Rolle: NIB to improve smart cards

The Bahamas National Insurance Board (NIB) is looking into options to improve its smart cards, particularly when it comes to security, Minister of the Public Service Brensil Rolle said yesterday.

His comments come after a Haitian man was charged with applying for two Bahamian birth certificates with a fake NIB card.

Speaking to reporters outside the Churchill Building, Rolle said: “Of course we are looking at improving the card.

“We just came from a conference where one of the things we looked at carefully is how we could improve not only the security on the card, but to put more information and data on the card.”

NIB Director Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle further elaborated that they have been “looking at mechanisms to secure its smart card, including new technology that will make the card safer”.

Yesterday she told The Nassau Guardian, “NIB maintains a robust database of all of its registrants and we’re looking to ensure that we have all of the identification documents also stored on that database, which we have for the majority of the smart card holders.”

Noting that NIB is “in the exploratory phase” of those improvements at this time, she stated that the short-term plan is to have the smart card improved within one year and their goal is to make the change “as painless as possible”.

In the meantime, she said, NIB has begun to issue non-removable decals for card renewals instead of reprinting new cards.

“We have tamper-resistant decals that we are affixing to the card in order to renew them. And so the process is much quicker and if one tries to remove the decal…you can’t fix it to another card because it will be destroyed if it’s tampered with,” Rolle said.

“That is about a week old now, and it will allow for [a] one-year extension of the card.”

She added, “We also include a verification letter with that while we’re renewing it. So we’ve had meetings and conversations with our stakeholders so they understand and know what the decal looks like, so they’re accepting it with all of our stakeholders as well.

“It includes the NIB stamp on tamper-resistant paper as well, and also a signature that is known to our key stakeholders.”

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