More regulation, new online services, growing provider support and demands from IFAs and others for ease of use are strengthening the case for digital certification technology, says Garry Miller, Origo Secure Internet Services general manager.
”We are hopeful of re-engaging in the future,” Miller says.
”Neither party is closing any doors."
Miller sees a couple of reasons for an increased likelihood of Webline in future using UNIPASS – the digital certificate technology used by IFAs to replace multiple passwords and usernames for logging in to provider networks.
Firstly, the march of regulation will reduce the number of unregulated products, which may have some bearing on demand amongst IFAs for UNIPASS availability through portals.
Secondly, there may be growing integration of additional services, such that Webline may come to more closely resemble portals such as Assureweb or The Exchange.
Origo is working with The Exchange currently on implementing UNIPASS, which would see the portal provider’s estimated 20,000 users exposed to digital certificates.
The current 11,000 users signed up for UNIPASS could then double by the end of the year, Miller adds.
Howard Goodman, operations director The Exchange, says digital certificates are a necessary step forward given the security implications, and make sense given the provider support across the industry.
And with additional services set to be offered by Exweb Gold, launching around the end of the month, it is even more important to take advantage of the benefits the technology offers.
”I don’t think we could have progressed with the new stuff in Exweb without addressing the security factor,” Goodman says.
Exweb has relied on IBM to develop and implement the new infrastructure behind its developing services, and something like UNIPASS plays a key part in the whole solution, he adds.
There is a cost issue to putting new infrastructure in place, but the company would be “looking to make…economies over time”, Goodman says.
Gary Miller sees Origo standards moving into other areas that will build on the function of UNIPASS, such as messaging.
This may require a greater level of security, but, again, digital certificates will play a key role.
If defining security is about confidentiality, integrity, authenticity and non-repudiation of data – the model Origo works to – then digital certificates will be particularly good for ensuring the latter, that is, users cannot claim they did not receive the correct data, says Miller.
Given the feedback already received about UNIPASS and the prediction for broader reliance on electronic services – such as requirements for mandatory electronic reporting – the case for digital certificates in future is getting stronger, Miller says.
Legal & General, Abbey for Intermediaries and Scottish Life will just about round out the original sponsor providers behind the UNIPASS idea currently at various stages of commitment to implementing the technology.
Miller is hoping to add at least one other provider not part of the original sponsor group by the year-end, and is “quite keen” for fund managers to come on board.
This may be particularly relevant to possible plans on the messaging front, although Miller says Origo would in the first instance be looking just to complement existing systems such as EMX - originated under AUTIF, now the IMA, for messaging orders between asset managers and intermediaries, which relies on EMX-issued digital certificates.IFAonline
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