Okta integrates with Singapore’s national digital ID system
This article originally appeared in Computer Weekly.
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 with 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 driver’s licenses and identity cards, among other things.
Leveraging 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, Okta’s Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Asia-Pacific, Ben Goodman, says.
“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,” Goodman says.
Besides authenticating consumers with Singpass, Okta customers can also take advantage of other benefits of CIAM, such as step-up authentication, fraud analytics, and capabilities to prevent credential stuffing. Goodman says 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 and 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,” Winson Lim, head of digital product development at NE Digital, the data, digital and technology arm of NTUC Enterprise.
A Government Technology Agency spokesperson says 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 says.
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’s working with Privy, a digital trust provider, to deliver credential management services for 47 million consumers, Goodman says.
“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,” Goodman says.