One of the principles of concern to States, or groups of States when implementing an electronic ID document project, is to prevent counterfeiting and identity theft as far as possible. To achieve this, certain technical and technological security features must be included, to make it almost impossible to create an exact replica. For the ECOWAS card, these mandatory elements are as follows:

  • Card made of polycarbonate
  • Contactless and connection-free chip
  • Biometric data (two fingerprints)
  • Antenna with aluminium watermark
  • Hologram protecting the photograph
  • Guilloches and complex background pattern
  • Micro-lettering
  • Iridescent features
  • UV printing
  • MLI or CLI
  • Laser engraving
  • Tactile elements.

The use of the ECOWAS card as a travel document also implies a de facto need to comply with ICAO standards. The integration of biometrics addresses this need. These standards also establish certain criteria for the photo.

The extreme technical complexity associated with this type of document requires a partner with concrete experience of both the production and personalisation of highly secure polycarbonate cards and the management of biometric data, as well as experience with travel documents and the integration of ICAO standards. ZETES has wide-ranging expertise in each of these fields: eID cards in Belgium and Israel, passports in Côte d’Ivoire and Gambia, visas in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, plus residence permits in Belgium.


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