"If it will work in Bantayan Island, it will work anywhere," said GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia, in a briefing here. Garcia said the service is being launched as part of its modernization program. "This system removes the need for them to go to a GSIS office to renew their pension status. They can now do so remotely, via a phone call," noted Garcia, explaining how the system is intended to reduce large inbound call queues into GSIS offices.
The service was beta-tested in the United States prior to the local (Cebu) launch; E.G. Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Hawaii.
The speech driven "GSIS Voice Activated Processing System" (G-VAPS) enables its 1.2 million members to transact with the GSIS using their unique voice as their "electronic signature,". The system is secure, and is be able to detect "tape-recorded" as opposed to live speech. Active members and pensioners call a US-based GSIS Teleservice toll free number to use the service.
Currently, it allows members to apply for and process loans. It can also be initially used by pensioners to renew their status to active members; Active members can then go to GSIS office to record their voice after presenting proper identities.
"This is voluntary but it provides them convenience," said Garcia when asked if he expects all members to avail of this new service. He also noted GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System kiosks remain another option to apply for loans.
Garcia further noted the system was customized by its own information technology department.