In 1998, the world’s first electronic passport was launched in Malaysia. Developed by local company IRIS Corporation, the electronic passport served to address issues of forgery, tampering, and information retrieval. Similar technology would eventually be used in the Malaysian identity card, MyKad.
The pioneering passport marks Malaysia’s major foray into the digital identification industry. The journey seems to be coming full circle – the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) has targeted the implementation of a National Digital Identity (NDI) and digital signatures.
The NDI will serve as a trusted digital certification and verification for individuals, ensuring flexible and secure online transactions while reducing administrative costs. The goal is to increase the scope and quality of online services, as well as facilitate better user experience.
Malaysia’s strong roots and future aspirations in digital ID has primed it to ride the proverbial wave of a burgeoning digital ID global market. According to a forecast from Adroit Market Research, digital ID solutions will grow at a 16 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2025 to reach US$33 billion, with the integration of biometric tech in smartphones and numerous industries as a driving factor.
“Digital ID is seeing growing prominence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public and private organisations are forced to embrace new practices for work and businesses, especially with remote work and eCommerce in mind. This necessitates new security measures, including easier authentication processes with new digital ID solutions. The proliferation of FinTech also makes the digital ID market ripe for the picking – and Malaysia has local champions well-equipped to start plucking,” said Mahadhir Aziz, CEO, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
Innov8tif Technologies would be one of them – an ISO 27001:2013 certified artificial intelligence (AI) company helping businesses to widen sales funnel, speed-up processes without paper, and prevent frauds.
Founded in 2011, Innov8tif has since expanded from Kuala Lumpur to cover Southeast Asia, with clientele from all ten ASEAN countries. It specialises in digital ID assurance, digital low-code process automation, and mobile biometric authentication.
Their customer base comprises telcos, BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance), investment firms, multinational manufacturing companies, and the Government.
Another Malaysian stalwart is CALMS Technologies, which provides cost-effective and leading-edge smart ID solutions. The company has grown to provide a dynamic range of integrated solutions to more than 1,000 organisations from various industries and sectors in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.
More recently, the company introduced the CALMS Temperature and Anti-Pandemic Monitoring Solution, a package of products and services to help businesses re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both digital ID innovators will be taking their products and services further internationally. They will be part of MDEC’s delegation to Expo 2020 Dubai, participating in the Malaysia Digital Economy Week at the Malaysia Pavilion of the global expo.
“Malaysia has a multitude of innovative and impactful digital ID solutions and providers that could serve the needs of many global tech companies. MDEC is proud to be able to showcase Innov8tif and CALMS Technologies at a global stage, and thus spotlight Malaysia as a stronghold for the digital ID industry,” added Mahadhir.
Emphasis on emerging and innovative technologies like digital ID forms part of MDEC’s ‘Digital Investments Future5’ (DIF5) strategy, a five-year plan in line with the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy.
Among other goals, DIF5 targets RM50 billion investments in the digital economy on top of attracting 50 Fortune500 tech companies to land and expand in Malaysia by 2025. DIF5 also aims for the establishment of five unicorns and the creation of 50,000 high-value jobs in the MSC.
“Expo 2020 Dubai will also allow MDEC to highlight the digital economy ecosystem present in Malaysia which fosters innovation and nurtures innovators such as Innov8tif and CALMS Technologies. With this, we will be able to showcase Malaysia as the digital hub of ASEAN that can further advance the digital ID industry,” concluded Mahadhir.