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Okta integrates with Singapore’s national digital ID system

The integration with Singpass will let Okta customers authenticate consumers using Singapore’s national digital ID system and is expected to expand the company’s reach in regulated industries

Okta has integrated its customer identity and access management (CIAM) service with Singpass, enabling organisations to provide consumers with access to digital services using Singapore’s national digital ID system.

First launched in 2003 as an identity service for users to access e-government services using a single set of credentials, Singpass has since expanded its capabilities to enable users to digitally sign documents, look up contributions to their Central Provident Fund accounts, and access digital equivalents of their driving licence and identity card, among others.

Leveraging application programming interfaces (APIs), the service is also being used by private sector organisations such as banks and financial services firms to facilitate account applications and other transactions.

With the integration between Okta and Singpass, a complimentary service for Okta customers, such organisations will be able to leverage the infrastructure that has been built around citizen services to authenticate consumers for private sector services, said Ben Goodman, Okta’s senior vice-president and general manager of Asia-Pacific.

“The Okta-Singpass integration is really around bringing the best of government services to private sector digital services and enabling a more trusted way of authenticating and accelerating customer onboarding and engagement, with a greater level of safety and control around identity management,” he told Computer Weekly.

Besides authenticating consumers with Singpass, Okta customers can also take advantage of other benefits of CIAM, such as step-up authentication, fraud analytics, as well as capabilities to prevent credential stuffing. Goodman said this will enrich the value of the Okta platform for existing customers and enable the company to reach out to new customers in regulated industries.

Anil Panicker, Okta’s senior manager for solutions engineering in Asia-Pacific, said the company has developed capabilities to support the Singpass integration. These include support for OpenID Connect to facilitate authorisation code flows as well as additional layers of security through signatures and encryption, alleviating the overheads that organisations may bear when they do their own integrations with Singpass.

NTUC Enterprise, a social enterprise with a footprint in healthcare, insurance and retail, among other areas, is one of the early beneficiaries of Okta’s integration with Singpass.

“As an organisation that has tested the Singpass solution with millions of users over the past year, we are delighted to report positive outcomes, in particular, improved user experience and increased customer satisfaction,” said Winson Lim, head of digital product development at NE Digital, the data, digital and technology arm of NTUC Enterprise. “The solution’s robust security features also give us greater assurance that we are interacting with authentic parties.”

A Government Technology Agency spokesperson told Computer Weekly that the agency, at the request of relying parties, also works with other reputable CIAM platforms with a strong security posture to integrate with Singpass and bring value to citizens and businesses. “Relying parties will still need to onboard with us, which we will determine on a use case basis,” she said.

A relying party is an entity that relies on the credentials and authentication mechanisms provided by an ID system, typically to process a transaction or grant access to information or a system.

Besides Singpass, Okta is also involved in other digital identity initiatives, including those run by the private sector. In Indonesia, for example, it is working with PrivyID, a digital trust provider, to deliver credential management services for 47 million consumers, said Goodman.

“We are also doing a lot of work with various government agencies in Australia around digital identities, authentication and providing frictionless experiences around their platforms,” he said.

Read more about identity and access management in APAC

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  • ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch has set the identity and access management software supplier on a path to deliver a frictionless identity experience without compromising security or privacy.
  • The International Air Transport Association’s One ID digital identity initiative will pave the way for seamless air travel from curb to gate and help airports cope with growing passenger traffic.
  • Singapore’s national digital identity system has evolved from providing single sign-on to e-government services to pandemic-related and digital document capabilities in recent years.

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