Characterised by speed, low cost and enhanced efficiency, e-commerce is now anestablished way of working for many advisers.
Friends Provident are committed to ensuring that you benefit from the new opportunities e-commerce presents and we continue to be at the forefront of cutting edge developments and innovative uses of technology to help improve our service to you.
In recent years we've seen the use of our e-commerce facilities grow to the point where now, 100% of group pension business, virtually all of our bond business and more than 50% of our protection business is received online. This can be attributed to our excellent use of technology combined with a high standard user experience and customer support.
User feedback and testing has been at the forefront of recent development and enhancements to the IFA website and its secure services. Feedback is gathered from the online feedback form submissions and also usability sessions, attended by active users of the site. These sessions help us develop innovative solutionsthat really meet the needs of you and your business.
It’s so important that we provide information and services that reflect your business needs and processes and makes you confident in conducting your business with us. User feedback and testing enables us to gain this insight into the way you use our site and ensures we can be confident in delivering services and information that help put you in control.
Its important to us that we provide you with all the services and information you require, putting you in control of your business. The award-winning services we offer have set the standard for online business and continue to provideinnovative solutions to your business needs.
Our innovative use of technology combined with outstanding customer service continues to attract accolades including the 5 star award for our Life & Pension service* voted for by over 2000 advisers. We’re confident that listening to you can help us develop our service with the right people in place to provide support to our online service.
Now lets take a look at some of the functionality we have on the site that provides you with benefits that can improve efficiency, reduce your costs, improve the service you offer to your clients and increase your profitability.
Illustrations and new business submission
Our online services make processing new business faster and easier. Online illustrations are available for a wide range of products to enable you to provide your clients quotes and talk through the details. Once the decision has been made to submit a case, online submissions are provided for the majorityof our products, enabling a flexible approach to your business.
Once you have completed an application you can print the application and declaration for your records, and submit the proposal online. The electronic application will then be processed:
Our eSelect Protection also offers you interactive expert underwriting, enabling you to go from illustration to policy in minutes, even for rated decisions.
The intelligence of our online underwriting enables you, in many cases, toobtain a decision almost immediately.**
Once you have completed the online underwriting process for an eSelect Protection application and the case has been accepted, the documentation can be printed immediately and the confirmation schedule will automatically be sent to your client.
New Business Tracking
You are able to keep track of your new business proposals online, removingthe need to telephone our customer service centre for updates. This means:
?Easy access to the status of your clients’ new business proposals.
?Accurate and up to date information on the current status.
New Business Tracking also allows you to put your proposals into force when no further information is required.
A pipeline summary of all your current new business proposals is available once you log in. You can then sort your pipeline by date received, name, proposal type or current status. Any proposals ready to go live are displayed in the pipeline summary. An enhanced search facility and options to filteryour pipeline summary enables you to find your information quickly.
Commission Enquiry enables you to look up details of your agency’s commission account and details of related agencies. This means you always have access to accurate and up-to-date commission information and no longer have to waitfor correspondence to arrive in the post.
Policy Servicing gives you online access to details of your clients’ individual life and pension policies and provides you with the control to view accurate and up-to-date policy information for all individual products currently administered by Friends Provident (including UK Provident, National Mutual and London & Manchesterproducts).
As with our other online services, Policy Servicing utilises tabs. Once you have selected the policy you wish to view, each tab provides comprehensive details on different aspects of your clients’ policies. A search facility is provided enabling you to find a policy by entering the policy number, scheme & member number (for pensions) or name and date of birth of policyholder. The information that can be accessed includes a summary of all policy details, details of lives assured, grantees and assignments, premium details and related customers/policies.
Information and literature
A range of dynamic tools and supporting materials has been collated to provide you with guidance and solutions to your customers needs at every stage ofthe process.
External Fund Managers
To complement and underline our positive commitment to the life and pensions external fund range, we have launched a selection of dedicated external fund manager microsites. Each site offer tailored information from each fund manager on the portfolio of funds they offer and includes market views, sales aids, factsheets and the very latest fund information.
Five microsites are currently available from Investec, INVESCO Perpetual, Merrill Lynch, New Star and Threadneedle with additional sites being added in the next few months. This unique relationship has been developed to enhance the informationto you and your customers.
Our performance charting tool enables you to compare the performance of funds, equities, sector averages and the main benchmark indices. The tool gives you the ability to provide your clients with a complete competitor performance comparison, with access to the whole range of life, pensions and collectiveinvestments.
The latest fund information
The fund section keeps you up to date with a complete listing of all the funds we offer, as well as price and performance information. You can access thelatest fund:
?Price and performance information
?Fact sheets, with performance updated on a daily basis
?Prices for our life, pension and offshore funds.
?Investment Bulletins, giving you a broad overview of our fund range.
?News and developments.
Selecting the best quality fund managers and regularly reviewing your clients’ investment portfolio can be a time consuming task. Our Dynamic Portfolio
Planning (DPP) tool can produce asset allocation recommendations to meet your clients' investment objectives. The tool enables you to take client specific information such as attitude to risk and investment amount available, to create an optimum investment strategy and start them on the path to their most efficient portfolio. Portfolio details can also be saved for future reference and tomonitor your clients’ investments over time.
Our current products and services literature is available to download in PDF format from our website literature library. Where applicable, this library includes application forms, Key Facts documents, product brochures, adviser guides, trust information and guides for the products and plans availablefrom FRIENDS®.
The future is e-commerce?
As the market consolidates and the pressure on cost increases, e-commerce is becoming a real source of competitive advantage. Integration will accelerate. Many providers have already built links with packaged back-office systems such as First Software and there are a number of examples of direct integration between provider and IFA bespoke systems.
The development of ecommerce solutions has come a long way over the last few years, but there are still plenty more innovations to come that will benefit the adviser. The award winning online services we provide continue to strengthen the overall Friends Provident proposition and enhance the options and support you can offer your clients.
We are confident in the ability of our online services. We’re also confident in the people and service we have to support these. We trust that this will give you the confidence to recommend our services and products to your clients.
But don’t just take our word for it, take an interactive demo of our website and online services and get more information at the Friends Provident IFA website at www.friendsprovident.co.uk/ifa/.
*Financial Adviser Practiv Service Awards, 2004
** For straightforward cases only.
For professional advisers only. Not to be relied upon by individuals.
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From 6 April 2019