- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance now lets Apple iPhone X owners use facial recognition as a secure password for its RetireSmart mobile applications. Apple’s FaceID technology will unlock the app so that MassMutual customers can see information about their 401(k)s and other defined contribution savings plans, per a statement. Smartphone users who don’t have an iPhone X can use their thumbprint as a secure password.
- MassMutual also updated its mobile app dashboard for Apple and Android smartphones to provide more information to help manage retirement savings. Account balances, rates of return based on year-to-date contributions and asset allocation are all now available on the RetireSmart app.
- The RetireSmart app is available free at Apple’s App Store and Google Play to retirement savers who already access their account through MassMutual's RetireSmart.com website.
Financial services firms like MassMutual are seeking ways to improve their mobile services as a way of reaching a wider group of customers, especially younger adults who are more comfortable using apps to manage their finances. Financial services companies are projected to boost their spending on mobility, cloud and big data analytics to $142.5 billion in 2019 from $114 billion three years ago, PwC said in a report.
Financial technology startups with innovative products and services are targeting some of the most profitable parts of the financial-services value chain, such as lending, personal finance, mobile payments and e-money. These disrupters provide a better customer experience and charge lower fees than established financial-services companies do because they started as online companies with a lean cost structure that isn’t held back by legacy technologies and centralized IT models, per PwC.
That means financial services firms need to adapt with the changing habits of their customers, including the greater acceptance of facial recognition technology. Apple introduced its flagship iPhone X smartphone last fall and showcased its FaceID technology that relies on new front-facing sensors to create a biometric 3D map of a user’s face. The company claimed that facial recognition was 20 times more secure than TouchID, which uses a fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone and approve payments with Apple Pay.