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Origo Advent Calendar 2022

What a year we have had at Origo! December 2021 feels like only yesterday and yet, here we are as the jolliest month of the year is upon us again. To help get into the festive spirit we are looking back over some of the best wins we've shared with our customers this year. In true December fashion, we will share this news 'advent calendar style', updating this page every working day from December 1st until Christmas. Keep an eye on our social media which will be bringing you daily updates too!

Origo Advent Calendar 2022

Day 1 – December 1st – Origo Dashboard Connector has arrived!

In June we announced that we were launching Origo Dashboard Connector, the smartest way to connect to pensions dashboards.

We have been passionate about the pensions dashboards initiative since it was announced in 2015 and developed a working prototype of the pensions finder service back in 2016. We were therefore delighted when, in partnership with Capgemini, we were selected by the Pensions Dashboards Programme to provide the pension finder service and the consent and authorisation service, two core elements of the digital architecture that will make pensions dashboards work.

The Pensions Dashboards Programme has given clear timescales which compels pension providers and administrators to connect to the pensions dashboard. So, as well as developing the core elements of the central infrastructure it made sense for us to use all our experience and expertise in the financial services market to help companies connect to the pensions dashboards central digital architecture. We created an “ISP” (Integrated Service Provider) service, the Origo Dashboard Connector which provides a safe, cost-effective and easy connection to pensions dashboards.

Our aim is to help pension providers and administrators to outsource the burden of facing off to the significant demands that connecting to the pensions dashboard creates. Origo Dashboard Connectorwill take the concern and pain out of connecting on time, helping to ensure all SLAs are met. Origo Dahsboard Connector is compliant, keeps your customer data secure, and your costs down.

We wanted to give providers a choice as to how they connect, how much of our service they wish to use, and how much to do themselves. This is why we developed three ways for providers to use the service.

Find out more about how Origo Dashboard Connector works.

Day 2 – December 2nd – Fidelity Adviser Solutions partners with Origo Integration Hub

We have welcomed several new providers to Origo Integration Hub this year including Fidelity Adviser Solutions. Through this partnership, Fidelity is now able to offer advisers a more efficient experience for a range of its account opening and trading services.

It enables Fidelity to link with multiple adviser systems through a single connection, rather than with each one individually, removing the requirement for advisers to re-key data manually and allowing them to transact with Fidelity from within their back-office system, creating straight-through-processing (STP). Thereby saving time, reducing costs, and mitigating the risks associated with the re-keying of information.

Samantha Christopher, Head of Proposition, Strategy and Growth for Fidelity Adviser Solutions, said the integration helped with “one the biggest challenges advisers face … the burden of administration” which incurs costs and takes up time which could otherwise be spent supporting clients.

“Working with Origo, we can streamline the process of administration and develop a far more efficient process for the transfer of information, ultimately creating more time for advisers to spend in other areas of their business.”

Find out more about what Origo Integration Hub can do for your organisation.

Day 3 – December 5th – Royal London reports increased efficiency with Unipass Mailock

Earlier this year, Royal London the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions, and investment company shared how they had increased efficiency through use of our service Unipass Mailock.

They joined Aegon as the next major provider to deploy Unipass Mailock in 2021. With the safety and security of their client’s data of paramount importance they had already taken steps to secure the email communications but relied on two separate email encryption solutions, one for advisers and one for end-customers.

Unipass Mailock was designed specifically for the financial services industry using Unipass Identity authentication which is already trusted by 8/10 financial advisers. It is also free for end customers to use, therefore offering a more efficient solution. Upgrading to Unipass Mailock allowed Royal London to communicate securely with both advisers and end-customers in one smooth solution.

John McGlynn, Sales Business Change Manager for Royal London, said “Efficiency wise the introduction of Unipass Mailock has made a big difference. It has allowed us to move to one system for all, making a significant financial saving and it’s capabilities mean that we spend far less time fielding queries or solving issues than we did previously. It has also had an impact right across the Royal London business in that previous inconsistencies in approach between different business areas have been removed. Feedback from advisers so far has been excellent. The ease of access through a Unipass log-in or the alternative simplicity of receiving a verification code to proceed has been welcomed.”

As well as increased efficiency, Unipass Mailock has helped Royal London to enhance their cybersecurity and digitise their communications in line with their ESG roadmap.

For more information on how Unipass Mailock could increase security and efficiency for your organisation, speak to our Head of Strategic Partnerships, Kim Campbell.

