Singapore looks at digital IDs on smartphones

Government to hold proof of concepts with vendors.

Singaporeans may one day need just their smartphones to authenticate their tax payments and bank transfers. The GovTech agency is exploring a mobile digital identity for residents to secure their transactions across government and private sector, it announced today. “We've actually launched an RFP for a mobile digital ID for Singapore residents, in order to have a single convenient, secure digital identity,” Jacqueline Poh, the agency’s CEO-designate, said. The digital ID will be more secure than one-time passwords, she said. Citizens would potentially be able to store it on their smartphones, and the agency is looking at “what can be done to have that identity on the mobile phone”. Businesses could also be able to integrate the digital identity system with their own services, such as in banking and online retail. It will be a “new innovation providing the foundational layers for other transactions and internet services to be built upon by the private sector”, Poh said. Singapore’s existing identity service, SingPass, offers a two-factor authentication system for online government transactions. The new digital identity “will be linked to the existing SingPass”, Poh said. The agency will be “exploring proof of concepts with a number of vendors going forward”, she added. Also read: Four leading digital identity schemes Image by Philippe Put, licensed under CC BY 2.0