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Moving on from paper: simple changes can make big differences in the pensions sector

Across the Life Assurance and Pensions sectors there is a handful of companies with a good standard of digital take-up – some have decent individual-facing websites, while others have impressive digitised back-end systems.

What’s lacking, however, is a complete front-to-back journey where every process is digital. Some firms can do the front-end, and are shocking at the back-end, while for others the reverse is true.

Why not?

In the long run, partial adoption of this model is likely to only create inefficiencies and drive up costs. If the question is: can improvements be made across the board? The answer is a categorical ‘yes’.

With that in mind, another question for the pension sector could well be: why wouldn’t you want to make changes when it makes such financial sense and also makes the customer happier?

Simple change, big win

In many cases technology can help a firm do digitally what was previously a paper-based chore. Take something as simple as a customer wanting to notify their pension provider about a change of address.

It could well be that, in the first instance, they telephone. The customer then has to submit notification in writing, with the post having to go recorded delivery, and await confirmation either in writing or on the telephone, but only after the change in personal details has been logged by hand.

That’s perhaps two phone calls, maybe two letters sent recorded delivery, and about £100 worth of employee-time and other associated costs, not to mention the delay and inconvenience created for the customer while the process is played out.

Expectation

When a customer is comfortable changing personal details online with other digital services, then it can only reflect badly on their pension provider when it doesn’t have an adequately safe and secure pathway to supply a similar process.
Digitising identity verification and changing details online isn’t a ‘desirable’ it’s now one of many ‘must haves’ in the eyes of the customer, and these are things we can help providers achieve quickly.

If something as simple as digitising a change of address could save significant sums, just think of the savings providers could make with emailed account statements. Then, what about the improved efficiencies that could be generated with automated marketing once a customer’s email address is verified?

The digital future is both necessary and exciting.

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This article is about: life, pensions, wealth