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Date: 15 September 2003

Hongkong Post e-Cert Ready for First Batch of Smart ID Card Holders Applications and services line up for holders of e-Cert embedded smart ID card holders

Monday, 15th September 2003 – Hong Kong's bulk smart ID card replacement scheme commenced today for the first batch of Hong Kong residents who were born in 1968 & 1969. Hong Kong residents are required to replace their existing ID cards with the smart ID cards. They are also offered the choice to embed the Hongkong Post one-yyear -free e-Cert in their new smart ID cards.

To make it more convenient to apply for the e-Cert, Hongkong Post has set up special service counters at the Immigration Department's Smart ID Card Centres for applicants to complete the application for the e-Cert. When they collect their new smart ID card, the e-Cert will have already been embedded in it. Applicants can also register in advance via the Internet on the Hongkong Post website, by post, by fax or in person at post offices.

Paying a visit at one of the Hongkong Post service counters in the Smart ID Card Centre located in Elizabeth House, Causeway Bay, Postmaster General Mr Allan CHIANG took the opportunity to give away e-Cert souvenir covers to successful e-Cert applicants and to chat with some of the e-Cert applicants.

Postmaster General Allan Chiang said, "We anticipate a growing list of e-Cert service providers with the build up of a critical mass of holders of e-Cert embedded smart ID cards. To add to the convenience of the e-Cert embedded smart ID card holders, we have assembled a range of e-Cert compatible smart card readers for sale at designated post offices and Smart ID Card Centres so that the card holders can conduct transactions at home or office."

Ms Alice Zhang, an e-Cert applicant, said: "I have been using the e-Cert, and now as the e-Cert is inserted in the smart ID card, this will definitely be a great help to my work and business."

Another e-Cert applicant, Mr Sin Ka Lok, said: "I learned from TV commercials that we can apply for the one-year-free e-Cert when obtaining our smart ID cards. I will try to use the e-Cert on the smart ID card to file my tax returns online."

With the e-Cert embedded in smart ID cards, users can confidently and safely engage in many online activities and transactions, including online banking, online stock trading, online auction, online shopping, secure email communication, online access to personal credit report, electronic government and online betting services.

PMG Mr Allan Chiang on a visit to the e-Cert Service Centre Located at Elizabeth House
The first batch of HKSAR residents today began applying for the one-year-free e-Cert when replacing their existing ID cards with the smart ID cards. Postmaster General Mr Allan Chiang on a visit today to the e-Cert Service Centre located at Elizabeth House, Causeway Bay, handed out autographed e-Cert souvenir covers to 2 e-Cert applicants. Between 18th August and 11th September, Hongkong Post issued over 18,000 e-Cert for smart ID card holders.
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