Facebook’s transferable log-in is great – would something similar work for finance?

Increasingly, a range of websites offer users the option of logging-in with either their Google or Facebook details. Why? Well, it ensures the user only has to remember one set of credentials and it prevents them turning away from a new site when faced with the laborious task of creating an account.

What Facebook and Google do is; in essence, create a federated identity that works across many sites.

One consideration, for some, is whether a similar – yet more secure – design could be implemented to enable all accounts, including a pension account, to be accessed in this way.

Independent research commissioned by Experian found that 38% of the population was concerned about the risk of financial fraud – and according to Experian fraud data, of all detected frauds, ID fraud now accounts for half.

The more sites for which a user has to create an identity, the greater the risk of a security breach. And that’s without even giving consideration to varying levels of security across this range of web destinations.

Identification and validation of individuals across numerous digital channels is one of the pension industries most significant areas of concern. With a single log-in, however, the risk of a security breach could be reduced and a set of common, robust security and ID verification standards ensured and enforced.

How would that work? A username, password, and perhaps another strong factor could be used to identify an individual and log them in and allow then to perform simple tasks like checking a balance. A withdrawal, however, might require a further level of identification such as a code sent in an SMS.

What the customer needs is for a safe and secure digital system – like the one described above – that allows them to quickly, and easily, engage with their financial accounts in confidence that they are as well-protected possible.

The pressing challenge for the pensions sector is that customers are way ahead in terms of what they expect from digital services. Other financial bodies, such as banks, are already providing secure, cutting-edge new ways for engagement; pension providers need to digitise and reach a similar level of service in a relatively short space of time.

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