Online CPR a big hit in Bahrain
Manama , September 20, 2007
A new policy of accepting online applications for CPR cards for expatriates in Bahrain has helped change people's work culture, according to a top government official.
More than 500 CPR cards are being issued daily after accepting applications, photographs, signatures and payment online, said Central Informatics Organisation (CIO) under-secretary Mohammed Al Amer.
'People who used to follow the traditional system by filling in applications manually and making payments at the CPR counters in Hoora are slowly overcoming the psychological barriers and have started applying electronically,' he told our sister publication Gulf Daily News.
'We have stopped receiving agents from big companies who wanted to submit the applications personally. This is to encourage people to go online.
'They should come only to receive the cards, which will be ready within one or two days after applying online.'
Companies are given a user ID and a password to help them submit applications electronically, said Al Amer.
'Only applications for CPR cards of housemaids and workers employed by individuals are accepted at the counters,' he added.
'More than 300 such applications are accepted and CPR cards issued daily.'
Al Amer said the online process had reduced people's inconvenience. 'They do not have to come early to our office and queue up,' he added.
'There is no specific limit on the number of applications which can be filed.
'Payments can also be made online using credit cards. For those who do not have credit cards, prepaid cards of BD5 each, like Credinet from BBK, are now available in the market. Such cards are accepted over the Internet.'
Mr Al Amer said more than 450 Smart cards were being issued daily for Bahrainis at the CIO headquarters, Isa Town.
'Once the application is processed, it will take two to three days to issue the cards,' he added.
'Because of Ramadan, our offices work from 8am to 3pm, and there is no single shift.
'However, the data is collected in the morning and printing work is done overnight.'
The Smart card, which has several electronic features, is valid for five years. Bahrainis will have the choice of paying BD2 for the basic Smart card or BD5 to include the e-gate, e-wallet and e-signature.
For non-Bahrainis, the Smart card will cost BD10. The CPR card costs only 500 fils each.TradeArabia News Service