully finalized the implementation of our joint mega-project with Bangladesh despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in these difficult times, the country was able to decisively advance the modernization project“
Marc-Julian Siewert
Veridos CEO

Dozens of eGates are now in place, utilizing Veridos’s automatic border control solution ensuring  maximum efficiency and speed. Veridos is supplying state-of-the-art equipment for regional passport offices and around international embassies. This ongoing project has been quite a mission, even without the added difficulties that COVID-19 brought with it.

 

The pandemic posed its own challenges. The health of the team was of the utmost importance and priority. Therefore, a comprehensive hygiene concept had to be developed in order to ensure that timely production could continue without compromising the health of those working on the project. Over a hundred team members across four continents had to work together to ensure the project’s success, and it became clear that the sub-teams needed to work more closely together than ever before, even if this meant they were physically further apart.

In August 2021, the first Bangladeshi Foreign Mission was inaugurated in Berlin, Germany. This allows Bangladeshi citizens to now apply for the new ePassport outside of Bangladesh. The applicant’s biometric data is sent to the production site in Dhaka to be personalized, and returned for issuance in Berlin, making travel more convenient for Bangladeshis in Europe.

As the project moves into the servicing and maintenance stage, training of international staff continues and the project remains on course – despite the global pandemic!

  1. Which countries have ePassports, ReadID, 2020

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