Singapore Digital signature for SingPass users to sign legal documents

Photo credit: GovTech, Singapore

SINGAPORE: A digital signature feature was launched on the SingPass mobile app on Thursday (Nov 5) to provide "greater convenience" in legal documentation signing, said the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech).

Dubbed “Sign with SingPass”, the service will enable more than 2.1 million users to sign digital documents in less than two minutes, said GovTech in a media release.

This "will be useful for organisations and their customers with the increasing prevalence of online transactions" as the COVID-19 pandemic has made physical signing of documents more challenging, it added.

GovTech said this feature will be piloted "in the coming weeks" for the digital signing of property caveats lodged electronically with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Lawyers can also digitally sign "anytime and anywhere" without the need for a hardware token or a physical setup of a laptop to lodge a caveat.

To use the feature, users will have to launch the SingPass app and scan the QR code on the document.A reference code will appear on the app, which should match the one on the document.

Once this has been confirmed, the user will be prompted to verify their identity.

GovTech said this service follows the launch of the SingPass Face Verification service last July, which enables users to authenticate themselves during online transactions using facial biometrics.

"Both services are part of the National Digital Identity (NDI) Smart Nation strategic national project which aims to build a trusted digital identity ecosystem for citizens, public agencies and private sector companies."

GOVERNMENT TARGETS 100% DIGITAL OPTIONS

The new digital signing feature will support efforts to digitise Government services and achieve the Digital Government Blueprint’s goal of providing 100 per cent end-to-end digital options, said GovTech.

As more agencies offer this service, "users can look forward to using digital signatures to complete transactions with the Government without the need to be physically present to sign documents", added GovTech. There are now around 250 Government agencies and private organisations, offering more than 1,000 digital services on SingPass.

Cybersecurity measures in line with "industry best practices" have been implemented in the digital signing process.

According to GovTech, no "document data" will be transferred between the digital signing partner or the business partner's platform, and the NDI platform.

"Instead, only a cryptographically random, unintelligible, and irreversible code representing the signed document will be transferred during the transaction."

The feature will be progressively rolled out by GovTech's wholly owned subsidiary Assurity Trusted Solutions in collaboration with eight digital signing application providers.

These comprise DocuSign, iText, Netrust, Adobe, OneSpan, Dedoco, Tessaract.io and Kofax.

With this feature, "businesses will save cost and manpower by removing the manual processes of verifying physical paperwork”, said GovTech chief executive Kok Ping Soon.

Organisations can register their interest through the NDI website, with no payment required for the onboarding.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article said that there are more than 2,000 digital services on SingPass. GovTech has corrected that information, advising that it should be more than 1,000 digital services.

Original article: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singpass-digital-signature-e-document-govtech-property-caveat-13469756