Day 4 – December 6th – Origo Transfer Service hits milestone figures

Origo Transfer Service, which turned 15 this year, was the first of its kind available in the UK and with over 140 brands from over 70 organisations connected, remains the market-leading, only complete transfer service to this day. It enables secure and speedy transfers of pensions, GIAs and ISAs, saving both providers and platforms time and money.

In 2021 we saw that our customers had achieved over one million transfers through Origo Transfer Service, in that year alone.

In 2022, we can report that over 6.7m transfers have now been completed through Origo Transfer Service since launch, with an average of over 80,000 transfers completed every month. That accounts for over £317bn worth of pensions transferred since 2008.

With the average ceding time across all users of the Origo Transfer Service at 13.5 days, with half of all transfers being undertaken within 7 days, Origo Transfer Service continues to deliver better, faster outcomes for providers, platforms and their customers.

Day 5 – December 7th – Unipass Letter of Authority provides a solution to slow, manual client onboarding process

Earlier this year, our CEO, Anthony Rafferty discussed the industry-wide need for a standardised, digital, Letter of Authority process. He said: “The business case for a standardised, digital Letter of Authority is indisputable - it simply makes sense for providers, platforms, financial advice firms and, most importantly, for consumers.

The legacy Letter of Authority process is predominantly manual and consequently, inefficient, expensive and slow.

Unfortunately, after all the hard work by advice firms to attract and win the new client, it is the client’s first experience of the advice process. It’s not a great advert for our industry.”

That is why we created Unipass Letter of Authority – a smarter, digital solution able to deliver a common, efficient method of submitting and managing Letters of Authority for advice firms, platforms and providers. It delivers significant benefits for the industry and can greatly help to improve the overall service and experience for consumers.

Recently, the lang cat also explored this same topic in their latest piece of research, A Fragmented World, which dives into the industry-wide need to adopt a digital solution to solve the issues experienced in the sending and receiving of Letters of Authority, for providers, advisers and importantly, consumers. The paper said:

“An area rife with poor practice, fragmented approaches, a lack of leveraging of basic technology, waste, backsliding and make-work. Some green shoots but still much to do. The tools exist – especially with Origo’s Unipass LoA initiative – to make this radically better.”

Furthermore, the report urges all UK providers to sign up to a digital solution:

“Please get together with your peers and work out a standard you can all accept. You don’t have to invite Compliance. We urge all of you also to sign on to Origo’s Unipass LoA service, and any others that may launch in the coming months.”

Also this year the FCA set out the final rules and guidance for a new Consumer Duty that will set higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services and require firms to put their customers’ needs first. Joining ULoA may help your organisation meet these standards, which are due to come into force in July 2023.

Day 6 – December 8th – Dynamic Planner links to Origo Integration Hub

In April we shared that Dynamic Planner has joined Origo Integration Hub. The partnership is helping them to create greater efficiencies with even more platforms for processing of bulk valuations.

Yasmina Siadatan, Sales and Marketing Director, Dynamic Planner, says, “Dynamic Planner has committed to driving productivity gains for all our advice firms, and our open ecosystem is integral to that commitment. We already employ over 20 integrations with leading platforms, back offices and custodians, reducing the need to rekey data, dramatically speeding up the process of undertaking financial planning tasks, while preventing data islands developing across the advice firm.

“We are delighted to announce our connection with the Origo Integration Hub today, and will continue to advance our data and integrations strategy into the future to push the industry forward.”

Day 7 – December 9th – Unipass Mailock messages milestone

In 2020 we launched our encrypted email solution, Unipass Mailock. Designed specifically for the financial services industry it enables providers, advisers, and their customers to exchange sensitive messages and documents securely. Unipass Mailock provides a seamless experience, protecting sensitive documents from cyber risk and human error and increasing client engagement.

Since launch we have welcomed both Royal London and Aegon to the service and last year Aegon reported saving an estimated 270 tonnes of CO2 through using the service.

This year Unipass Mailock hit another notable milestone with over 2 million users having already received a secure email from a financial services company on the Unipass Mailock network.

Day 8 – December 12th – In person events are back!

It has been great to get back to in-person events this year. Team Origo have enjoyed meeting and catching up with so many of you face-to-face throughout 2022. Our highlights have included, FTRC’s Empowering Advice Through Technology, Next Wealth Live, Arena International Events Group’s Artificial Intelligence in Finance and the PLSA Annual Conference. Not forgetting, the lang cat’s HomeGame 2 and Pensions Age Scotland – both on our home turf in Edinburgh.

