The second award was presented to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ireland for Ireland’s credit-card sized passport card, which enables holders to travel across Europe without needing their traditional passport.

Citizens are able to apply for the card online or through a smartphone app, which allows the applicant to take a ‘selfie’ as a passport picture. The facial image taken is matched using biometric tools against existing records, although users can also scan normal passport photographs. Once all verification checks have been achieved, the user can pay their fees through a secure payment gateway.

Security features on the passport card include the holder’s signature, a Kinegram overlay featuring a 12 string harp, a machine readable zone and faded printing around the edge of the photograph. One innovative feature is the embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse of the card.

The Irish security printer DLRS was the lead company in the design and production of these cards, partnering with HID Global Ireland and Absolute Graphics. It was also the producer of Ireland’s new e-passport, which was introduced in 2013.

On receiving the award, Austin Gormley of Passport Services, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ireland said ‘we are delighted to receive this prestigious international award, which recognises the quality and innovation of the card, and the benefit it delivers. It is also a tribute to the technical capabilities within Ireland’.