Portugal introduces National ID Cards

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Zetes to supply customised eID Middleware solution to the National citizen ID card project in Portugal

  • Leveraging on its rich experience and specific know how in implementing electronic identity (eID) solutions, with the successful Belgian eID card project
  • A strategic step forward for the international development of Zetes People ID activities, with recognition of its eID expertise by an additional EU-member.
  • A further step towards an economical and real European-wide interoperability between National eID systems


On Wednesday 14 February, the Portuguese Citizen Card (carto de cidado) project was officially launched on the island of Faial, one of the Azores Islands, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Portugal. This single and multifunctional Citizen ID Card (integrating public services from Social Security, Tax, Justice, Electoral Database, and Health) will also integrate biometric data allowing match-on-card verification.

As a solution provider to Gemalto, Zetes Burtica, the Portuguese subsidiary of Zetes Industries (Euronext Brussels: ZTS), delivered the multi-platform middleware to interface the citizen cards and card readers with standard software applications, to be used by all Portuguese citizens and application developers. Zetes Burtica will also provide Portuguese citizens with second level helpdesk services, as an initial set of services for this citizens cards project.

The agreement covers an initial 7 year period. The value of this contract will amount several millions in terms of Gross Margin on 7 years.

Local and international

Says Pascal Fevry, General Manager Zetes in Portugal: This contribution to the Portuguese Citizen ID card project is a strategic step forward for the international development of Zetes People ID activities. The combination of our local presence and our international competence centre, Zetes PASS (Personal Authentication and Security Services), were material to our success. Zetes is a leading system integrator of People & Goods ID solutions in the Portuguese market as is Zetes Group on a Pan-European level. Zetes PASS is a specialized international competence center for People ID solutions and project management, that has already proven its know how in the Belgian eID project and the United Nations project building the national voters registry in Congo whilst preparing for the democratic elections last year.

Says Ronny Depoortere, Senior VP Zetes PASS: Because of its accumulated experience, Zetes understands the needs and functional requirements for eID Middleware solutions and was able to deliver a customized solution for the Portuguese project in a very short time frame with our multi-OS middleware running on most relevant Windows, Linux and Mac OSX platforms.

Zetes has also been awarded directly by DGRN (General Direction of Register and Notary) the supply of card readers for the Citizens and Pin Pad readers for the municipalities (allowing activation of cards for the pilot phase of the Portuguese eID project)

 An international recognition of the Belgian model

This contribution to the Portuguese project, the second large, nation-wide eID project in Europe, confirms the Belgian eID leadership in Europe and beyond, with nearly 5 million eID cards already produced.

It also marks a further step to an economical and real European-wide interoperability between National eID systems. The bilateral collaboration agreement just signed by Fedict and UMIC is proof of the international recognition of this leadership and of their concern regarding interoperability. This contribution confirms that Zetes is becoming an ID-Solution Provider par excellence, delivering turn-key secure document solutions to governments.

With its international competence centre, Zetes PASS, and its direct presence in 11 countries, Zetes is very well placed to provide People ID Solutions all over Europe and also in the Middle East and Africa (e.g. secure ID documents, biometric enrollment and Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems, )

An efficient partnership

Zetes contribution to the Portuguese project again confirms the efficiency of the joint effort of Gemalto and Zetes, following their cooperation in the Belgian eID project, where Gemalto provided Zetes, global coordinator of this project, with its technology for the operating system of the Belgian eID card.


About Zetes
Zetes (Euronext Brussels: ZTS), established in 1984, is a leading Pan-European system integrator offering value-added solutions in the Automatic Identification industry (Auto-ID) for Goods ID and for People ID. These solutions use both emerging and mature technologies (barcode, voice recognition, RFID, smartcards, biometrics) to optimize the business performance of many private and public customers in many market segments.

Zetes solutions are implemented in various sectors of activity: industry, transportation, logistics, distribution, healthcare, finance, telecommunication, government and public services.

The Zetes group has its headquarters in Brussels , with subsidiaries in Belgium , Germany, France , Ireland , Israel , Italy , the Netherlands , Portugal , Spain, Switzerland and the UK . Zetes currently employs 550 employees and generated consolidated revenues of 139.5 million in 2005.  

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