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Pensioners go biometric in India, Philippines to keep receiving payments

Pensioners go biometric in India, Philippines to keep receiving payments

There is no retiring from technology for pensioners in India and the Philippines. India is pushing Aadhaar-based faced authentication for public pension continuity, while public sector pensioners in the Philippines will be able to access pension services via an app with facial recognition.

India campaign hopes to boost registrations for face, digital checks of pensioners

November is the month when Indian pensioners have to prove they are still alive in order to keep drawing their pensions. This year the government ran a month-long campaign to push retirees to switch to biometrics, and the latest figures show that halfway through, 2.1 million (for central government pensions) had used Digital Life Certificates, of whom 183,000 had undergone face authentication via their Aadhaar biometric ID accounts, reports Business Standard.

This digital version means pensioners no longer need to submit a physical certificate each November.

The Digital Life Certificate Scheme for Pensioners, also known as Jeevan Pramaan, has been in operation since 2014. The scheme website states 67.8 million DLCs have been issued since the outset and 876,000 since 1 November 2022.

The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare launched the month of campaign events for central and state pensioners, with sponsorship from the State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank. DLCs or face authentication are not compulsory.

Moneycontrol reports that the emphasis has been on encouraging pensioners to register for face authentication, which is 1:1 against their linked Aadhaar account, rather than a 1:n facial recognition search.

The publication also points out how there is no data protection law to safeguard the transactions.

More generally, fingerprints are still the most common authentication method for Aadhaar, followed by demographic data and then one-time passwords. Of more than 1.75 billion transactions in October, 3.7 million were via face biometrics, up from 467,000 in September, and suggesting November’s pensioners could push that growth.

Philippines continues digitization with pensioners’ face biometrics

The 2.5 million members and pensioners of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will see increasing digitization of their public sector pension scheme, according to the Philippine Information Agency.

An app is being launched – GSIS Touch – which will include facial recognition for user registration and login. The mobile app will include a range of features, such as allowing users to schedule when they want to do their annual proof of life submission as well as payment portals and even loans.

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