Thank you to all the organisers for running such brilliant, informative events and to everyone who came along to see us at them. We are all looking forward to catching up again in 2023.

Day 9 – December 13th – Origo’s service portfolio increases by 60% since 2019

At Origo we’ve been creating solutions to industry problems for over 30 years, digitising common business processes, and reducing time and costs for all involved.

Our mission is to be the fintech supplier of choice and to connect the financial services marketplace for the benefit of everyone. In line with this mission, we have been growing our service portfolio over the last 33 years. From launching our first portal in 1990 to introducing Unipass Digital Certificates in 2002 and later Unipass Agency Management in 2007. Since then, we have launched Origo Transfer Service, Unipass Identity, Origo Integration Hub, Unipass Mailock, Unipass Letter of Authority and Origo Dashboard Connector. In fact, we have increased our service portfolio by 60% since 2019.

We’re really excited about our latest service, Origo Dashboard Connector, which gives pensions providers and platforms a safe, cost-effective and easy way to connect to pensions dashboards on time.

Day 10 – December 14th – Canada Life join Unipass Agency Management

Unipass Agency Management, one of our first services, helps platforms and providers manage their agency relationships with financial advice businesses. It removes unnecessary paperwork and duplication of effort, by enabling advice businesses to communicate with all the platforms and providers on the service at the same time.

In 2022, we welcomed Canada Life to Unipass Agency Management, who are building better futures for customers in the UK through their wealth, insurance and asset management solutions. This new partnership with Unipass Agency Management will enable advice businesses to communicate with them quickly, easily and efficiently.

Day 11 – December 15th – Embark adopt Unipass Letter of Authority

We are delighted that Embark Group is partnering with Origo to digitise letters of authority on its Embark Platform, as part of the group’s programme to digitise and leverage technology to improve customer journeys.

Embark is one of the early adopter platforms currently trail blazing our Unipass Letter of Authority (ULoA) digital service. Our new technology improves and streamlines the processing of letters of authority (LOAs), removing a key point of frustration for many advisers, and delivers better outcomes for consumers.

Jackie Leiper, CEO at Embark Group, said: “The LOA procedure can feel like a long drawn-out process for both advisers and their clients and is an industry-wide problem. Embark receives thousands of requests for information and change of service requests each year. Partnering with Origo will allow us to digitise these requests, speed up processes and allow our team to spend more time on meaningful customer interactions. We cannot wait to begin working together to improve the experience for our adviser community.”

Matt Noble, head of Business Development at Origo, said: “We’re proud to have Embark join our Unipass Letter of Authority digital service. We strive to work with firms pioneering a digital-first agenda who want to use tech to improve user experience and drive efficiency. Our work with Embark will bring all that and more to their customers.”

This was originally posted on Professional Paraplanner where you can read the full article.

Day 12 – December 16th – Celebrating our successes, ‘bit by bit’

Our CEO Anthony Rafferty, recently shared with FinTech Scotland why he believes every company should look back on their achievements and celebrate their successes. He said, “The tenets of success, certainly as I have found them in my many years in the financial services industry, are that it takes a lot of hard work and it takes time.

This is no better evidenced than in Fintech.”

Taking one of Origo’s services as an example, Anthony said, “If we take the Origo Integration Hub as an example, it was launched in 2016 as a service for products providers, platforms and software houses in the savings and investment market.

We had spotted that we could help these participants achieve considerable efficiencies, cost, time and resource savings by doing away with the need to undertake resource-heavy, time-consuming and costly point-to-point integrations with the companies with which they needed to exchange data. Instead, we built a centralised hub to which they could link once and then connect to any other user of the hub for key services such as investment valuations, bulk valuations, account opening, remuneration, transfer tracking and bulk transaction history.”

However, in Anthony’s words, “Overnight successes are rarely ever that, but the cumulation of many hours of hard graft by a dedicated group of people, propelled by a vision, a passion for what they do and a resilience to make it work.”

By August 2020, only 21 firms had joined Origo Integration Hub. Fast forward to the present and as we go into early 2023, we will be looking at over 50 companies, including top industry names, who will be using the Origo Integration Hub, with others in the pipeline.

