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SingPass physical token to be phased out as mobile app passes million-user mark

Jean Lau on 31 Mar 2021

The Straits Times


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NOTE: The OneKey token will be discontinued from 1 April 2021. Use other 2FA methods to access Singpass.


SINGAPORE - SingPass is phasing out physical security tokens as its mobile app, which allows users to log in securely, has drawn more than one million users as of this month.


In a statement on Tuesday (March 31), the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) said the token key will be phased out by March 31 next year.


This is due to the low usage of the token and the availability of other secure methods of access.


Over 98 per cent of all login methods were done through the app or through SMS authentication, while just 2 per cent used the token.


OneKey tokens will not be issued or replaced from Oct 1, and from April 1 next year, users will not be able to use OneKey tokens to access digital services.


GovTech recommends that in the meantime, users refer to instruction guides on how to set up their SingPass Mobile app.


Those who need further assistance can visit any of the 46 SingPass counters islandwide.


Launched in October 2018, the mobile app uses fingerprint, face recognition, or a 6-digit passcode as an added layer of security in what is known as two-factor authentication to allow access to government digital services from more than 60 agencies.


The app also allows users to log in to selected private sector services such as NTUC Income, NTUC U, AIA, Manulife, Prudential, and the grants portal on the Singapore National Employers Federation website.


More private sector organisations will be using the SingPass Mobile app login in the coming year.


Singapore citizens with phones that cannot download apps can still set up and use SMS as a two-factor authentication to continue accessing online services.


The token key is used as authentication - a one-time password is generated on it and has to be entered on the website portal, in addition to the SingPass ID, which is the user's NRIC number, and a password.


GovTech said that it will be working closely with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and People's Association to help Singaporeans during the transition.


Guides on how to register and use the SingPass Mobile app are available on the SingPass website


GovTech chief executive Kok Ping Soon said: "We are encouraged by the strong support so far and will do more to promote the use of the app, so that more users can transact online with the Government and the private sector easily and conveniently.


"We will also work with our partner agencies to help more citizens learn how to use SingPass Mobile, and continue to find new solutions which ensure security and convenience for our citizens.". 


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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