Origo is launching a new service – Unipass Letter of Authority (ULoA) – another significant digital step forward for the industry delivered by the FinTech.
The service will enable financial advisers to input in one place all the information they need to establish the relevant authority and send it securely to all the relevant providers/platforms on the system.
The obvious and significant advantage for financial advice firms is that the information only needs to be input once to reach all providers and platforms on the system and not individually for every provider or platform as happens currently.
They will also benefit from time and cost savings as they will no longer have to wait on or pay for post. Furthermore, less time will be spent on laborious paperwork so advisers can focus on what’s important - working with their clients.
The advantages for providers and platforms are the better service it delivers to advice firms and their clients, as well as the greater efficiencies and associated cost and time savings.
The new digital service is being launched under the Unipass brand as the Unipass ID service is well-used in the adviser community - 8 in 10 advisers use Unipass ID.
Anthony Rafferty, Managing Director Origo, says: “Similar to Origo’s success in automating transfers and streamlining the industry’s integrations, Unipass Letter of Authority is set to become the common, efficient method of submitting and managing Letters of Authority for advice firms, platforms and providers.
“At the moment there is no means for advice firms to know where the Letter of Authority is in platforms’ and providers’ systems. By securely digitising the process, Unipass Letter of Authority enables advice firms to know where they are in the onboarding process, so they can keep up-to-date with progress and keep the client informed, helping to improve their customer service.
“It is important when introducing a new capability to market that the industry is given a hands-on feel for it, as this often helps to identify any areas that may need to be tweaked as well as potential ways to enhance it. We have tested the new service with a group of users* over several months and, not unexpectedly, it has received considerable enthusiasm and support across the board.
“This is a service that the industry has been crying out for and we are delighted to have been able to work with the industry in developing it. To accelerate the use of the service and the benefits it can bring to the industry, we are making it free to use until July 2021, allowing advice firms, providers and platforms to experience first-hand how the service will work for them.
“The live date for the service is Monday 23 November and it will be rolled out in managed stages. This will begin with Letters of Authority for pensions business and then will be extended to other areas of business.”
*Test user comments:
Mark Ormston, Retirement Line
“Typically, whenever you need to access customer information or act on a customer’s behalf, you will find a Letter of Authority (LoA) somewhere in the process. We send 1000's of LoAs every year and as a result, the ULoA service will be a godsend for both customers and ourselves.
“Using this service will provide us with greater confidence that our LoA and information request has been immediately received by the correct servicing department. More than this, as our request for information will be made electronically using an agreed standard, the service provider will be able to supply us with the desired information quicker than ever before.”
Stuart Hornblower, LV=
“The ULoA service really helps standardise the request and responses data items and structure across the industry and this helps to simplify the processing for providers which should result in faster response times to requests.”
George Thompson, Portafina
"Unipass Letter of Authority is an essential step for pension providers to start catching up with the wider industry's move to digital enablement. Clients simply cannot get their heads around a reliance on paper documents and waiting weeks to receive information to enable advice - they expect better service and let's face it, they're right."