SINGAPORE--NTUC Income says it has adopted the country's national two-factor authentication (2FA) system to secure all online transactions with its customers who will receive accompanying security tokens.
The announcement makes it the first local insurer to adopt the national authentication framework (NAF) which was launched in December 2011. Operated by government-owned subsidiary Assurity Trusted Solutions, the framework was established as part of country's goal to beef up the local IT security landscape.
NTUC Income has integrated the security system with its online customer service system as it seeks to protect policyholders' information exchanged when they transact via the Internet. Customers who register for the service will receive the 2FA token, called OneKey, which will generate one-time passwords to secure online transactions. Existing OneKey users can link their token to the insurer through their NTUC Income user account.
Set up in 1970, NTUC Income offers life, health, annuity, and motor insurance services and currently has over 2 million customers.
NTUC Income COO Siow Wee Loong said in the statement: "Through our adoption of OneKey, we are giving our policyholders the confidence their personal and policies information is secure amid a landscape of ever-changing cyber-security threats.
"Online insurance transactions are an important part of transforming the insurance industry and enhancing customer service to policyholders. OneKey enables secure access to policyholder information and records, helping policyholders to keep track of their insurance portfolios," he added.
According to Assurity COO Chai Chin Loon, apart from NTUC Income, there are currently seven securities trading firms and two banks on the NAF offering public access services. For private access services, ST Electronics, Ngee Ann Poly, and SGX (Singapore Exchange) offer the OneKey token, Chai told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail reply.
"To encourage banks to come onboard, we are speaking to them to offer OneKey as an alternative to their existing tokens so their customers can enjoy the convenience and enhanced security of using OneKey across different industry sectors," he said, when asked about approach Assurity was taking to encourage local banks--most of which currently use their own 2FA systems--to adopt the NAF.
In April last year, five trading firms including AmFraser Securities and UOB Kay Hian adopted the 2FA system, according to Assurity, which is a subsidiary owned by ICT regulator, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).