NIDS to Make Doing Business Easier

Photo: Michael Sloley Programme Director for the National Identification System (NIDS), Warren Vernon, responds to a question at a NIDS town hall meeting held recently at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. Project Director, Office of the Prime Minister, Denzil Plummer; and Chief Technical Director, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, also addressed the session.

Story Highlights

  • The National Identification System (NIDS) will make doing business easier with the use of one identification card.
  • Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, says NIDS will provide easier access to services with the use of the National Identification Number (NIN).
  • “We need a national ID because it is going to make it much easier for each and every one of us to do business. Currently, when we go to do business, they tend to ask us for more than one piece of identification, particularly if you’re going to open an account. They want two or sometimes three, and references.

The National Identification System (NIDS) will make doing business easier with the use of one identification card.

Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, says NIDS will provide easier access to services with the use of the National Identification Number (NIN).

She cited banking services for example, where more than one form of identification is currently required.

“We need a national ID because it is going to make it much easier for each and every one of us to do business. Currently, when we go to do business, they tend to ask us for more than one piece of identification, particularly if you’re going to open an account. They want two or sometimes three, and references.

“What is going to happen with a national ID is that we’re going to have the one ID, and it’s going to be so secure and robust and verifiable, that you’re not going to need to provide more than one when you are doing any business,” Mrs. Lynch-Stewart said.

“So, it’s going to make each of our lives much simpler to do things within the island,” she added, while addressing at a recent town hall meeting at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus.

She noted that financial institutions should also be confident in the new system, as they will not have to ask for more than one identification card to verify Jamaican citizens.

“The banks have ‘Know Your Customer’ requirements, and the national ID is going to allow our financial institutions to know exactly who you are and reduce the amount of fraud and identity theft within the society,” she pointed out.

Mrs. Lynch-Stewart said that NIDS will also enable the Government to move from a manual paper-driven system to a digital economy. “It will make things much more efficient, faster; and having a national ID is the foundation for us to do so,” she said.

In addition, it will assist in strengthening the e-Governance structure and increase online payments, which will reduce the time and cost for doing business.

NIDS is intended to provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans, where each citizen will be provided with a randomised nine-digit NIN, which they will have for life.

The layered roll-out and management of the NIDS will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will replace the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and provides more enhanced services. Roll-out of NIDS is slated to begin with a pilot project in January 2019, focusing on civil servants.

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