IT Co. has begun work on design of a multifunctional municipal Smart Card for the residents of the city of Zheleznogorsk. By the end of 2004, some of Zheleznogorsk residents will be able to pay their utility bills using their municipal Smart Card.
IT Co. was selected as the contractor as a result of an open bid conducted by the Russian Ministry of Trade and Development and Zheleznogorsk City Administration as part of Electronic Russia Federal Program. The results of the competition were made public in July 2004. Earlier, the project won in a creativity competition between regions, organized by the Ministry of Trade and Development.
Project goal is to create a technological foundation for ensuring urban financial development and resolving a number of social issues. In particular, the use of municipal Smart Cards and the creation of a multifunctional cashless payment system will address the following issues:
- Targeted social assistance
- Accumulating internal financial resources
- Increased efficiency of budget fund use
- Control over use of budget funds allocated by the state for social programs and for supporting local enterprises and services
- Personal ID that doubles as a personal account settlement device for paying for utilities, targeted social assistance, public transportation, purchases of medication and other goods, etc.
- Higher efficiency and quality of customer service while keeping track of all social benefits
At the present moment, a problem central to the success of the project is being resolved: the construction of a software and hardware platform for the system of individual accounting of the distribution and use of various social privileges by the public. In particular, a part of the cashless payment system used for utilities payments for city residents receiving social benefits in certain districts of the city of Zheleznogorsk will be implemented before the end of 2004.
Also, before the end of the year, IT Co. will develop all the necessary procedures, recommendations and requirements for evaluating potential social and economic effects, pre-project preparations and expanding analogous multifunctional social card systems in other Russian regions as part of the Electronic Russia Federal Program.
“Today, Smart Card Technologies are rather actively spreading to various spheres of life, including the social and economic realms. In the meantime, in the majority of cases we're speaking about rather narrow applications, and there are next to no examples of integrated use of all capabilities of multifunctional Smart Cards in Russia at the moment. In other words, the municipal Smart Card in the city of Zheleznogorsk is one of the first Russian experiments in integrated application of Smart Cards for organizing personified interaction between the state and the public, which could be used as a basis for a typical solution for other Russian regions,” said Alexander Fedin, the Director of the Electronic Payment Systems Department at IT Co.
The project is progressing in close cooperation with Zheleznogorsk City Administration and enterprises. Plans for the future include significantly expanding the functionality of the municipal Smart Card and connecting other municipal and federal services and institutions to the system, including schools, public transportation, Pension Fund offices, and other state structures, as well as city mainstays.
IT Co. has successfully implemented more than 60 projects involving the creation of multifunctional payment systems based on intellectual plastic cards, both for Russian and foreign customers. IT Co. solutions are based on the latest development in the realm of Smart Card technologies and support EMV specifications, ensuring full compatibility not only with Russian, but also with Western payment systems.