Last week at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Mastercard announced its collaboration with Nadra. This agreement is aimed to optimize National ID cards with electronic payments functionality.

If enabled Pakistani CNICs can be used to carry out financial transactions and receive government disbursements.

However, the interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has ordered to immediately suspend this agreement between Nadra and Mastercard. He said that the agreement was made without a written permission by the government and without any consultation with stake-holders.

There are Security Concerns:

The minister questioned under which law a foreign company was being given access to Nadra database. He also sought an explanation from Nadra regarding the agreement with Mastercard.

He also said that there won’t be any compromise on the national database’s security, nor could a department be allowed to transgress its mandate.

Nadra says it’s safe:

According to a report by DAWN, senior Nadra official explained that the end-to-end solution would be handled by Nadra and that Mastercard would not have access to the national database under the proposed project.

Mastercard will only get to know about the CNIC number of an individual and disclosure of an individual’s CNIC number did not amount to compromising the security of the database.

However, If all security concerns are addressed, the service could be formally launched over the next six months.