News Flash: Singapore Preps In-Person Digital ID

Government unveils QR-based tool for businesses to streamline face-to-face registration

Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is preparing to launch a service that will enable individuals to verify their identity in-person by scanning a QR code using the SingPass app on their mobile phone. To be launched in December, the SG-Verify tool will enable an organisation to access government-verified data to check an individual’s identity, rather than having to review physical documentation, such as a passport or driver’s license, according to a report in The Straits Times.

A GovTech video explaining the new service says it could be used by charities seeking donations, clubs recruiting new members, and banks and telcos acquiring new customers to streamline the registration process and reduce queues.  A new customer would scan a QR code presented by the organisation and then confirm their consent by pressing a button on their handset to prompt the SingPass app to perform a face scan, a fingerprint recognition or request a PIN code. Since October 2018, Singapore’s citizens have been able to use the SingPass app to scan QR codes online and then use a fingerprint, facial recognition or a PIN code to access an array of online government services.

The roll out of SG-Verify is the next step in the development of Singapore’s national digital identity system, which is designed to enable residents to access services across both the public and private sectors using a single form of identity.

GovTech also said this month that it will begin a trial of smart street lamps in Geylang and one-north business park in Buona Vista between October and December 2019. GovTech has said that its Lamppost-as-a-Platform system will encompass various sensors “including cameras that can support backend facial recognition capabilities,” according to a Reuters report from April 2018.

For more information, please see the Strait Times article and the GovTech video explaining the new tool.