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Philippines using biometrics to provide government pensions


The Philippines’ Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Globe Telecom Inc have recently inked a deal which will see more than 350 wireless automated processing system kiosks take root in government offices.

GSIS administers a pension fund for Filipino government employees that have the following social security benefits: compulsory life insurance, optional life insurance, retirement benefits, and disability benefits for work-related accidents and death benefits. The GSIS also offers government employees financial services such as loans.

There are currently around 750 kiosks already in place in other offices, but the GSIS wants to broaden its reach and give their clients fast, paperless services.

The kiosks basically resemble ATMs but offer a multitude of other services. Government workers can quickly update their accounts by logging on to the secure system, check the status of their loan payments or even apply for a loan on the spot. The paperless transactions are completed in a matter of a few minutes and loan applicants can expect their application to be processed within a few working days.

The system is remotely operated and is powered by a local power source such as an outlet in an office building. Globe Telecom provides the wireless service and the kiosk is equipped with RFID recognition. It also has a fingerprint scanner to verify the identity of their members, which works in tandem with an electronic card reader.

Members of the GSIS need only to visit a main office once to update their personal profiles to submit biometric data or fingerprints. They are then issued a corresponding electronic ID, which they use to open their accounts on the kiosk along with presenting one fingerprints for verification. From there, clients can then transact their business and simply wait for a statement to be sent to them via email or SMS. It is estimated that there are more than 1.7 million GSIS members scattered around the Philippines.

Are biometrically-enabled kiosks a reliable means to transact business such as applying for a loan?

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