Origo, the technology standards body for the financial services industry, has today announced the findings of its annual online UNIPASS(r) IFA user survey. The survey provides an opportunity for Origo to assess the impact the service is having on an IFAs working day, and the industry's long-term goal of driving down costs.
The survey, which was completed by 2332 users - almost three times the 833 users that took part in last year's survey - revealed some very positive results. The key findings include: 60% of users stated that UNIPASS(r) saves them up to one hour per week and 60% equate one hour of their time to over £40 With 12,000 IFAs currently using UNIPASS(r) a conservative estimate of the saving being made in the industry is £288,000 per week. The actual saving is likely to be much higher as a further 21% of users reported that UNIPASS saves them up to 3 hours per week. 85% agreed that financial services websites are easier to use with UNIPASS(r) 80% of users agreed that UNIPASS(r) increases their daily productivity (71% in 2003) 64% agreed that they use online services more often now they have UNIPASS(r) (62% in 2003) 71% stated that it was straightforward to apply for and obtain a UNIPASS(r) digital certificate Over 1000 users stated that UNIPASS(r) would be useful to them for mortgages business and general insurance
These results not only demonstrate the benefits of UNIPASS(r) in terms of ease of use and increased productivity, but also the huge cost savings that are being made by the industry. Additionally, it reveals interest for the product to be replicated in other sectors within financial services.
Paul Pettitt, managing director of Origo, commented: "Over the past few years, particularly in reaction to regulatory intervention, everyone in the financial services industry has been under increasing pressure to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. These survey results are extremely encouraging and clearly demonstrate how the industry is delivering a service that is free to IFAs, easy to use and is driving down costs.
"Origo's role within the industry is to bring together many life and pensions companies to collaborate on issues that will deliver benefits for everyone. The fact that UNIPASS(r) is now supported by so many of the UK's leading providers and portals, and IFAs are seeing real business benefits from the service, underlines the importance of industry-wide collaboration in delivering the much needed cost efficiencies from e-commerce."
UNIPASS(r), the digital certificate that replaces the need for multiple user IDs and passwords to access provider and portal websites, has now achieved critical mass within the industry. It has received backing from the UK's major life companies and industry portals, now including: 1st, AXA, Clerical Medical, CoFunds, Friends Provident, IFAEngine, Legal & General, Norwich Union, Prudential, Scottish Equitable, Scottish Widows, Skandia, Standard Life, The Exchange, and Zurich IFA Group.