SingPass: All You Need to Know in Under 500 Words

A comprehensive guide to SingPass: What is it, who can get it, and how can I apply?

In Summer 2020, the Singaporean government launched a biometric verification system in the form of SingPass Face Verification.

Shortly after, OCBC Bank and DBS, the two largest banks in Southeast Asia, became the first financial companies to introduce this system to remotely onboard their clients.

SingPass Face Verification is based on the SingPass ID—a unique identification number that allows Singaporeans to use all government services. In this article, we’ll get back to the basics and provide you with an easy and comprehensive guide on SingPass.

The nature of SingPass

Singapore Personal Access, or SingPass for short, is a Singaporean digital identity number.

SingPass allows Singaporean citizens and residents to use a multitude of governmental and private services.

However, it is not an ID document, but rather a personal account that enables people to pay taxes or apply for a mortgage.

The SingPass ID number concept was first introduced in 2003 by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore to become a part of the national digital authentication system.

While it started as a simple ID number, as time went on, SingPass developed into a large, secure ecosystem with a mobile app, a data platform called MyInfo, and now—facial biometric verification.

Who can apply

There are three categories of people who can hold a SingPass ID:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of Singapore
  • Holders of various Singaporean passes such as the Employment Pass
  • Work permit holders

An individual has to be older than 15 years of age to apply for a SingPass.

How to register

It is possible to apply online or at one of the SingPass counters. The whole application process takes only three minutes.

An individual has to fill out their name plus the number and the issue date of their ID document (e.g. a National Registration Identity Card or an Employment Pass). No electronic scans of documents or original copies are needed.

After that, the SingPass number and a one-time password will be mailed to the individual’s postal address. With this number, an individual can set up an account on the SingPass website or via the mobile app and access various governmental and private services.

How businesses can onboard customers via SingPass

While SingPass allows its holders to access hundreds of services with only one ID number, it can also help Singaporean businesses to onboard clients, increasing conversion rates and providing a secure environment for verification.

This can be done by integrating MyInfo, a data platform that automatically fills out electronic forms when a user applies for a certain service.

The use of the MyInfo API can significantly reduce onboarding time, since it does not require companies to request additional data, such as proof of addresses or additional document scans. Shortly after MyInfo was introduced, banks reported a decrease of up to 80% in customer onboarding time.

Recently, businesses have been offered an opportunity to integrate the SingPass Face Verification system into their platforms. This system can check a person’s liveness and compare their facial data with the data from the Singaporean government databases.

With Sumsub, you can onboard customers from all around the world, staying fully compliant with regulatory demands. Want to find out how? Request a demo and chat with one of our experts.

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