The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is piloting a national know-your-customer (KYC) utility for financial services, based on the MyInfo digital identity service, jointly developed by the Ministry of Finance and GovTech, the lead agency for digital and data strategy in Singapore.
A pilot has been run in the first quarter of this year with two Singaporean banks to expand the MyInfo service to the financial industry for more efficient KYC using trusted, government-collected personal data.
MyInfo is a personal data platform, containing government-verified personal details such as the national ID number and residential address. It enables residents to provide their personal data just once to the government, and retrieve their personal details for all subsequent online transactions with the government.
“Before you go to full e-KYC, you need to figure out a national strategy for digital identity,” says Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of Monetary Authority of Singapore. “That’s the core, the engine. And you can build the KYC digital attributes around it, and then the distribution of the data in a safe and secure way.”
Because KYC and identity authentication are involved in so many financial services processes, from opening a bank account to making a payment to making an insurance claim, Mohanty says it is a problem worth solving.
MAS has partnered with the Ministry of Finance and GovTech to conduct the pilot with the two banks, but Mohanty says there will be further evolution of the project after the first phase is rolled out across the Singapore banking sector.
“We’re currently looking at refinement of the model, the golden source of data, and the working of the government agencies. We will complete the pilot in the coming months. Then once the APIs and golden source are available, others can come in and use this utility for basic KYC,” he says.
“There is also some discussion around what we call KYC++, including things such as nuanced inference of data. And this is where we need some industry expertise and input, but that’s a staged discussion”