Macau looks to curb fraud with electronic identity cards, biometric and ID checks at ATMs

The region of Macau is cracking down on theft and identity fraud with new security measures, including a partnership with Gemalto and Veridos that will provide smart electronic identity cards for citizens.

Macau’s new eID cards, with contactless “tap and go” support, are made from tamper-proof polycarbonate material, and include security features from Gemalto that include visual anti-counterfeiting measures.

Macau is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, known for its casinos and luxury hotels, which draw tourists from mainland China. It has a population of 600,000 and attracts 2.5 million international visitors on a monthly basis.

While Gemalto will provide the physical ID cards, the solution will incorporate Veridos’s operating system software solution.

The partnership was announced just as Macau’s government revealed it will require facial recognition and ID checks for all cash withdrawals made with China UnionPay cards, controlled by the Chinese state-run card processing network. Macau’s government said the efforts are aimed at preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Officially known as the Macao Special Administration Region of the People’s Republic of China, the market is an autonomous territory located about 40 miles east of Hong Kong. The destination is popular for Chinese people because gambling is illegal in the mainland.

The push for facial recognition and other biometrics in Macau comes as the Chinese government has done the same on the mainland. Even “seriously excessive use” of bathroom tissue has led to facial recognition-enabled toilet paper dispensers at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park.