Anthony continued, “To achieve success, we have learned that along with the hours of hard graft, dedicated people, a vision, passion and resilience, it also helps to have a little patience.

So, as we head towards the end of the year, we are celebrating our successes, bit by bit and no matter how long they take to come to fruition. I recommend you do the same.”

Read the full article on FinTech Scotland.

Day 13 – December 19th – Spotlight on our staff

At Origo, we’re really proud of our people. We're a dedicated team of experts who share a knowledge of the financial services sector – spanning decades – and are genuinely passionate about delivering solutions that make a difference.

We believe in investing in our people and supporting our employees with further learning, development and qualifications. Across the organisation there has been lots to celebrate this year.

Taylor McAuley, our Information Security Analyst, started at Origo 4 years ago as part of our Graduate Apprentice Scheme and thought that university wasn’t for her. However, she attributes Origo for making it possible while she worked towards her degree. Taylor said, “Working at Origo, I’ve learnt that when an opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.” Taylor graduated this year with a BEng (Hons) in Cyber Security.

Helen McCurrach has been a core member of Origo’s marketing team since she joined in September 2019 and has embraced the many opportunities that working with Origo has presented. She enjoys working with industry experts, driving marketing campaigns forward and being one of the ‘behind the scenes’ people who speaks to customers (marketing!). This year, Helen completed a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing, to further her academic understanding of marketing theory, and is enjoying utilising the learnings from this in her role at Origo.

Find out more about what it’s like to work for Origo.

Day 14 – December 20th – Hargreaves Lansdown join Origo Dashboard Connector

Hargreaves Lansdown has chosen Origo to connect to the central digital architecture of the pensions dashboard and respond to citizens’ data requests.

Origo Dashboard Connector was designed to enable pension providers and administrators to connect to the pension dashboard’s core architecture easily, securely and cost-effectively.

Jack Williams, Head of Pensions and Retirement at Hargreaves Lansdown says: “The pensions dashboard is an enormous opportunity to help people engage with their retirement by enabling them to see all their pensions in one place. Having one overarching view informs better decision making in the run up to retirement and has the ability to really boost people’s financial resilience.

“It’s an ambitious project and it’s important to be well prepared. After considering all the options we believe partnering with Origo is the most efficient way for us to connect to the dashboard. We look forward to working with them over the coming months as we move towards our staging date.”

Anthony Rafferty, CEO, Origo says: “We are delighted Hargreaves Lansdown has chosen Origo Dashboard Connector to enable their connection to the core digital architecture of the pensions dashboard.

“Starting in August 2023 all pension providers will be compelled to connect to the ecosystem by law, going live in line with set staging dates. We built Origo Dashboard Connector using our expertise and experience in the market, with a clear objective to give providers options which will enable them to connect to the pensions dashboard in the way that best suits their business model.”

Day 15 – December 21st – 49 contracted partners on Origo Integration Hub

We launched Origo Integration Hub in 2016 to improve integrations between organisations – removing the complexity and additional maintenance required from multiple point to point integrations.

Offering simplified integration with trading partners. Origo Integration Hub removes the need to undertake a new IT build each time. By supporting many different data formats, it helps to reduce risk, and immediately help to reduce costs.

In 2022, we now have 49 contracted partners using Origo Integration Hub and look forward to welcoming more in 2023.

Day 16 – December 22nd – More efficient integrations for new Origo Integration Hub customers

Origo Integration Hub makes integration quicker, easier, and more cost-efficient than ever. Removing the need for expensive, time-consuming point-to-point integrations with each individual counterparty.

With just one connection, Origo Integration Hub offers multiple integration partners for product providers, platforms, DFMs and adviser software systems. Setting up straight-through processing for account opening, remuneration, valuations and transaction history with trading partners has never been so low-cost, quick and simple.

This year we are delighted to have welcomed 7 new organisations to the Bulk Valuations service on Origo Integration Hub, including LGT Wealth Management, LV=, Plannr, Vision, and AdviceObjects. M&G and LV= also chose to partner with Origo Integration Hub for Bulk Transaction History.

Day 17 – December 23rd – Thank you to our customers

At Origo, we believe in creating a supportive and innovative environment for all employees, and we put people at the heart of what we do.

Equally, we all appreciate the brilliant people across the multitude of organisations that we have the pleasure of working with. So, from our people, to yours, thank you for all your support this year, wishing you a wonderful Christmas break, and we look forward to working together in 2023.