National ID programs require an exceptionally long, skillful and arduous customer engagement process that can seem disheartening. As a counterbalance, I wanted to highlight one of our flagship reference accounts, the U.S. "Green" Card, or Permanent Resident Card (PRC). It epitomizes the complexities of this type of project but also the opportunities it presents as a result.
In 1996 it was estimated that possibly millions of fraudulent documents had been produced and the program objective for the Green Card was straightforward but not exactly easy: to replace the old foreign resident card with a world-leading document that would be at the forefront of security, control illegal immigration and meet legislative requirements for biometric-based credentials. In 1998 when the new card was unveiled, the tables had been turned: forensic document specialists testified before Congress that the new Green Card had "effectively put mass counterfeiters out of business."
Fast forward to today: with the award-winning card in place for over 13 years now, there have been 20 million cards produced that have resulted from multiple follow-on orders. And over the years, there have been two generations of Green Cards featuring advanced technology and HID Global's LaserCard digital security that has never been compromised.
Being awarded the contract for both card generations by the Department of Homeland Security - in 1998 and again in 2008 against fierce competition - speaks volumes. It underscores the importance of our relationships with the customer and partners, our ability to match program design to the objectives, and the technology differentiation of LaserCard Optical Security Media no-one else could emulate.
The project also demonstrated the value of collaboration. We powered through challenges with our customer and partners to create a complex integrated solution, to innovate in card construction and visual authentication and to develop a rock-solid secure issuance system. We even worked with border control guards to offer solutions to the specific challenges they experience on a day-to-day basis.
No two projects can ever be the same, but the technology elements, expertise and integration experience we gained from the US Green Card project were instrumental in winning new programs including the Angola National ID Card, the Costa Rica Foreign Residents' Card, and the Saudi Arabia National ID Card. It continues to be an interesting and existing time for me at HID as I see similar potential to build on successes across the Government ID business.