UOB pilots use of Singpass digital signature to authorise transactions, application forms

SINGAPORE – Local bank UOB is piloting the use of national digital identity system Singpass’ digital signature feature to confirm transactions or product applications.

This year-long trial will be extended to some retail and corporate clients, the bank announced on Thursday (June 10).

This allows Singapore citizens and residents to digitally sign an electronic document such as individual wealth planning transactions and applications for services using their Singpass app.

During the digital signing process, only a random encrypted code will be shared with the bank’s document management platform to confirm that the customer has signed the document, thus ensuring the confidentiality of personal data, UOB said.

The Sign with SingPass capability was rolled out last November by GovTech and first piloted by government agency Singapore Land Authority.

UOB said that it aims to expand the use of this feature in more of its products and services for both retail and wholesale customers in Singapore after the pilot.

It also plans to expand its electronic signature capability to the region from 2022, using other authentication systems such as two-factor authentication for countries that do not have a Singpass equivalent.

Electronic signatures will cut the use of more than two million multi-page hard-copy documents each year, which will save more than 700 trees per year, the bank said.

UOB head of group technology and operations Susan Hwee said: “The change in customer expectations and experience during Covid-19 has made it an imperative that we explore and extend our digital capabilities across more of our financial services and products.”

More than 65 per cent of the bank’s customers now expect banking services to be digital by default, according to a study concluded in August 2020.

Adopting the Singpass digital signature feature will not only mean greater convenience for customers but also remove one of the major roadblocks – the need for physical signatures – in fully digitalising the documentation process, Ms Hwee said.

GovTech senior director for national digital identity Kwok Quek Sin said: “UOB’s integration of Sign with Singpass, is a significant step towards offering a more secure and efficient process for UOB customers.

“We will continue to work with industry partners to build more beneficial services and establish new digitally enabled ways of doing business.”

The Singpass identification system powers more than 1,400 services offered by about 140 public and 200 private sector organisations.

The Singpass app, which has more than 2.5 million users as of March, includes features such as a digital equivalent of the NRIC.

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