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Secure Transactions News

Russian Universal electronic card to be issued from 2012

Saturday 2 April 2011

Furthermore, state, regional and commercial services would be available for UEC owners in electronic form via ATMs, infokiosks, personal computers equipped with card readers and mobile devices.

The safety and secrecy of operations would be provided through two solutions. Firstly, on magnetic stripes and chips will be limited information: just a name, number of healthcare insurance certificate and the public part of the electronic signature, although in encrypted form. All other data will be stored on secure servers of relevant government authorities. Secondly, each operation will be accompanied by PIN code. Even when a UEC holder is forced to use his card, the special “emergency” PIN could be entered to send a signal to law enforcement agencies.

Russian government authorized “Universal Electronic Card” company to issue and to maintain UEC system. The company shares are divided between Sberbank, which holds 34%, Uralsib and Ak Bars banks – equally by 33%.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the cost of the UEC project is estimated to be about RUB 150 to 170 billion (EUR 3.75 to 4.25 billion), of which RUB 40 billion (EUR 1 billion) would be spent on card issuing itself. The cost of one Universal Electronic Card would be at RUB 256 (EUR 6.4).

The testing of the new tool of access to state services has been already started in three Russian regions last year. Universal cards pilot areas were established in Republic of Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, and Astrakhan with about 500 thousand card holders.