Quicker way to check in and out with updated SingPass app

SingPass Mobile, which has more than one million users, provides a more fuss-free way of logging entries and exits.
SingPass Mobile, which has more than one million users, provides a more fuss-free way of logging entries and exits.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB OF SINGPASS MOBILE

The SingPass Mobile app will soon be updated with a new QR code scanner to allow people to check in and out of places with just one tap after scanning, as part of contact tracing.

This means that users will no longer have to scroll through a long list of location names on their app, which can be inconvenient if one is, say, visiting a large mall with hundreds of tenants to choose from.

This also does away with the problem of people selecting the wrong option and therefore logging entries into venues they did not actually visit.

The new in-app scanner will be rolled out by the end of this week, said the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO).

A spokesman for SNDGO said: "By scanning the QR code with the SingPass Mobile application, the user's exact location will be quickly identified for check-in."

SingPass Mobile, which has more than one million users, provides a more fuss-free way of logging entries and exits.

It saves users the hassle of entering their personal details in an online form after scanning a venue-specific QR code with their phone's camera to check in at the 80,500 locations which have installed the national digital check-in system SafeEntry for contact tracing.

The app is linked to a government data vault containing residents' personal details which will be used automatically when users authenticate themselves on their smartphones.

Some venues let users check in by scanning their NRIC, but queues tend to be long at certain locations.

"The SingPass Mobile app also provides a convenient one tap check-out from within the application," said the SNDGO spokesman.

This means users need not hunt for a check-out QR code, which may not be prominently displayed at some malls and stores.

If someone forgets to check out from a venue, he can do so on the app later as well, even though the time stamp will be slightly delayed.

Experts said that not checking out can set back contact tracing efforts.

  • 1m

  • More than this number are users of SingPass Mobile, which provides a quicker way to log entries and exits.

Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said the authorities would not have a full record for the duration of a person's time spent at a place.

"Without a complete digital footprint, it complicates the contact tracing effort by increasing the number of suspected contacts," Prof Teo said.

 
 
 

Urging everyone to check out, a spokesman for SNDGO said: "This will help in the accuracy of the data collected. This will expedite contact tracing when the need arises."

Freelance artist Ivy Lo, 31, said an in-app scanner for SingPass Mobile will save users a lot of effort.

"I go to Nex mall to shop for groceries and takeaway food from multiple places, and it is inefficient to have to keep looking through the long list for the right place to check in every time. Scanning the exact location in my own app will be great," she said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2020, with the headline 'Quicker way to check in and out with updated SingPass app'. Print Edition | Subscribe