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Indonesia's Special Forces Unit Adopts RFID

An RFID-enabled identity card enables soldiers to purchase items, and might soon be expanded to enable access to their medical history.
By Mark Roberti
Sep 27, 2007Indonesia's special forces unit has introduced an identity and electronic payment card enabling soldiers to shop at a store near an army base in Jakarta. The army provides soldiers with salary advances, and these funds are stored on the cards and later deducted from their paychecks. Eventually, the system will likely be expanded to other stores in Jarkarta.

The system was implemented by PT. Batuhitam Indonesia, an RFID systems integrator located in Jakarta, using an electronic payment system called Dioga, which the company developed.

"This implementation enables the soldiers to get 'soft loans' by storing electronic funds on the identity card chip," says M. Dandy Nurfiandi, the director of PT. Batuhitam Indonesia. "Funds are advanced to the soldier and then deducted later from his salary. The amount of the loan depends on the soldier's military grade."

The military tested the system in 2006 and deployed it this year, replacing a manual process of advancing funds to soldiers. The system underwent extensive testing at one store in Jakarta, where PT. Batuhitam Indonesia deployed a point-of-sale RFID interrogator.

Each card contains an embedded 13.56 MHz radio frequency identification transponder based on the ISO 14443 standard. The transponders were made with RFID chips manufactured by NXP Semiconductors.

If this rollout proves successful, Nurfiandi says, the Indonesia military plans to explore other RFID applications in the future, including product authentication and supply chain tracking.
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