The online pension provider PensionBee is set to integrate their services with the Open Banking network and payments platform Plaid, in a move that will help consumers gain control over their financial lives.
Together, PensionBee and Plaid are expanding the remit of Open Banking to include pensions, transforming traditionally complex, paper-intensive, and slow processes into instantaneous ones.
In 2018, PensionBee became the first pension provider to utilise Open APIs, enabling its customers to see their live pension balance alongside their live current account balance through a variety of money management apps.
Yet despite significant progress being made towards an Open Banking system, contributing into a pension remains a much more difficult task than it should be.
PensionBee and Plaid’s new partnership will see pension contributions become easier and significantly faster. Rather than typing out card numbers or manually setting up Direct Debits, PensionBee has enabled a ‘click, confirm, and carry on’ experience within its app.
As a result, the typical two-week process will be reduced to an almost instant experience thanks to Plaid’s integration.
In the future, PensionBee will also integrate with Plaid’s Open Banking network to allow customers to connect their external financial accounts with their BeeHive (PensionBee’s customer dashboard).
This will enable them to gain insights on how to grow their retirement savings based on their actions today. Using Plaid’s consumer-permissioned access to account transactions, PensionBee will also be able to advise customers on potential ways to maximise their contributions based on spending habits and salary increases.
In addition, PensionBee will be able to detect new jobs so old workplace pensions can be easily consolidated into savers’ existing PensionBee pots once contributions from their old employer cease.
Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee, explains: “Low levels of digitisation in the pensions industry have exacerbated chronic under-saving because consumers haven’t had the right tools and information to understand their financial position and plan ahead for the future.
“I firmly believe that Open Banking has the potential to be hugely transformative for millions of people in the UK who struggle to stay on top of their day-to-day finances and adequately save for later life. The arrival of technologies that help us see a complete picture of our financial health, easily manage our retirement savings and make our money work better for longer, is revolutionary. So we’re delighted to join forces with Plaid to make this a reality for our customers.”
Keith Grose, Head of International at Plaid, added: “Open Banking has helped create many tools for people to better understand their financial lives in the immediate, but, often, they lack the tools to plan for the long-term. Fintech companies like PensionBee provide the tools that make pensions work better for people so they can retire comfortably. With Plaid’s Open Banking payments, PensionBee can offer a solution that keeps costs low and improves the user experience. That means their customers contribute more to their pensions with less hassle and create more secure financial futures.”*