Source: Marlborough Stirling
The Exchange, the leading provider of portal services to financial advisers, and Focus Business Solutions have entered into an agreement to enable The Exchange to upgrade the capability of Exweb, its online trading platform.
As part of the agreement, Focus' most recent edition to its goal:technology viewer software, goal:viewer(anywhere), will be integrated into Exweb to increase the flexibility of The Exchange electronic new business service for financial advisers.
In addition to being able to complete and submit new business applications whilst being connected to the Exweb service, it will be quicker and easier for advisers to download an electronic application directly from the portal to their local computer. They can then complete the electronic application, either with or without the presence of the customer, disconnected from the service and within their own timescales.
Recent research from The Exchange shows that whilst 81% of IFAs are processing new business electronically only 8% are utilising technology for efficiency and time-saving gains by entering data directly into a PC while with the client. These new developments will help close the gap between traditional and online methods of submitting new business by making it easier for an adviser to complete electronic application forms offline.
This new functionality will not require The Exchange to install or the adviser to download any additional software to their computer. It will also ensure that the most recent version of an electronic product application is always used, a key benefit to all parties involved in the sales process.
David Child, managing director at The Exchange, comments: "The new functionality delivered via Focus' technology will be of great benefit to both The Exchange and our 20,000 Exweb users. Removing the need to install additional software on the financial adviser’s computer reduces our maintenance costs significantly and enables us to provide our customers with an enhanced service that matches the way they have told us they prefer to work. We hope this will encourage the uptake of electronic transactions across the IFA sector."
Nigel Smith, Director of Market Propositions, Focus Business Solutions added; "Our recent depolarisation study shows that 82% of IFAs will maintain an independent model post depolarisation and 100% believe that the industry portal will continue to play a key role. This highlights the importance of removing the current barriers to electronic trading via the portals and these developments will increase the efficiency of the sales process for both The Exchange and the IFA. This new contract with The Exchange is great news for Focus and reinforces our position in the marketplace as the technology powering electronic new business."
This new extended capability will be available to Exweb users in early 2005.