Signing up for SingPass OTP to be made easier

Posed photo of a person looking at SingPass website on Jun 4, 2014.
Posed photo of a person looking at SingPass website on Jun 4, 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

By the year end, SingPass users will find it easier to apply for a new security feature to better secure their e-government transactions.

The one-time password (OTP) feature, common in e-banking, was rolled out in July as part of an enhanced SingPass system to counter rising security threats.

But confusion still dogs user sign-ups to this day.

Recognising this, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), which is behind the revamped SingPass system, told The Straits Times that it will reduce the number of steps to make it easier for the public to sign up for the OTP.


All 3.3 million SingPass users must register for the OTP feature by the end of next June. An OTP will be mandatory for transactions involving sensitive data such as those managed by the Central Provident Fund Board, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Manpower Ministry.

"We are improving the process based on public feedback received during this initial phase of implementation," said IDA spokesman Ng Sook Fun.

IDA would not reveal how many have registered for the OTP feature.

These changes were revealed after The Straits Times reported on the complex registration process last Wednesday. Specifically, IDA will cut out the last of three steps currently required in registration.

The sign-up for OTP involves, first, updating one's mobile number or e-mail address on the SingPass website administered by IDA. Then, users are taken to the website of local firm Assurity Trusted Solutions to indicate if they wish to receive the OTP via SMS or use a calculator-like token.

Assurity is the IDA subsidiary that supplies the OTP solution.

There is then a wait of up to five days to receive a PIN by snail mail.

The second step involves entering the mailed PIN on Assurity's website to activate the OTP feature.

Most people would think that they are done with registration at this stage. But there is yet one more step, and that is to link the OTP feature to people's existing SingPass account on SingPass' website.

By the year end, the linking will be automated, removing the need for people to do so manually.

Many SingPass users welcomed the change. Account executive Beatrice Tan, 24, said she thought she had completed registration after activating her token: "I didn't even realise that there is a third step."



A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'Signing up for SingPass OTP to be made easier'. Subscribe