SingPass app users can sign documents online

VIDEO: GOVTECH

Signing legal and business documents online will be made possible with the roll-out of a new feature on national digital identity system SingPass.

Its first user is the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which is piloting the technology to allow the digital signing of property caveats e-lodged with the SLA.

The new Sign with SingPass feature is available on SingPass Mobile, an all-in-one app that stores the NRIC barcodes and personal details of 2.1 million users.

The app lets users access online government services by scanning their fingerprints or faces on their smartphones without needing to enter any passwords.

With the new digital signing feature, the app will also enable the virtual signing of documents.

The signature is encrypted and linked to the signee, whose identity is automatically validated against the Government's database at the point of signing.

GovTech, which developed the tool, said the new feature is timely as the Covid-19 pandemic has seen individuals and companies choose virtual options when conducting government transactions.

"Through Sign with SingPass, businesses will save cost and manpower by removing the manual processes of verifying physical paperwork," said Mr Kok Ping Soon, chief executive of GovTech, in a statement yesterday.

To start, the user calls up the SingPass Mobile app on his phone and launches the scan function.

When the user clicks on a document ready for signing on his computer, a unique QR code will be launched on his computer screen.

He then scans the QR code with the SingPass Mobile app to initiate a signing request. At the same time, the app will scan his face or fingerprint to authenticate and complete the digital signing process.

The initiative is in line with the Digital Government Blueprint target of letting citizens complete between 90 per cent and 95 per cent of their e-government transactions without leaving their homes, by 2023.

The service supports signing on all major platforms, including DocuSign, iText, Netrust, Adobe, OneSpan, Dedoco, Tessaract.io and Kofax.

During signing, confidential data residing in the documents will not be transferred between these platforms and GovTech. Instead, only an encrypted, random code representing the signed document will be transferred.

Private-sector organisations keen to use Sign with SingPass for their digital services can go to go.gov.sg/sign to register their interest. The service is free for now.

In July, GovTech launched SingPass Face Verification to allow private-sector organisations to tap the nation's digital identity infrastructure to securely verify online transactions without needing to build their own systems.

DBS Bank was the first private-sector entity to pilot SingPass Face Verification, which is integrated into its digibank app.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2020, with the headline 'SingPass app users can sign documents online'. Print Edition | Subscribe