On May 5, 2016, the Singapore government announced the launch of MyInfo, a digital services platform that aims to improve access and ease of use for the citizens of Singapore. MyInfo makes it easy to transact with various government departments. All required information will now be available at one place, thus saving time and effort of the users.
The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Ministry of Finance have jointly developed MyInfo. The digital services platform furthers the mission of the IDA, which is, “to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serving citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes”. Through similar initiatives, IDA hopes to transform Singapore into a Smart Nation and improve the quality of life for Singaporeans.
One of the main features of MyInfo is that the facility is also available for foreigners. This makes it particularly useful for foreigners who are relocating to Singapore.
What is MyInfo?
MyInfo is a digital service platform that stores all information required for every government transaction in one place. It is linked to a user’s Singapore Personal Access (SingPass) account. The SingPass account allows a user to access various e-services by government agencies by using only one password.
When a user creates a profile on MyInfo, he or she can directly retrieve the information from the profile when filling any government e-forms by clicking on “Retrieve MyInfo”. The user will not have to manually fill the data that is already available on his or her MyInfo profile. Additionally, document verification is also not required since the account authenticates the user’s identity with the government.
User’s Profile on MyInfo
The data fields on MyInfo are designed to cover most relevant information necessary for executing the common types of transactions. The ease of use primarily comes from the fact that user’s profile information is readily available.
The data fields in MyInfo are of the following types:
- Government verified data fields and
- User-provided data fields.
For the government verified data fields, the data (such as name, registered address, property owned etc) are pulled from the databases of participating public sector agencies. Currently, these are:
- Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
- Ministry of Manpower
- Housing Development Board and Urban Development Board
- Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board
- Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
- Ministry of Social and Family Development
In addition, the user can provide additional personal information on the profile such as vehicle number, name of school attended, SingPass mobile number, marital status etc. These fields will be a part of the profile.
Currently Available Data Fields
The personal and government verified data fields that are currently available on MyInfo include the following:
- Personal Details (Name, Nationality, Date of Birth etc)
- Contact Details (Mobile Number, Email address, registered address etc)
- Income details (Yearly assessable income, year or assessment)
- Overview of CPF details
- Education and Occupational details
- Family related details (marital status, marriage date etc)
- Ownership of Property
- SingPass details
The data fields differ for citizens and foreigners, For instance, if you are a Singapore citizen you will have to provide your occupation and name of employer. However, foreigners do not have to fill this field.
It is not compulsory for Singapore citizens to use MyInfo. This is a “consent-based platform”. The users will only register for this facility if they wish to do so. There is no mandatory policy or guideline by the government to use this platform. However, MyInfo eliminates the need for document verification for every online transaction with the government and also helps avoid most types of mistakes when transacting with the government. Furthermore, the user is always in control of his or her information since the user’s consent is required when sharing any information from MyInfo for any transaction.
How will this help?
MyInfo will help Singaporeans in the following ways:
- There will be no need to repetitively fill the same information for a user once he or she creates a profile on MyInfo. The user can simply select “Retrieve MyInfo” for the transactions.
- The user will have complete control over the usage of his or her data. No one can misuse the data.
- The user will save time and receive prompt and accurate service.
At the Digital Government Exchange 2016, Mr. Peter Ong, the head of Civil Service stated that MyInfo will help the citizens of Singapore “save time, avoid mistakes and eventually do away with the need for physical documents as verification to complete transactions.” MyInfo, the soft launch of which was in January, already has 32,000 Singaporeans signed up for it.
At the launch of MyInfo, Mr. Ong further stated that by 2018, all e-services that required 2-factor user authentication (2FA) will be linked to this platform. The 2FA process is for additional security since, in addition to your login credentials, it also requires an additional password or security question to log in. With additional security measures, the platform will be able to link with other government e-services such as banking which require higher security.
Singapore – a Smart Nation
The government of Singapore launched Smart Nation Initiative in 2014 with the aim of creating opportunities, improving innovation and utilising technology to improve the life of citizens and to make the country as one of the most attractive places to do business. The initiative endeavours to achieve this in every aspect of a Singaporean’s life, including the way they live, the way they travel, the way they execute transactions etc.
The launch of MyInfo is a step along the path to becoming a Smart Nation.