Have you ever experienced shopping and finding yourself out of cash and the automated teller machines were all offline?
As most financial transactions are now conducted online, we no longer have to go back to the old ways of going out of our homes just to pay utility bills in the nearest bank branch. With a smartphone and an Internet connection, we can now shop, pay bills, or even transfer funds online, right in the comfort of our homes, especially now that we are in a pandemic situation.
Modern technology has brought a lot of changes in the past decades. We are now living in a fast-paced world where people are always in a hurry and demand quick results to accomplish tasks in a safe and secure environment. Enhanced features of electronic mail, smartphones, one-stop shops, online banking, online shopping, mobile applications, among others, have emerged because of technological enhancements and diverse marketing strategies.
Similarly, SSS has also been steadfast in providing safe, fast, and convenient service transactions to our members and partner employers. In 1997, SSS launched its web site (www.sss.gov.ph) to provide an information portal for its members and employers, which eventually gave birth to the current My.SSS Facility or My.SSS portal.
Continuous web upgrades made from 2011 to the present have transformed My.SSS into a one-stop shop facility that offers various online services such as viewing of membership status; updating of contact information; requesting for membership records; setting of appointments; viewing of SSS contributions, loan records, and UMID application status; inquiring about various eligibilities; submitting applications for unemployment, retirement, and funeral benefits as well as maternity notifications and member loans including pension loan; generating Payment Reference Number (PRN) for contributions and loans; requesting simple corrections for member data; simulating computations of future retirement benefit; enrolling disbursement accounts with uploading of supporting documents; enrolling PESO Fund and Flexi fund (for OFWs) and Benefit Disbursement Module; and submitting customer satisfaction survey.
The SSS portal can also facilitate web registration and issuance of Social Security number as online users can also upload supporting documents.
Likewise, employers can electronically check and print their SSS records like information on employers, payment history, and reimbursements. They can also submit collection lists and employment reports; update contact information (R8); certify employee’s salary loan and retirement applications; submit employee’s maternity and sickness notifications; monitor the status of submitted sickness and maternity reimbursement claims; download R-3 and Loan Management System File Generators; file sickness benefit reimbursement; enroll disbursement accounts and upload supporting documents; and generate or edit PRN for contributions and loans.
If there is anything good that came out from this Covid-19 pandemic, it is the continuing initiative of SSS to provide the appropriate electronic services to its members and employer-partners through the My.SSS Facility. The number of web registrants and web site transactions increased dramatically.
As of December 2020, there are 10.35 million members registered in My.SSS, a 46.06-percent jump from only 7.01 million registrants recorded as of December 2019. Web registration remarkably increased by 140.77 percent from 1.356 million users in 2019 to 3.265 million users in 2020.
There were also 19.07 million web site transactions recorded in 2020, an 81.24-percent increase from only 10.52 million made in 2019, right before the pandemic hit us.
These figures gave us the green light to keep on enhancing the SSS online facility since the trend favors online transactions above over-the-counter services. So far, we have accomplished shaping My.SSS with a one-stop shop atmosphere for our members to get all their SSS business done in one sitting at the comfort of their homes or offices.
While we are expanding the available services My.SSS offers, we are also constantly upgrading our other online service facilities and information channels such as the SSS Mobile App, Text-SSS, and various social-media accounts like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and recently, Viber, through additional functionalities and constant release of art cards and instructional videos containing updates on SSS programs and services.
It is always a challenge to keep improving and adapting to change, especially in today’s fast-moving information world. We appeal to our members and employers who still do not have a My.SSS account to visit our web site and register themselves so that they may also enjoy that unique experience.
Our current outlook and goal here in the digital age of public service may be best described by Microsoft Corporation co-founder Bill Gates who said: “The vision is that people should have the ultimate in convenience. Being able to get the things they care about on the appropriate device.” In this case, the ultimate convenience is already here through the My.SSS facility.
Have a productive week everyone!
Aurora C. Ignacio is SSS president and chief executive officer.
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