More Senior Citizens ‘Use Smartphones to Avail MoI E-Services’

Doha, October 09 (QNA) – The percentage of senior citizens and residents above the age of 50 in Qatar using smartphones and tablet devices to avail e-services offered by Metrash2 department of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) is 12%, a senior official said here Tuesday.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), today, on the second day of Milipol Qatar 2012, MoI Information SystemsTechnology Department Director Brigadier Saleh Khamis Ghanim Al Kubaisi said, “More and more people over the ages of 50 are increasingly using smartphones and other devices to avail the more than 35 e-services offered by the MoI.”
The increasing number of people from various age groups using e-services vindicates the strategy of the MoI, the Brigadier said.  “The ministry is endeavouring to provide e-services using the latest IT technology be it an individual, corporate or ministries,” said Al Khubaisi. “Our objective is to provide fast and efficient e-services at the finger tip of the customer 24×7.”
Over the last one year our department has been proactively developing applications that can be downloaded and on any smartphone or devices like tablets. We are concentrating on further developing this strategy so that users can avail all types of e-services and do transactions any time and any place whether they are home, office or travelling abroad, he said.
“The future belongs to mobile technology which is rapidly developing all over the world. It is in the best interests of users to adapt to new technology, if not, I’m afraid, they would be left behind,” said the Brigadier. 
Reiterating the Brigadier’s view, MoI Information Technology Department Assistant Director Colonel Abdulrahman Al Malki said, “We all know that young people learn and master very fast how to use all applications and features of smart devices, but senior citizens are not far behind. They too have adapted to new IT technology which has made the task of official transactions easy for all in Qatar.”
The officers spoke to QNA at the MoI’s IT Department pavilion which is showcasing its Metrash 2 e-services, self-services kiosks, smart ID card as well as spreading awareness to visitors at the three-day internal security expo featuring the world’s top defence products and services at the Doha Exhibition Centre.
“The e-services offered by the MoI are compatible with all types of smart phones like i-phone, i-pad, Blackberry, Galaxy which use either Apple or Android platforms. The advancements made in information technology have made the process of availing e-services very fast, efficient, convenient and hassle-free,” Colonel Al Malki said.
Citizens and residents availing e-services offered by Metrash2 unde the MoI promote sustainable development since use of vehicles is either is eliminated or minimized.
“Using smart phones or personal computers to avail e-services like extending, renewing and paying fees for visa, identity cards, driving license through Metrash 2 or Self-Service kiosks, eliminates the necessity for the customer to arrive in person using a vehicle to the immigration or traffic offices,” Colonel Al Malki.
This lessens the number of vehicles on the roads, thereby puts less pressure on traffic and also saves fuel, he said.
“A few years ago people had to visit immigration or traffic offices to renew or extend official documents. Today they can do this from the comfort of their home, office or while travelling using their smartphone or tablets,” said Colonel Al Malki.
To avail the MoI’s e-services a user has to sign up for a valid smart Identity Card which has an in-built chip that stores the user s biometric data. The user then has to download the Metrash2 system software by browsing to http://mds.moi.gov.qa/rest/download/Metrash2/GETPAGE/0
The software is capable of automatically recognizing the mobile device type and once the user clicks ‘Download’ the Metrash2 application icon appears on the device and is ready for use after the steps to confirm password are completed. (END)

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