CA Summit 2008: Facebook access for Personal Accounts

Facebook, Ebay, Bebo and other social networking and marketing sites could act as access points for Personal Accounts customers says Tim Jones.

Speaking at the Corporate Adviser Summit in Hampshire last month, Jones, the chief executive of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority, said he was hoping to team up with these popular channels provided security issues could be overcome.

He said getting members to adopt technology presented challenges, but such a tie-up could overcome problems getting members of the public, both employers and employees, online. As well as engaging with the masses, such a solution would also overcome one of the biggest challenges facing any online enterprise which is ensuring people remember their passwords and use the service, he said.

Jones believes a tie-up with such popular websites will also raise the profile of Personal Accounts.

“We would like to take the service to them. The concept is we will go and find you and if you are on Bebo or Facebook then that is where your data is,” he said.

Jones stressed that advisers will have a major role around the implementation of Personal Accounts and the requirement for companies to contribute to pension schemes for the first time.

“The role of advisers is absolutely crucial,” he said. “Employers say they will look to you to help them understand how to respond to the new set of responsibilities falling on them in 2012.”

He accepts that the timetable is tight if Personal Accounts are to be delivered to deadline but said that he is “more confident than I was in April” that these challenges can be met.

Jones reminded delegates that he had dealt with projects approaching this scale in the past. The former chief executive of retail banking at NatWest said he had delivered £700m projects in the past, on time and on budget, and saw Personal Accounts as nothing different.