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Streamlining Citizen Services through Digital Identity
Governments around the world are driving digital transformation by empowering citizens with a digital identity. In Singapore, we do this through our National Digital Identity (NDI) initiative, which is a Strategic National Project under our Smart Nation vision.
Digital identities comprise unique personal attributes and identifiers that allow for online verification of individuals without the need for manual or paper documentation. This enables citizens to access a diversity of government and private sector services seamlessly, quickly, and conveniently. It also provides citizens with ownership over their personal data as their explicit consent is required before their data can be used.
By implementing national digital identities, governments can also streamline their administration processes and develop new communication channels with citizens. Additionally, by providing a trusted and secure transaction platform, government agencies are further encouraged to digitalise services to capture new opportunities and better serve citizens and residents. Finally, it also allows for government and private sector services to transcend organisational and geographical boundaries.
Launched in 2003, Singpass is the cornerstone of Singapore’s NDI initiative. It is a personal authentication system that allows users to access government and business services online through a single login. This can be in the form of their fingerprint, facial recognition or a 6-digit passcode. Two-factor authentication (2FA) methods such as Singpass’ Face Verification and Multi-User SMS 2FA and a SMS one-time password (OTP) are also available to users. These provide additional security for users’ personal data and a diversity of user choices to best fit the needs of all citizens and residents
As of today, out of a population of 4.2 million citizens and residents in Singapore, more than 3.2 million of them are on the Singpass app. Through Singpass, users can access over 1,700 digital services across 460 government agencies and businesses. The Singpass API alone has over 18 million requests per month.
Accessibility features like a dark mode and screen reader compatibility help the visually impaired to navigate the Singpass app effectively, ensuring that Singpass’ services are inclusive to cater to the needs of different user groups. Overseas Singaporeans can simply tap the Face Verification service to set up their Singpass app via a simple face scan. This circumvents the need for a physical PIN mailer or a SMS-OTP to set up the Singpass app.
Singpass is continually enhanced and updated through regular user testing and public feedback. GovTech also collaborates with the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) SG Digital Office to educate users who may need more assistance using Singpass.
Myinfo is a personal data platform that allows citizens and permanent residents to pre-fill digital forms with their personal data without having to repeatedly key in the same information over multiple transactions. This allows individual management and ownership of personal data as users will have to grant consent for usage of their data. It also results in higher data quality as information is retrieved from government databases instead of manual entries which are prone to human error, facilitating “instant” approvals, saving time, and increasing the efficiency of online transactions. By retrieving data from various government sources directly, Myinfo enables businesses to complete the “Know-Your-Customer” (KYC) process without requesting for additional verification documents from customers. This creates a seamless digital experience with instant provisioning of services, where possible, for customers and businesses.
Currently, over 700 digital services from the government and private sector are integrated with Myinfo. Businesses have also reported an 80% adoption by eligible customers, with an 80% reduction in transaction time due to instant verification and reduction of manual work. A 20% increase in transaction completion due to better UX and a 15% increase in approvals due to better data quality were also reported.
Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex)
SGFinDex is the first public digital infrastructure globally to utilise NDI and a centrally managed online consent system to enable users to access their financial information on a single platform even if it is held across different government agencies and financial institutions. Built on Singpass, it was developed via a public-private collaboration between the Singapore government, The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), 7 participating banks and the SGX Central Depository (CDP).
Through SGFinDex, individuals can better manage their finances and retrieve personal financial information such as deposits, credit cards, loans, and investments seamlessly, securely, and conveniently. Users can also look forward to being able to access information on their insurance policies through SGFinDex.
Since its public release on 7 December 2020, SGFinDex has boasted over 150,000 unique sign ups, with 290,000 bank accounts linked to it and 620,000 data retrievals made.
Find out more about our citizen digital identity services here: