The Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA) is the Portuguese public institution responsible for promoting and developing administrative modernization and electronic administration. Founded in 2007, its activities are divided into three areas: public service delivery, digital transformation, and administrative simplification.
AMA’s goal is to implement innovative, efficient, and secure ways Portuguese citizens and businesses interact with the state.

The challenge

AMA simplified citizen’s access to all government portals by adopting a Digital Mobile Key.
The Digital Mobile Key is an authentication mechanism that requires only a phone (sim card) and a 4 digits PIN. The activation of the digital mobile key is therefore a critical step for offering seamless access to all citizens to government portals.
The challenge arises when AMA needed to find a way to offer the Digital Mobile Key in a fully remote, non assisted, effective, and secure way. The goal was to reduce time and bureaucracy for the public offices’ employees and making sure that the person requesting their digital mobile key is truly who they say they are.

How Polygon helped

Polygon’s secure way to digitize citizen’s access to governmental portals includes 3 main technologies.

Document Validation
Document Security Validation and information extraction (OCR), including the citizen’s picture.

Liveness Detection
Certified 3D Liveness Detection with a 2-second video selfie.

Biometric Match
Matching the citizen’s ID card picture, the picture from the liveness process, and the picture stored on the government database.

The document validation technology is checking the ID card authenticity, while the OCR technology extracts information such as the Civil Information Number and photograph. In the next step, the user is invited to perform a 2-second video selfie, which will capture thousands of unique characteristics.
The second step is certified liveness detection that checks if the person that is performing that 2-second video selfie is a living person. This step is important because of rising spoofing attempts, in which fraudsters are using photos, masks, and other lookalike artifacts to trick the biometric systems all over the world.
However, Polygon’s liveness detection holds iBeta level 1 and level 2 certifications and has a unique 3D template creation that makes spoofing virtually impossible.
Lastly, the selfie is compared with the picture from the ID card and with the picture on the national database.

The results

AMA offers a remote onboarding experience to Portuguese citizens, making the digital interaction with the government simple, secure, and frictionless. As it should be.
The public office optimizes their work, time, and resources by eliminating all manual efforts of onboarding millions of citizens.
Partnering with Polygon has enabled AMA to increase the security assurance levels (even at a higher standard than in a physical relationship because the system will be much more capable of avoiding lookalikes or twins to fool it) whilst creating a much better user experience with full technical and legal compliance.

Looking ahead, AMA plans to enhance Electronic Mobile Key with a biometric non-transmissible signature, allowing digital signatures that are compliant with eIDAS Regulation, presenting a high level of assurance.