Public Sector

Immigration Department:
Smart Identity Card System (SMARTICS)

Company profile

The Immigration Department is committed to exercising effective immigration control and enforcing the laws, providing travel convenience and facilitation for tourists, business visitors and Hong Kong residents. The services provided to local residents also include the issue of HKSAR passports and other travel documents, visas and identity cards, etc.


The Hong Kong SAR Government decided that a new identity (ID) card and a supporting computer system (SMARTICS) would be introduced in 2003 to streamline registration process and increase operational efficiency. The project requires the ability to assemble and efficiently manage a diverse group of technologically sophisticated companies, while the project itself is being time-critical and of high complexity.


As the prime contractor and system integrator, PCCW Solutions led an international consortium to provide computer encrypted smart cards to the HKSAR Government. Leveraging on the expertise of PCCW Solutions and the partners, PCCW Solutions conceived a sophisticated platform using state-of-the-art technology in multi-application smart card operating systems, public key infrastructures, electronic workflows, digital imaging, microelectronics, biometrics, messaging and databases.

The turnkey solution includes design, implementation and maintenance of the complete smart ID solution: provision of smart cards, front-end system to backend system. The solution includes business process re-engineering, providing a fully electronic workflow system with digital imaging and biometrics adopted for processing the ID card registration and issuance.

It also provides robust data security and privacy protection. The project applies industrial standards and cutting-edge technologies in advanced security for the whole system, covering smart card application designs and system-wide access control.

Value created

The implementation was successful after working day and night for a total of 18 months. It was on schedule and on transaction volume target. Many thousands of ID cards are registered and issued each day. The average time for the whole registration process has greatly shortened to just minutes. The system also satisfies the most stringent requirements in personal data privacy and data security.

These projects have not only demonstrated PCCW Solutions’ ability to manage and deliver the most complex IT projects, but also nurtured a team of IT professionals with emerging skill sets not easily found in the market, such as smart card, advanced security and biometrics.