50 Best Companies to Watch 2021
Pensions provide an essential source of income for a huge portion of the global population that is increasing considerably. There are an estimated 80 million pension pots in the UK, with potentially £37billion unclaimed by individuals. With traditional complex verification methods, payments are often delayed or unclaimed. To solve this problem, mypensionID was formed. We had a word with Lisa Lyon, the Founder, and CEO of mypensionID, to know more about the company and the value it provides. Here are a few excerpts of the interview:
Q. Why was the firm started? Where does it stand today?
mypensionID came into existence from the team behind Target Professional Services, who are market-leading data verification specialists, working globally with pensions, savings, and investment service providers, and understand accurate data is essential for every stage of member lifecycle. The ambition was to deliver an innovative solution to improve the international member verification process and to generally increase member engagement through simple and secure identification.
As smartphones form such a significant part of people’s lives, this was the natural medium to employ the technology. The pensions and savings industry still relies heavily on paper communication and web-based portals, which offer limited ability to identify members securely. The team’s extensive experience in this sector led to the creation of mypensionID, a ground-breaking native application, allowing members to verify their identity and confirm or update their personal details from anywhere in the world, simply and securely, all within minutes.
Q. How does mypensionID function?
mypensionID is a native mobile application that provides leading digital identification and verification technology designed explicitly for the pensions and savings industry. Utilizing innovative yet proven mobile technology and biometrics, the platform enables members to communicate securely with their financial service providers globally. The app securely and simply confirms and authenticates personal identity against official ID documents from anywhere in the world.
Most importantly, mypensionID incorporates cutting-edge biometrics to securely verify a member selfie, both a static version and one requiring them to blink to confirm they are alive, against official documents. The technology also validates thousands of documents from 160 countries, providing further security. mypensionID can also be used to facilitate entry to web-based portals for simple and biometrically secure member access— allowing innovative online automation of processes without compromising on security.
Q. How does the pension app make a difference?
The teams’ extensive experience servicing the pensions and savings industry meant they witnessed many client issues, including member verification, especially for international members. In turn, this identified a huge area for fraud within the sector for overseas payments and a need to change the way people were connected to their pensions and savings. Historically, pension and saving provider engages with a company to locate beneficiaries they last had contact with many years or even decades ago. This historic personal resulting in the communication and contact success rate is often very poor. mypensionID solves the need for an easier and more secure way for providers to connect with their members and for people to not only find their pensions but to stay connected to all their pensions and savings in one place.
Biometric technology, with additional security checks embedded in the app, ensures mypensionID connects and identifies with the correct individual, thus dramatically reducing the opportunity for fraud, particularly overseas. mypensionID provides the two combined together, providing a very powerful app for both the pension or savings provider and the pension member and saver.
Q. Tell us about the benefits and uniqueness of your combination of facial and movement recognition technology.
mypensionID requires the individual to take two selfies on their mobile device. The first is a static selfie, widely used for facial recognition currently. However, mypensionID then requires the user to take a further selfie, this time blinking to demonstrate liveness, what we have affectionately labeled the ‘blinkie.’ The action of blinking takes a photograph, and the unique biometric technology within the application then compares this image against the static selfie-and uses multiple authentication factors to match the two. This additional security layer removes any opportunity for fraudulent use of images of underlying photographs and videography.
Q. Explain more about you launching the ‘Find my pension’ solution in the future. What are its upsides?
There are an estimated 80 million pension pots in the UK, with potentially £37billion unclaimed by individuals. Our ‘Find my pension’ identifies and connects consumers to all their pension pots. Individuals can register with mypensionID and search our extensive database and connect with multiple pension providers to identify the member based on unique individual data. The app securely updates the relevant pension provider with current personal details. The member views all registered pensions on their personal mypensionID dashboard, allowing them to securely and simply update personal details for all schemes at any point they change. As further registration of pension schemes occurs, the member can add these to their dashboard, ensuring they never lost touch with their hard-earned money.
Q. What are your achievements to date?
mypensionID was piloted with a client who had experienced challenges in confirming their international members due to the particularly labor-intensive and time-consuming processes involved. The ability to connect with their members via an innovative app and increase digital connectivity demonstrated their vision to be the market leader in pensions technology and invited their overseas pensioners to verify via mypensionID. Despite the older demographic, the app was a huge success and over a third chose to verify their identity securely via the app, also providing an increase of 70% digital connectivity to their members.
The client has extended mypensionID verification to their members, and the app is now used by pension schemes with over 4 million members in the UK and is continuing its dominance as the leading biometric verification application in the pension market. The challenges of all biometric solutions are similar, with selfie and document image capture creating friction for users. Hence we implemented near-field communication (NFC), only available on a native app, to improve the journey. NFC allows mypensionID to read the chip within passports to collect data, removing the need to capture the documents and also improves accessibility. It is the same technology used by your phone to make contactless card payments.
Q. How are businesses profited by mypensionID?
The Pension Regulator requires all schemes to ensure their membership data is accurate to at least 95% for legacy data and 100% for current data. Thus there is a legislative demand to review. The existing processes of tracing and verifying members are lengthy and costly. mypensionID allows members to connect directly with schemes at a fraction of the cost of these traditional methods. It also provides the huge benefit of digital connectivity to pension scheme members, having a multitude of benefits, including the ability to remove paper communications, reduce costs and improve environmental efficiencies.
mypensionID can also be utilized to provide secure verification of the individual to access web-based portals to transact on pensions. The interoperability of the app ensures a positive member experience as their mypensionID verification can be shared across platforms via its trust framework, removing the need for multiple verification methods across platforms.
Lisa Lyon is the innovative and inspired Founder and CEO of mypensionID. She has an avid interest in technology and constantly searches for ways to innovate and integrate the latest advances to provide improved solutions to clients. It was this interest in utilizing technology and biometrics for secure and simple verification that brought mypensionID to life. Lisa’s unending passion and commitment are infectious and motivate the whole team to make mypensionID the number one verification app in the pensions industry globally. She was voted in the Top Hundred Women in FinTech in December 2020 for her work in the industry.