We continue to work to improve our technology solutions to better meet our customers’ needs.
In a number of areas our customers can now obtain quotations, complete new business applications and check the valuation of their investments and select and carry out fund switching online. This has been achieved through enhancements to our e-commerce capabilities and improved integration with our policy administration systems, enabling straight-through processing. This has been recognised with top rating awards for our protection e-commerce solution.
We seek to provide various channels to enable our customers to interact with us in a consistent and flexible way through UK-based call centres, our websites and through iPhone and iPad applications. In 2011 we launched iPhone apps for protection quotes and mortgage comparisons.
Additionally, this year we have made improvements in our customer communication technology to ensure that statements and other communications provide the information that customers need, in a format that can be easily understood. This has included improvements to investment statements, providing advice for dealing with the winter and preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of needing to make a claim.
The outsourcing of parts of our IT functionality has allowed us to partner with organisations whose service offerings have allowed us to improve the speed with which we can take products to market and grow our business more efficiently. This will ultimately benefit our customers and shareholders through lower costs and improved efficiencies.