BPAS Launches Innovative Tool to Prevent Fraud

BPAS Launches Innovative Tool to Prevent Fraud-01

BPAS, a leading national provider of retirement plans, benefit plans, fund administration, and collective investment trusts, has launched BPAStify – an innovative, new fraud prevention tool that is part of the firm’s overall security efforts.

Under BPAStify, a participant requesting certain assistance through the Participant Service Center or other means may require additional scrutiny using a live video identity verification process via smart phone, tablet, or computer. When complete, the recording will be shared with the client’s HR team, who will verify that the caller is truly the employee in question and provide approval to BPAS.

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“A few months ago, I was at the airport standing in the TSA Security line,” said Paul Neveu, BPAS CEO. “When I got to the front, the agent asked me to step aside because I’d been randomly selected for additional scrutiny. While waiting, something dawned on me: This situation is analogous to what we’re dealing with in DC plans, with thousands of people running through the airport each day. Like the TSA, recordkeepers have an obligation to invoke additional security measures to protect assets, whether driven by facts, random selection, or behavior. That’s when the idea for BPAStify hit me like a bolt of lightning. I brought the idea back for our people to figure out.”

In the wake of well-published data breaches in 2017 and 2018, retirement service providers across the U.S. have fought a range of new fraud threats within workplace retirement plans. Firms have implemented a bevy of new measures to galvanize their programs, including multi-factor authentication, added security questions, changes to electronic payment polices and other confidential or proprietary measures.

“We started experimenting with this concept a few months ago,” said Joe Buczek, Manager of the BPAS Participant Service Center. “In most call centers, the overwhelming majority of calls are innocuous. However, a small number of calls can raise attention either because of behavior, or facts that seem strange. When we decide to invoke BPAStify, we notify the caller that the account has been flagged for additional scrutiny. The caller’s reaction tells you something right away. When you’re dealing with the real participant, there is almost always an immediate willingness to cooperate; they appreciate the added vigilance to protect their account. In cases where there is a refusal to cooperate or some technological reason why the caller can’t participate, it’s a big red flag. We freeze the account and initiate additional security measures to protect the plan assets.”

A key element of BPAStify is not only authentication and review by the employer, but the fact that, in the event of a fraud attempt, the recording itself could be used by law enforcement to identify and prosecute fraudsters. Considering the dollars at stake, this is something BPAS makes clear on the recorded calls.

“We will continue to refine the BPAStify program and build additional technology around it,” added Linda Pritchard, SVP of BPAS Operations. “There is only one individual who has the right to access an account or attempt to withdraw assets – the actual participant. If we suspect an outside individual may be attempting to gain access to an account, including possible cases of family fraud or domestic fraud, or see situations that just don’t stack up, BPAStify will jump into the ring. We’re pleased to add this new tool to our arsenal of security measures. We have no higher imperative than to protect plan assets for our customers. BPAStify is a real game changer.”

“BPAS focuses on improving technology and developing programs to ensure that participants are knowledgeable about the importance of retirement savings,” added Chrissy DeCaria, Relationship Manager at BPAS, who plays a lead role in the firm’s security initiatives. “We understand how important it is to protect accounts, and we work to educate participants on their vital responsibilities in this process. BPAStify is one more piece of the puzzle. I think participants will appreciate this level of service; anyone who has experienced a fraud attempt will understand why it’s so important. We look forward to using this program when we get that feeling that something just doesn’t sound right. Peace of mind for all parties is a beautiful thing.”

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