During the recent STACK Summit, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) revealed that it will create a centralised biometric scheme as part of its National Digital Identity (NDI) system, beginning with facial recognition, in order to enable its use for a number of services.\nAccording to a report by GovInsider, GovTech is creating a centralised biometrics system to save users the hassle of repeated enrollments. Citizens will only need to register their biometric information once under the centralised NDI system and will no longer need to repeat the enrollment process for each service.\nThe NDI is a sophisticated method of authenticating a user\u2019s identity online. As part of the system, GovTech is expected to launch by the end of the month the SingPass Mobile app, an alternative to the former 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) modes to provide Singaporeans with a simpler process of logging into government digital services.\nThe app will give access to e-government services by scanning one's fingerprint - a more secure mechanism than passwords, which can be spoofed easily. It also aims to eliminate risky practices such as the sharing and the use of weak and easy to guess passwords.\n\u201cWe want to extend this biometrics system as a service\u201d, said Quek Sin Kwok, Senior Director of NDI at GovTech, during the inaugural session at STACK Summit. \u201cWe will start off with facial recognition.\u201d\nA centralised biometric platform\nSTACK 2018 was GovTech\u2019s first-ever developer conference for developers, programmers and technologists from the public and private sectors. During the two-day event, participants were able to learn more about how Singapore\u2019s tech platforms work and bring innovation to the island-country\u2019s population.\nThe government is offering \u201csoftware development kits and plug-ins\u201d to different industries, including banking and finance, so that companies can connect their services to the estate\u2019s centralised biometric platform. \n\u201cWe want to provide this as a service so that there\u2019s zero enrollment\u201d, said Kwok. \u201cThis is for one-to-one authentication.\u201d\nUsers can present a unique biometric trait (e.g. fingerprints, voice or face) which the system will then validate. This means that the process is \u201cdriven by the users,\u201d Kwok added. Trials or production roll-outs of biometric systems have already been launched at sea borders and Changi airport, and on lampposts in public spaces within the last couple of years.\nIn 2017, the country\u2019s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said that Singapore aspires to replicate the success of Estonia\u2019s digital ID system, which is used to access more than 1,000 government services, and officials also hope it can be used to back electronic payments.\nThe NDI will be issued for free to 5.6 million Singaporean citizens, and is expected to be operational in 2020, with progressive trials for digital signatures to facilitate paperless transactions. \nContinuation of the Smart Nation Initiative\nThe NDI is another step towards Singapore\u2019s ambitious Smart Nation Initiative goals.\nEarlier this week, Vivian Balakrishnan, minister in charge of Singapore\u2019s Smart Nation Initiative, gave the media updates on Singapore's five key Smart Nation projects, namely a national digital identity, an anticipatory e-citizen service called Moments of Life (Families), e-payments, a sensor network and smart urban mobility.\nSummarising why Singapore is rolling out these projects, Balakrishnan said: "We want to live in a society that is gracious, sustainable, secure, safe and cohesive, and one that generates good jobs... [these projects] make sure that Singapore stays competitive and relevant in this brave new world."\nIn his view, NDI underpins the development of a safe and secure society.