Pensions - Articles - Development of biometrics key to pension schemes efficiency

The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA), the independent body dedicated to driving up standards in pensions administration, has stressed that the use and development of Biometrics must be higher on the trustee agenda, if schemes are to drive efficiency and continue meeting member needs in the long term.

 Margaret Snowdon Chair at PASA commented: “Used as a means to instantly electronically identify individuals by unique features like voice, fingerprint or iris recognition, Biometrics combines personal data with search technology and logic to check that an individual is highly likely to be who he or she claims to be. Whilst it might currently be seen as a ‘nice-to-have’, as time goes on this kind of technology will gain popularity and become an essential investment for schemes. Savvy companies will recognise the competitive edge it will give them and already be looking at implementing this feature, recognising the financial efficiency that it brings in the longer term and the vastly reduced risk of fraud in addition to speeding up changes and transactions for members - many will already be interacting with other financial providers in this way and welcome it.”

 Snowdon added: “Inevitably there may be objections from some trustees who are reluctant to adopt a new method of identification because they feel requesting certificates is safe and fool proof - plus some administrators may not be willing to commit to the investment required for the new technology. Biometrics offer a whole new way to engage members and as the trend towards financial technology continues to grow, these changes are inevitable. As an industry, we should be embracing this new opportunity and focus our efforts on making it a success.”

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