Prudential rolls out e-apps to 28,000 IFAs via portals

Financial services firm Prudential is to roll out electronic life, pensions and investment applications across the three main...

Financial services firm Prudential is to roll out electronic life, pensions and investment applications across the three main independent financial adviser (IFA) portals.

The three-year licensing agreement with supplier Focus Solutions will enable the 28,000 IFAs registered to use the Assureweb, IFAengine and Exchange portals to capture and validate client data for Prudential's investment bond and term assurance products.

The three portals already use technology from Focus.

Jon Cross, e-business manager at Prudential, said the move would help the company operate in the 1% world.

Under government regulations for stakeholder pensions, companies can only charge customers a maximum of 1% of the stakeholder funds' total value. Web-based policies can help firms to minimise administration costs.

"The need to drive down processing costs for us and our intermediaries means we have to work in an increasingly integrated way," Cross said.

The new system will capture data more efficiently and increase accuracy by alerting end-users to mistakes and reducing the number of times that data has to be entered.

This will save the company time and resources, said Cross, helping it to cut unit costs. The system, which replaces a previous one from Mysis, will give the company "more scope going forward", he added.

"It's a good move. It is something they need to do," said Daniel Mayo, lead analyst at Datamonitor.

He said adopting such technologies will be crucial if insurance companies are serious about reducing inefficiencies and cutting costs.

"The key thing is to enable better straight-through processing," he said. "The 1% thing is starting to make an impact but it's still pretty minor as only a small number of policies are affected by it."

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