IRESS has unveiled a new UK-wide integration hub and shared online service provision called IRESSnet.
Standard Life is the first partner in the UK to take advantage of its account opening, online application, reporting and shared customer service tools to help third-party sellers. The service is reliant on Origo standards freely available to others.
IRESSnet has been developed to underpin the advisor process for establishing and maintaining investment-based products using Origo standards, says IRESS. The first service module available is the new account opening service being used by Standard Life but more modules and services are planned as its rolls out fully in 2014.
The shared service platform aims to provide pension, wealth management and consumer investment services with a two-way fully integrated quote and apply service linking IRESS’ Advisor Office solution and Standard Life’s Advisorzone.
Standard Life’s Retail SIPP financial instrument and Active Money Personal Pension plans will be the first products made available on the new online service, with the firm’s latter wrap-around pension offering joining in 2014.
The account opening module is intended to improve efficiency and reduce costs for advisors with a claimed saving of up to 50% of agent time per case, thanks to having all the information in one place.
Increased accuracy and less time spent re-keying data are the key expected launch benefits, with the flexibility to part-complete and resume applications later also expected to be a boon. All documents produced by the quote and apply process are made available via an audit trail.
The new account opening service will initially be available free of charge to advisors, available in the Adviser Office 10.3 solution to start with before IRESS integrates XPLAN into the platform in 2014.
This platform uses the Flexible Integration Toolkit (FIT), a new Origo Standard that has been developed by IRESS, Origo, Standard Life and other financial services providers.
This offers the seamless exchange of data between advice technology and providers, via the shared Exchange platform, using its web-service interfaces. The new Origo Standard is expected to be used by many other additional providers and software vendors – not just IRESS.
Mark Loosmore, executive general manager of sales and marketing for wealth at IRESS, said: "We believe our new integration and account opening service will provide a popular, time-saving addition to an advisers’ toolkit. When we engaged with clients on the possibility of creating a new account opening service, three quarters of advisors told us they were interested in using it. We have listened to their feedback and believe the hub will help meet the evolving needs of the marketplace. By bringing together and combining different elements of our own technology and integrated third party providers, I believe we are delivering improved and innovative solutions and services for advisors."
Ross Dunlop, head of transactional platforms at launch customer, Standard Life: "This is another example of us offering long-term and sustainable solutions to advisors to help them make their business more streamlined and cost-effective. Advisors told us they wanted to avoid re-keying data [about Standard Life products] and we have reacted to this by delivering the ability to integrate our quote and apply services on Advisorzone with their systems. We look forward to adding similar integration functionality to Standard Life Wrap in 2014."