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Origo launches delayed extranet award scheme

Zurich and Prudential have been unveiled as the first recipients of an award scheme set up to improve registration processes on provider extranets.

Last week Money Marketing revealed the Unipass Easy Access award programme had been delayed due to a lack of audits and the downgrading of the award structure from three levels to a single award.

Zurich and Prudential have now gone live with the Easy Access Award on their extranets. Another four audits are believed to be in the pipeline.

Under the programme, providers who use Unipass are independently audited by Origo against a set of extranet registration process criteria. It says this will ensure a short and simple sign-up experience for advisers. Successful providers are granted an Easy Access Award logo to be placed on their extranet sites.

Prudential head of e-business Jon Cross says: “We are always looking for ways to make life that bit easier for our adviser customers, and making sure that we have the processes that make us straightforward and easy to deal with is one important way we do this. We know that adviser firms find the complex registration processes encountered on some provider extranets frustrating, and we believe the Easy Access Award is a valuable initiative which will help advisers identify where product providers have made sure their registration and access process is simple and user-friendly.”

Origo managing director Paul Pettitt says: “Unipass already provides over 25,000 industry users with a quicker and more secure sign-up process to eServices. But while these users consistently tell us that getting a Unipass is easy they find registering on product provider sites is still often too difficult. The Easy Access Award programme helps ensure a consistent registration approach is embraced for advisers logging onto extranets, and is yet another great example of how the industry is working together to continue to improve business processes for the adviser community.”


Looming icebergs

This year is undoubtedly going to be a more difficult channel to navigate than we have experienced recently. Economic activity is slowing and even the die-hard optimists acknowledge that the global economy will do well to pull through this phase without dipping into recession. Emergency interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and a fiscal stimulus package merely serve to underline concerns for its domestic economy. Evidence of a slowdown in activity in some emerging markets, albeit from high levels, adds further to the gloom pervading world stockmarkets, as does reluctance by the UK and European central banks to intervene and support growth when it is most needed.

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