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Singapore launching government ID verification service as part of national digital strategy

Singapore launching government ID verification service as part of national digital strategy

The government of Singapore has announced plans to boost its ICT capabilities, including a National Digital Identity (NDI) platform, to ease digital interactions and meet the outcomes of its Digital Government Blueprint, Singapore’s Business Times reports.

The SG-Verify API will be launched under the NDI by the end of the year, allowing businesses to perform secure identity verification and data transfer by scanning a QR code with the SingPass mobile app. The SG-Verify service is expected to make customer acquisition easier for businesses, particularly in situations like registering to visit a hospital patient or making a purchase at a roadshow, according to The Straits Times. A government representative also said banks, other financial services companies, and charities could potentially benefit from the new service, Channel News Asia reports. In the latter case people sympathetic to a cause often avoid contributing due to the time it takes to fill out forms, the representative said.

The single digital identity for government and private sector use is part of an estimated S$2.5 billion to S$2.7 billion (US$1.8 billion to 1.95 billion) investment in ICT contract for full-year 2019 (April 2019 to March 2020), more than 80 percent of which will be open to small and medium enterprises, Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) says. More than 60 percent of that budget will go to developing five platforms, for government agencies and workers, and their interactions with the public. The NDI is one of those five platforms.

GovTech also said that a trial of smart street lamps that the government has said will support facial recognition will be launched in Geylang and one-north business park in Buona Vista towards the end of 2019.

The implementation of government digital services has raised the number of Singaporeans very satisfied with government services from 73 percent in 2016 to 78 percent in 2018, according to a government survey, and business satisfaction likewise increased 5 percent.

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