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Just 3% of life and pensions sold online

Less than 3 per cent of life and pension transactions are conducted online, even though providers are predicting rapid take-up of online services by IFAs.

Research from Focus Solutions, covering 60 per cent of the life and pension sector, shows that online transactions now account for only 2.8 per cent of business, yet providers&#39 targets across the sector average take-up of 80 per cent by 2007.

To monitor progress of e-commerce take-up, Focus is establishing a benchmark – Focus Quotient – that will measure growth in electronic transactions.

The Focus research also shows that IFAs prefer transacting business over life companies&#39 extranets, with 78 per cent of e-business currently going direct to extranets. Focus predicts that portals will reg-ain ground and expects that they will account for 26 per cent of e-trading by 2006.

Director of marketing Claire Forrest says: “The industry as a whole needs to promote electronic trading. Life and pension companies, IFAs, portals and technology providers all need to actively address the issues surrounding electronic transactions. The increased use of electronic trading in a wider range of channels to market, such as extranets and call centres, will also help serve the consumer.”

Syndaxi partner Robert Reid says: “Electronic trading must increase until it becomes the norm.”

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