Buy alcohol soon with SingPass from vending machines; app users tripled last year, Tech News News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – It may soon be possible to use SingPass to verify a person’s age to buy alcohol from vending machines, even as the government plans to make the national identification system a common tool to authenticate digital connections.
In the second or third quarter, fintech company Ascan plans to launch a new feature in vending machines that allows customers to purchase alcoholic beverages using SingPass, instead of a physical NRIC in stores, to confirm that they are at least 18 years old – the legal drinking age here.
They will be able to do this by using the SingPass mobile app to scan a QR code on a vending machine, then verifying their identity with the app by entering their six-digit passcode or scanning their fingerprint or face.
Once they agree to let SingPass send their date of birth details and their age has been verified, they can select which alcoholic beverage they wish to purchase.
The verification step is similar to using SingPass to access government electronic services, such as applying for public housing. But users must first do a one-time setup of the app using their SingPass username and password.
The vending machine example was one of the many new ways to use SingPass that the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) showcased on Thursday, March 4 by launching a new logo for SingPass, the first in 18 years since the service was introduced. in 2003. .
The SingPass website and app will be updated with the new logo starting on Sunday.
GovTech, which developed SingPass, said that at the heart of this rebranding is providing an “even better SingPass which offers new features and provides convenient access to a wider range of services”.
Transactions facilitated by SingPass last year doubled to over 170 million, as more people turned to digital transactions during the pandemic, GovTech said.
The identification system now powers more than 1,400 services offered by approximately 140 public sector organizations and 200 private sector organizations.
The number of people using the SingPass app has also tripled over the past year to 2.5 million, with over 90% using the app at least once a month. The SingPass app was one of the most downloaded here last year, GovTech said.
The agency added that SingPass has “played an important role in the fight against Covid-19” and has supported pandemic contact tracing efforts with SafeEntry records through the SingPass app.
Over the past three years, more than 10 features have been added to SingPass.
These include the launch of the SingPass app in 2018 and the upgrade of SingPass to the digital equivalent of the NRIC. This means that in some cases the SingPass app can replace the physical NRIC to verify a person’s identity, or reduce the need to fill out personal details with forms.
SingPass app stores a user’s NRIC barcode and retrieves personal details from government sources such as driver’s license number, marriage certificate number, children’s birth certificates, property data; and the registers of the Central Provident Fund.
Many organizations have used this feature to reduce customer paperwork. In 2018, DBS Bank launched an online app service using SingPass which enables it to serve new and existing customers instant approval for DBS and POSB credit card applications, as well as allowing customers to immediately open a DBS Cashline.
Ray of Hope, a crowdfunding platform for a charity, said Thursday that she had used SingPass to help her verify the identity of people who want to start fundraising campaigns for financial aid on the platform.
Its chief executive, Mr Tan En, said the SingPass verification helped the charity cut the paperwork required by 40% to 50% after Ray of Hope started doing it in early February.
He hopes more charities can use SingPass to verify beneficiaries so those in need don’t have to keep producing identity documents to get help.
“We want the beneficiaries to feel that we are in touch with them, instead of just another set of documents,” Tan said.
GovTech noted that using SingPass for customer connections “removes the need for organizations to maintain their own authentication platforms.”
He added that organizations in the real estate, healthcare, finance, automotive and training industries have also expressed interest in using SingPass verification to simplify face-to-face check-in. This could be done on counters without staff or with support staff.
In December, the agency announced that SingPass could be used to two-factor authentication by scanning a person’s face.
Human resources cloud software provider JustLogin is currently testing this SingPass face verification feature with some companies. Employees can log into an HR portal, for example to request time off, by entering their name and that of their company, then scan their face using a computer camera instead of entering a password .
“This allows users to log in securely without having to remember a password,” said JustLogin CEO Kwa Kim Chiong.
Another new feature of SingPass, which launched in November, is Sign, which allows users sign legal and commercial documents virtually and securely, without having to be physically present.
For example, real estate agency ERA Singapore announced in November that it was using this SingPass feature. sign rental contracts digitally to help its agents save time.
Other possible uses of Sign include digitally signing bank loan applications.
The signature is encrypted and a person’s identity is automatically validated against the government database at the time of signing.
GovTech said Thursday that “the digitization of day-to-day transactions saves residents and businesses time as users no longer have to submit paper documents and streamlined processes result in faster approvals of requests.”
Smart Nation Initiative Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said at the SingPass rebranding event on Thursday that with all of the features built into SingPass, “it’s no exaggeration to imagine that (SingPass ) will eventually evolve into an international digital identity or … passport “which can be used across borders.
Work has already started on this.
Singapore is in talks with Australia and Britain on developing such a digital passport, although it is still a few years away from being ready, said Mr. Kwok Quek Sin, senior identity director. GovTech National Digital.
One technology being considered for the digital passport is blockchain, which involves the use of decentralized digital databases in different places with transaction information visible to everyone in the chain.
This technology also powers GovTech’s HealthCerts, an open-source framework and set of standards. for the issuance of Covid-19 digital test result certificates which are widely recognized in local and foreign airports.
HealthCerts is the basis for pre-departure Covid-19 digital test results that clinics will need to issue instead of physical certificates from March 10.
To ensure that SingPass services are easily accessible, GovTech added that the main transaction pages on the SingPass website and app will be available in all four official languages - English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil – by then. end of this year.
Mr. Kwok said GovTech will continue to roll out new products and features on the national SingPass digital identity platform.
“The new brand (SingPass) offers an exciting glimpse into the possibilities and the future of our Smart Nation – a nation that is made possible by the trusted National Digital Identity, a platform we can rely on for all our transactions, ”Kwok said.