The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced today the launch of "Attachments," a new electronic solution designed to streamline the processing of required paperwork and signatures for pre-sale and post-issuance transactions in the insurance industry. Attachments allows insurance carriers and distributors to electronically exchange unstructured information, such as digital or imaged documents, signatures, and forms that are required in the processing of annuity and life insurance contracts.
Developed by Insurance & Retirement Services (a unit of DTCC's National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) subsidiary), Attachments mitigates operational risk by reducing the number of "not-in-good-order (NIGO)" transactions, and preventing delays associated with faxing or mailing paper documents. It also helps to meet increasing regulatory and compliance requirements by introducing an automated process that produces a transparent audit trail.
"The introduction of Attachments will help the insurance industry meet the challenges of a more demanding regulatory environment where mitigating risk and increasing transparency is imperative for growth," said Adam Bryan, DTCC Managing Director, Insurance & Retirement Services. "This new solution is also an important step in increasing efficiency, reducing costs and supporting straight-through processing for transactions throughout the lifecycle of an insurance product."
How the Service Works
Attachments provides a secure, web-based, paperless environment that reduces processing costs by eliminating the need for manual copies, post mail and faxes. Firms will benefit from reduced mailing and handling costs, immediate "touchless" transactions, heightened security and the production of more in-good-order contracts.
The multi-function support service enables insurance companies and distribution firms to exchange digital documents, signatures and forms during the pre-sale, new business and post-issue processing of annuity and life insurance information.
After a successful testing period, 15 customers are currently using Attachments, and a growing list of distribution firms are in the process of implementing the new solution. Attachments will be used to support documentation exchange for other Insurance & Retirement Services offerings. In 2010, development plans include adding the Attachments capability to the I&RS Access platform, a web-based front end that allows a no-development, no-cost portal through which customers can provide key information through data entry to transmit attachments to their business counterparties.
Attachments is the second web service developed by Insurance & Retirement Services in XML message format and is based on the ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) Life and Annuity Standard. Fund Transfers (FTR), introduced in 2008, automates and standardizes the fund reallocation process for variable insurance products. Scheduled for an early 2010 pilot, Replacements (RPL) will automate the process for replacing an annuity or life insurance product from one carrier with a similar product to another carrier.