No more data hassle when opening bank account online

DBS and UOB are two of the banks which have started tapping MyInfo for the online opening of accounts. The others are OCBC and Stanchart.
DBS and UOB are two of the banks which have started tapping MyInfo for the online opening of accounts. The others are OCBC and Stanchart.ST FILE PHOTO

Four banks here start tapping MyInfo, a govt-backed digital vault of personal data

Singaporeans and permanent residents opening bank accounts over the Internet with OCBC, United Overseas Bank, DBS and Standard Chartered no longer have to key in details such as their NRIC numbers and addresses, or submit physical documents to verify their data.

Instead, they can consent to having the details pulled digitally from MyInfo, a government-backed digital vault of their personal data.

These four banks started tapping MyInfo yesterday - a first for a non-government service - with plans to allow customers applying for home loans or credit cards online to also use MyInfo by next year.

Launched by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Ministry of Finance in May last year, MyInfo pulls data - such as one's name and registered address - from seven public agencies.

"Not only will this save time, but data entry errors will be reduced too," said Mr Peter Ong, head of civil service, at the opening of the second annual Digital Government Exchange at the Asian Civilisations Museum yesterday.

Data in the consolidated repository, which has 145,000 citizen and PR sign-ups so far, has been used to fill in digital forms when applying for or renewing work permits for domestic helpers, and applying for public housing. To date, 19 e-government services are linked to MyInfo, but there are plans to increase this to more than 150 e-government services by next year.

The Government aims to expand the use of MyInfo to more banks and the insurance sector, said Mr Ong at the event, which was attended by officials from leading governments that have rolled out e-government services, including those in Denmark, Estonia and Israel.

He added that Singapore plans to turn all 110,000 lamp posts islandwide into an interconnected network of sensors to form the Smart Nation Sensor Platform, previously called Smart Nation Platform.

GovTech and the Land Transport Authority are conducting a pilot to test how much power can be drawn from the lamp posts without laying new cables and how to cluster the lamp posts for interconnectivity.

A Central Addressing Scheme, backed by the Association of Banks in Singapore, is also slated for launch by next month to allow fund transfers to one's mobile number, said Mr Ong. The scheme will map mobile numbers to bank account numbers for funds to be credited.

Users need to register for this with their banks. This saves senders the hassle of asking for and entering a recipient's account number.

The new function will be integrated into banks' existing apps, such as DBS PayLah, UOB Mighty, OCBC Pay Anyone, Maybank Mobile Money and Standard Chartered's SC Mobile.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2017, with the headline 'No more data hassle when opening bank account online'. Print Edition | Subscribe