Singapore adds face verification to national digital ID service

GovTech Singapore face id for Singpass digital id
DIGITAL IDENTITY: Singapore citizens can now use face verification on their mobile phone to prove their ID

Citizens using Singapore’s SingPass national digital ID system can now use face verification to securely authenticate themselves when accessing a growing range of government and commercial services on their mobile phone, computer or in government agency kiosks.

SingPass Face Verification gives SingPass holders the ability to provide proof of presence when carrying out online tasks such as completing their tax return, registering for an online bank account or engaging with businesses integrated into the government digital identity infrastructure.

The system uses cloud-based biometric authentication technology developed for Singapore’s GovTech agency by UK provider iProov to compare a scan of the user’s face with the image held in the Singapore government’s biometric database. 

The integration means that SingPass holders do not need to go through a separate enrolment process to use the service.

“The camera on the mobile device, computer or kiosk scans the user’s face with a cryptographic sequence of colours for a few seconds,” iProov explains. 

“This confirms that a user is the right person (the rightful holder of their national identity number); a real person (not a photograph, mask or digital spoof); and authenticating right now (not a deepfake or injected video).”

“Singapore’s national digital identity, SingPass, enables citizens and permanent residents to transact seamlessly and securely with public and private sectors’ digital services,” says GovTech Singapore’s Quek Sin Kwok. “SingPass Face Verification, under our National Digital Identity (NDI) programme, will help partners enhance their customer service journeys.

“We will continue to extend useful and trusted NDI services to more private sector organisations to accelerate digitalisation and grow Singapore’s digital economy.”

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