Home News Data privacy

Corporate paperwork to get easier with data-sharing service MyInfo Business

Benjamin Cher
Benjamin Cher4/15/2019 08:00 AM GMT+08  • 4 min read
Corporate paperwork to get easier with data-sharing service MyInfo Business
SINGAPORE (Apr 15): Eric Chua, owner of IT solutions company Rocket Buzzer, once spent over a week trying to open a corporate bank account. Most of the time was spent going back and forth to the bank branch, lugging documents and waiting for people to ver
Font Resizer
Share to WhatsappShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInMore Share
Scroll to top
Follow us on Facebook and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE (Apr 15): Eric Chua, owner of IT solutions company Rocket Buzzer, once spent over a week trying to open a corporate bank account. Most of the time was spent going back and forth to the bank branch, lugging documents and waiting for people to verify them.

Since end-January, administrative issues such as these have changed for Chua and other businessmen like him with the launch of the MyInfo Business by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech). The pilot service is an extension of the National Digital Identity programme, which aims to simplify the authentication process in both the public and private sectors for Singaporean small and medium-sized enterprises. Part of that programme includes SingPass, the government’s digital identity and verification service, and MyInfo, a service that allows private companies to pull out information such as customers’ National Registration Identity Card number, name and address with their consent for a quicker sign-up.

There has been a push for a similar service for businesses, according to Kendrick Lee, director of trusted data and services at GovTech.

The business edition of MyInfo links the three local banks to corporate filings and other information from depositories such as the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Using the service, Chua was able to open corporate accounts with two local banks almost instantly.

“Some business owners manage their personal and corporate finances together, and they are asking our partners why can’t they have the same convenience and seamless [experience as individuals do],” says Lee.

Since the service started, there have been about 2,000 transactions across the three banks. According to Lee, the banks have reported improved productivity, good data and customer conversion because of the better data provided.

“Previously, individuals had to submit the documents in a certain sequence, which took more time. Some banks were already using the ACRA filings, but the data comes in two separate tranches: the personal data and the corporate data, which they had to reconcile,” Lee explains. “Because of the authentication and authorisation that [are carried out] as part of the service, the banks have the assurance that the information comes from one of the owners of the organisation. The data comes to them in a machine-accessible form, and they can process it immediately, and you can get both the corporate and individual data at the same time.”

Security and usage concerns

While the pilot is currently restricted to the three local banks, Lee expects MyInfo Business to open up to the broader private sector by 2H2019. He also sees interest from non-financial institutions, such as corporate secretaries, and expects ideas for further application to come from industry players.

“If a business wants to set up another business, [they] will require similar data. The other use case we’ve seen interest in is in merchant acquisition,” he explains. “Any business that needs to K-Y-C (know your customers) their partners could use this as well, not necessarily just banks alone,” says Lee.

He says GovTech takes confidentiality and security seriously. Besides using best practices and encrypting data, GovTech conducts regular reviews, including independent ones, of its systems and processes to ensure the data is continuously protected.

“People have described MyInfo as a vault, but in reality the data is not all stored in one place. The data is distributed within our government systems. We have different levels of security for each pool of data, and security to protect the data as it flows and so on. But the most important point is that the data is only released when the individual authenticates and consents [to it], which is similar to what you do today,” says Lee.

The system may actually be better for ensuring the integrity of the data. For instance, rather than emailing a document for a customer to sign and return, this data is now shared securely between organisations. The data is protected under the Personal Data Protection Act or other industry regulations. Furthermore, Lee says, organisations that use MyInfo Business undergo additional checks, such as whether they are registered and still in operation. “We verify their use case, make sure their use is relevant,” says Lee. “At the end of the day, the obligations of the organisations do not change, whether they collect data in paper form or digitally.”

×
Loading next article...
The Edge Singapore
Download The Edge Singapore App
Google playApple store play
Keep updated
Follow our social media
Subscribe to The Edge Singapore
Get credible investing ideas from our in-depth stock analysis, interviews with key executives, corporate movements coverage and their impact on the market.
© 2022 The Edge Publishing Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.