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ID cards could use chip and PIN

There is no 'technical reason' not to use chip and PIN technology in ID cards so they can be used in ATMs.

Identity cards could use chip and PIN technology and be used in cash machines, according to the head of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS).

James Hall, the IPS' chief executive, said there were no "technical reasons" not to use the controversial ID cards in Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) networks.

"One of the reasons for the format of the card is we have the opportunity to put it in to card readers and potentially use it in existing networks such as the ATM network," he told the BBC. "We are in discussions with the financial services industry and, if they come forward with a compelling view of the rationale for chip and pin for them, that's definitely something we'll take extremely seriously."

"If we conclude that chip and pin is a key part of making it useful, there's no technical reason why we couldn't do it," he added.

Hall also said that just 22,500 of the cards had been given out so far, despite plans for as many as 50,000 to be given out to so-called foreign nationals overseas students and foreign-born spouses by last month.

The news comes after the IPS announced that IBM and CSC had won two major contracts to supply the databases holding digital photos and fingerprints of cardholders.

Phil Booth, national coordinator of anti-ID card group NO2ID, criticised the contracts. "Despite knowing that the ID scheme will be scrapped under any change of government, the Home Office is ploughing ahead with its gold-plated white elephant," he said.

Click here to read what you need to know about ID cards.

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