Whenever you check-in to a place in Singapore, you may be asked if you want to use the TraceTogether app or token.
This may make you wonder, why there are 2 different ways of checking in, and which one is better?
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between using the TraceTogether app and token:
- 1 The difference between the TraceTogether App and Token
- 2 Registration of devices
- 3 Bluetooth technology
- 4 Checking into a location with SafeEntry
- 5 Procedure if you are infected with COVID-19
- 6 Lifespan
- 7 Additional features
- 8 Can I use the TraceTogether App and Token together?
- 9 Can the TraceTogether App replace the Token?
- 10 Can the TraceTogether app and token sync with each other?
- 11 Conclusion
The difference between the TraceTogether App and Token
Both the TraceTogether app and token use the same Bluetooth technology which assists the contact tracing process in Singapore. The TraceTogether app has more functions and is more suitable if you own a smartphone. If you don’t own a smartphone, the token is more suitable for you.
Here is an in-depth comparison between these 2 devices:
Registration of devices
When you are signing up for the TraceTogether app, you will need to provide your phone number,
as well as the details on your NRIC.
You will need your physical IC to check the date of issue of your NRIC. Alternatively, you can use the National Digital Identity Card in your Singpass app.
You’ll need to register your TraceTogether token at the collection centre
For the TraceTogether token, you will be collecting it from a collection centre.
This will usually be from a community centre.
The staff will register the token issued to you under your name. Once the token has been tagged under your name, you do not need to take any further action.
The registration process is much easier for the TraceTogether token, as the staff will do most of it for you.
However, you will need to book an appointment to go down to collect the token. This may be slightly more troublesome for you.
Both the TraceTogether app and token use the same Bluetooth technology for contact tracing purposes.
The information is stored locally on either your app or token. It will not be shared with the authorities.
The authorities will only request for you to upload your data if it is required for contact tracing!
Furthermore, the data collected which is longer than 25 days will be automatically deleted from your device.
This should give you the reassurance that the data that is stored on your device will only be accessed when absolutely necessary!
Checking into a location with SafeEntry
The way that you check into a location that has SafeEntry is slightly different for these 2 devices.
For the TraceTogether app, you will need to scan the SafeEntry QR code before entering the premises.
For the TraceTogether token, you can’t scan a QR code with the token itself. Instead, each token comes with a QR code at the back.
You are able to use this QR code to check into a location that has a QR code scanner.
Most locations with large footfall should have a QR code scanner. This will allow you to check into that place via your TraceTogether token.
However, some small shops may not have this capability! As such, you may still need to either use your TraceTogether app to check into these locations.
Some businesses have SafeEntry Gateway which makes checking-in much easier
You may have seen the SafeEntry Gateway device which is a more convenient way of checking in.
The SafeEntry Gateway devices can be found in places such as:
2. Dine-in F&B outlets
3. Healthcare facilities
4. Sports and fitness centres
This device is able to detect the Bluetooth signals from both the TraceTogether app and token.
When you bring your app or token within 25cm of the SafeEntry Gateway, you should hear a beep and a green light will be lit up on the device.
This will indicate that you have successfully checked into the location.
As such, the SafeEntry Gateway is the most convenient way of checking into a location!
Procedure if you are infected with COVID-19
The data that was collected from TraceTogether is locally stored in your app or token. As such, you will need to share this data with the authorities.
The data is stored locally in your device, and any data that is longer than 25 days is automatically deleted. You will only need to upload the data from your TraceTogether app or token if it’s required for contact tracing.
The way that you upload your data using the TraceTogether app and token is slightly different.
For the TraceTogether app, you will need to enter a 6-digit upload code that was provided to you by MOH.
The upload code may be given in the same SMS that informs you of your swab test result.
If you are using the TraceTogether token, you will need to physically hand over your device to the authorities.
This will allow MOH to extract the data that has been collected in your TraceTogether token.
The TraceTogether app is on your mobile phone, so it will be functioning so long as your mobile phone is turned on.
However, the TraceTogether token comes with a non-rechargeable battery. It is expected to last around 4-6 months.
When your TraceTogether token runs out of battery, you will need to go down to the community centre to replace it!
As such, the token may be more troublesome to maintain, especially in the long run.
The TraceTogether app has a user interface. Apart from just tracking the Bluetooth proximity data, you are able to access other features.
You are able to check your SafeEntry history via the app.
This makes it more convenient for you, if you are worried if you were in close contact with a COVID-19 case.
Meanwhile, your TraceTogether token does not have these features. You will only be collecting the Bluetooth proximity data with the token.
You will not be able to access any of your SafeEntry check-in data from the token!
You are also able to download your vaccination certificate on the TraceTogether app, which can’t be done with the token.
Can I use the TraceTogether App and Token together?
There is no need to use both the TraceTogether app and token together, as they perform the same function of gathering your Bluetooth proximity data. The token was created to accommodate Singaporeans who do not have access to a smartphone.
While the TraceTogether app has more functions, the main aim of both devices is contact tracing.
The Bluetooth proximity data that is being collected will help in identifying people whom you’ve had close contact with.
As such, you do not need to use both together! You just need to have either the app or the token, as they both serve the same purpose.
The main reason why the token was created was to make the TraceTogether technology more accessible. With the token, it was hope that more people will use TraceTogether!
Can the TraceTogether App replace the Token?
The TraceTogether app is able to replace the token, as both of them serve the same function. The app would be more convenient if you already have a smartphone. Furthermore, it has extra functions such as checking your previous SafeEntry history.
Can the TraceTogether app and token sync with each other?
Although the TraceTogether app and token are both under your name, they are 2 separate devices and are not linked with each other. As such, you are unable to sync the data between these 2 devices.
If you are using both the TraceTogether app and token when checking into a venue, it is not possible for you to sync your data between these devices.
This is because the Blue Trace technology that both devices use is decentralised. This means that the data that you store on either device can only be uploaded to MOH upon request.
You will not be able to sync the data between both devices!
Here is a summary of the similarities and differences between the TraceTogether app and token:
|Need IC |
date of issue
|Done at |
|Checking into a |
location with SafeEntry
|Scan QR code poster|
|Scan QR code on token|
|Procedure if |
|Upload data to |
MOH via app
token to MOH
|Lifespan||Depends on |
|SafeEntry history |
Show vaccination status
Essentially, both the app and the token serve the same function of using Bluetooth technology for contact tracing.
The TraceTogether app provides much more functionality. This is because it allows you to view your SafeEntry history and your vaccination status.
However, not everyone has a smartphone!
As such, the TraceTogether token was designed for people who:
1. Are uncomfortable with using the smartphone app on their phone
2. Do not have a smartphone
This makes the TraceTogether technology accessible, even if you choose not to use the app.
In this way, it is hoped that many more Singaporeans will be able to play their part, and use this technology to help with contact tracing!
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