Singaporeans can now view their funds and investments on a single online platform instead of having to visit each bank's or government agency's website, saving time and making their financial planning easier and more effective.
This is made possible by the Singapore Financial Data Exchange, or SGFinDex, a free digital service unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat during his opening address at the Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology yesterday.
"This is the world's first public digital infrastructure that allows a person to sign in using his national digital identity and provide consent to obtain his financial information from different financial institutions and government agencies," said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.
"Such an approach to trusted data sharing - involving both innovation and conducive regulations - can potentially be applied in other areas and in other jurisdictions," he said.
Here are five things to know about SGFinDex.
1. WHAT IS IT?
SGFinDex is a digital infrastructure that rides on SingPass, Singapore's national digital identity system. It was developed by the public sector in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Singapore and participating banks.
After giving explicit consent and using their SingPass, Singaporeans can choose to pool all their financial data on account balances, credit cards, loans and investments from their banks, and from government agencies, and view them on a platform of their choice.
For now, there are seven participating banks - Citibank, POSB and DBS Bank, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank.
Users will also be able to retrieve data from three government agencies - the Central Provident Fund, the Housing Board and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore - via MyInfo, the Government's one-stop data platform.
Information on insurance policies and stock holdings at the Central Depository will be included in the next phase of SGFinDex.
Banks have also tapped SGFinDex to offer financial planning services, including retirement planning and insurance needs.
Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon said: "SGFinDex empowers the individual to consolidate his financial information for a comprehensive view of his portfolio, and use digital tools like MyMoneySense to make better financial decisions."
2. HOW DOES IT WORK?
Users can opt to view their consolidated financial information via the Government's new digital financial planning service MyMoneySense, or any of the seven banks' financial planning websites or mobile applications.
If you choose a bank, you will need to have an Internet banking account with it.
To start, you will need to log in using SingPass to verify your identity on MyMoneySense or any of the participating banks' apps or websites. You will then be redirected to the SGFinDex page, where you can proceed to connect your accounts to various financial institutions and authorise the transfer of data.
Your slew of financial data will be displayed on the chosen platform, whether it is MyMoneySense or one of the banks' apps or websites.
3. HOW LONG DOES MY CONSENT FOR DATA RELEASE LAST?
Your consent period will last for one year from the time the first consent was provided.
For example, if you give your consent to one bank to provide your data through SGFinDex on Jan 1, 2021, and subsequently provide consent to another bank on March 1, 2021, both these authorisations will expire on Dec 31, 2021.
You will need to provide consent again if you wish to release your data from Jan 1, 2022.
4. DO I NEED TO PAY TO USE SGFINDEX?
You will currently not be charged whether you choose to access your consolidated data via MyMoneySense or a participating bank.
5. HOW SAFE IS THE SYSTEM? CAN PEOPLE STEAL OR COPY MY DATA?
There are stringent security measures in place to safeguard personal data that passes through SGFinDex. It will transmit but not store any personal financial data.
Your data is encrypted when it is retrieved through SGFinDex and only the app or website that you have authorised to receive your data is able to decrypt it.
The authentication and authorisation process must be verified through SingPass, and explicit user consent is required for each data retrieval.
Users can revoke their consent for banks to release data at any time, either through the banks' apps or websites, or through the MyMoneySense website.