Iris Corp Bhd is keenly awaiting the results of its bid, in partnership with an American consortium, for a tender to convert all existing US passports into e-passports with enhanced chip-based security features.
The results are expected by the end of the month, a source close to the matter said, and added: “If the tender comes through, the recurring earnings potential for Iris Corp will be significant.”
Iris Corp, a member of GMPC Corp Sdn Bhd, provides the technology behind the national identification card, MyKad. Its core business is the supply of smart card solutions for secure documents, mainly to the public sector.
The action by the US to beef up that country's immigration system came in the aftermath of the Sept 11 terrorist attack.
Another development that will be of interest to Iris Corp is the requirement that citizens from the 27 countries participating in the US Visa Waiver Program be issued with machine-readable travel passports (MRDTS) with biometric information by October next year.
This US initiative came in the wake of the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the adoption of travel documents with contactless integrated circuits containing biometric data.
“The 27 countries in the US Visa Waiver Program are now actively looking to convert their existing passports to MRDTS, and they may go to De La Rue International Ltd for that purpose,” the source said.
Iris Corp had teamed up with De La Rue late last year following the May 2003 announcement by the ICAO. “Either way, Iris Corp will benefit from the (MRDTS) implementation by the US,” the source added.
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