Standard Life aims internet policy management at current customers
Standard Life is to launch an internet-based policy management tool for its life business aimed at existing policyholders.
The service will enable intermediaries and customers to look at the current and maturity values of their policies, check the last and next premium payment dates, change the payment times, bank details, names and addresses.
Garry Morrison, head of e-commerce at Standard Life Group, said the company is focusing on using the internet to meet the needs of existing customers rather than acquire new ones.
He said he believes that life assurance is a complex product for which people require reassurance and advice before buying.
Morrison will be taking up a new position as service director for the life business from 16 December. One of his tasks will be to look at how the company can encourage policyholders online where it is appropriate, a process he describes as 'a long haul.'
One of the next functions to be added to Standard Life's online policy management tool will be a callback facility.
The online policy management tool went live on 12 October and, to date, some 500 policyholders have signed up, although Morrison said that many of these are employees of Standard Life.
Standard Life is also set to launch a single sign-on process in June 2002, so that customers with more than one product will be able to access the different company websites by typing one user ID and password once. Morrison said the next logical step will be to provide internal account aggregation so that customers can view all their Standard Life products on one website.
At the same time pension product performance tables are expected to be unveiled in the second week of November, according to the FSA. These will sit alongside the unit trust Isa tables which were published earlier this month. The FSA said other tables, namely investment bonds, savings and mortgage endowments, will arrive every three to four weeks thereafter.
Responding to allegations that the tables might be seen as a substitute to independent advice, a spokesman for the FSA said: 'We're not in the business of putting people out of business. The tables aren't designed to impact on an IFA's business at all.'
The tables recommend that consumers visit an IFA and a weblink is provided to IFA Promotion and the Society of Financial Advisers, which gives users the names of advisers in their area.
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