Industry technology providers Capita and Vertex have announced a flurry of ‘firsts' set to hit the market and provide business benefits to IFAs.
At the Capita Enabler Journalist Forum, Webline announced a password reminder system is being introduced to enable intermediaries to access provider extranets in addition to or instead of using Unipass digital certificates.
That said, the system is not a digital certificate technology replacing Unipass certificates and any Unipass operation would remain unaffected.
Managing director John Willis says it is the equivalent of taking “yellow sticky notes off the desk” as the reminder forms the first part of a troika of solutions together aimed at improving electronic submissions. The second part consists of a data exercise Webline has done to enable pre-populating of data into forms across a far greater number of fields than has hitherto been seen so far.
Willis says the objective is to re-use as much existing client data as possible. Instead of up to 12 fields typically, the new approach should enable up to 80 fields of client data to be pre-populated.
The third element is to improve the ability to turn consumer leads into b2b business, by enabling intermediaries to make better use of self-service quotes obtained through adviser websites.
It works by sending alerts to advisers they have potential clients who have entered data, and enables transfer of such data to electronic application forms.
Webline also intends to launch an offering in response to user demand for more up-selling tools. Currently in ‘beta’ mode under the banner “term additions”, this solution means, for example, webline quotes for joint life policies will also automatically throw up the numbers for two single life policies, and can also be applied to income protection or ASU.
The adviser can then tailor the presentation to try to up-sell clients, as well as save time in searching for these additional types of quotes, which are often asked for in a sales situation anyhow.
Another future development Webline intends is the availability of household building and content quotes, set to make an appearance in the first quarter of 2007.
Mitchell Philpott, director at Quay Software, announced his company’s first foreign foray, which is into the Irish adviser market through a deal involving Royal Liver’s Irish broker business Citadel Financial Advice Limited.
Philpott says the move could be seen in context both of following parent group Capita into markets where it is previously established, but also in terms of the spread of further financial regulation, which is acting as a key driving force behind the adoption of more IT into adviser businesses. If other countries adopt more financial regulation and the advice process is little different from that in the UK, then it must be a case of looking at the opportunities, Philpott says.
According to Philpott, there are approximately 7,000 financial advisers in Ireland operating in 3,500 firms.
David Carrie, Capita Enabler chief operating officer meanwhile announced since the ink was not dry on the first contacts he could not talk about a new offering set to consist of a “suite of tools”, but details would be available shortly.
Over at Capita's competitor, Vertex has announced the launch of a new subsidiary, Jessop Fund Managers Limited, formed from its outsourcing contract with Gartmore.
Pitched as the first of a new type of service from Vertex Financial Services – a firm which is still the subject of takeover speculation – Jessop will take over administration and “regulation responsibilities” of Gartmore’s personal pension unit trusts, although Gartmore retains responsibility for managing monies within the funds.
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