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Sun Life ASCP designs app solution to enable advisors onboard clients remotely

Sun Life Asia Service Centre-Philippines (Sun Life ASCP) pivoted immediately when mobility restrictions were imposed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year. The company’s application services team developed and completed its Non-Face-to-Face Solution in a matter of weeks.

Utilizing existing automation tools and application programming interface Sun Life ASCP invested in previously, the developers from across the region built the app from the ground up. Sun Life ASCP was able to develop the solution for Sun Life Philippines and Sun Life Grepa and Indonesia in June last year and deployed it in other markets over the course of the lockdowns.

“By June 2020, we were able to deploy the Non-Face-to-Face Solution in five markets in Asia,” said Ulyses Ty, head of Applications Services, Sun Life Asia Service Centre-Philippines. “Usually, the standard duration for app development takes about seven months to complete but we were able to do it by at least 13 weeks earlier based on our computation.”

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Ty also emphasized that the company was able “to save at least $300,000” by building 11 common systems and reusing it across all markets.

Sun Life ASCP employed a single infrastructure and a single code base used in the six markets, including Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

“We have a 70% reuse of our technology component of this application from the infrastructure to the database to the network to the actual vote of the application to the actual software,” Ty said.

Non-Face-to-Face Solution

Since it went live a year ago, Ty said there is already a 30% adoption (initial target was 20%) across Asia with the Philippines having the highest rate because it has the longest lockdown. Like most applications, all types of transactions — for the advisor and client part — are now done within the app. Documents can be uploaded and an electronic signature is also now accepted.

The company said it was able to accept and process over 2,500 insurance applications worth CAD1.34 million in premiums in the first five weeks since it was launched.

Ty said the company is also looking at using it in some remote rural areas as well saying that the team also considered the bandwidth allocation in those types of locations when they developed the application.

IT security

Ty assured the application’s users that while it was built in such a short time, they did not compromise the security posture.

“We employed Sun Life’s rigorous standard of security,” Ty said. “In fact, we spent the longest time in security and penetration testing and application scanning during the development of the application. We made sure that the layers of security architecture are in place. We followed secure coding practices and employ a lot of infrastructure components that keep the app secure for the clients and advisors and our operations application as well.”

Ty said the app has undergone several fixes, which is standard for all applications, and the company will introduce new features — from servicing to sales — in the coming months.

“We hope to make it possible for advisors to sell and provide services remotely in the future but for now, we continue to look for ways to make it so much easier for advisors and clients to do their transactions online,” Ty said.