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Client onboarding made easy in Singapore

Client onboarding made easy in Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has authorised financial institutions (FIs) in the city-state to use, MyInfo, a digital service for customer onboarding.

The platform enables individuals to authorise service providers to access their personal data that had been earlier submitted to and verified by the Singapore government.

As such, the Singapore regulator will no longer require banks with access to a customer’s MyInfo data to submit additional documents or photographs to verify a customer’s identity.

The service was first introduced in 2016 as part of Singapore’s push to become a ‘smart city’.

In 2017, the government carried out a pilot of MyInfo with four banks, namely United Overseas Bank, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered Singapore, to simplify account opening and online banking transactions.

MAS already allows banks to use non-face-to-face verification of customer identity and is broadening the measures to include biometric identification, real-time video conferencing, and secure digital signature.

The regulator said financial institutions must implement robust controls when onboarding new customers to detect and deter money laundering or terrorism financing.

Singapore has joined other developed nations in strengthening regulations around anti-money laundering, especially after it was caught in a web of illicit transactions linked to Malaysia’s state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The growing regulations have meant a sharp increase in customer due diligence-related paperwork for relationship managers and compliance staff sitting within private banks.

‘MAS encourages FIs to use technology that helps to increase efficiency and improve the customer on-boarding experience while safeguarding against money laundering and terrorism financing risks,’ said Ho Hern Shin, MAS’ assistant managing director for banking and insurance.

‘Fintech firms can also capitalise on the MyInfo platform, with customer consent, to develop innovative financial solutions for FIs to enhance customer experience.’

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