Singlife with Aviva was formed through the merger of Singlife and Aviva Singapore, bringing together one of the world’s oldest insurers with Singapore’s youngest homegrown financial services company.
While the merger was officially completed in January 2022, it also presented the technology teams with the mammoth task of merging the digital-native operations at Singlife with legacy IT systems at Aviva.
Ned Lowe, who was formerly the CTO at Singlife, is now leading this critical integration project for the combined company in his Head of Engineering role.
When it comes to identity management for the newly combined company, it is a lot more complicated than just combining two sets of logins into a single organisation.
“We’re merging a cloud-first, mobile-native operation with a more datacentre-driven traditional stack. There are actually multiple systems with multiple front-ends and logins within the legacy Aviva system. So we’ve taken the process of merging as a chance to rationalise within the ecosystem,”
said Lowe, Head of Engineering at Singlife with Aviva.
“None of that matters to the customer, though. We need to give a seamless experience to ensure it doesn’t matter where their details come from. We just want to ensure customers have a single login and a single place where they can see everything.”
When it comes to managing the identity and access management systems, he said it was an easy decision to choose Okta as its partner for authentication services.
“I want an identity management partner that does it really well and makes it really easy for me to integrate my systems. Going with a market leader is the best choice rather than trying to find niche players with one particular feature that is new. These things move so quickly that market leaders quickly catch up with any niche feature,”
Driving business decisions with secure technology
Lowe has taken an API-first approach to maintain flexibility and create opportunities for innovation, looking beyond the insurance industry for inspiration as he aims to make Singlife with Aviva a go-to financial services app for its users.
But as part of the first steps in that journey, critical decisions must be made to build the foundations for the future.
As part of a highly-regulated industry, ensuring compliance was also a big requirement for the company.
Again, Lowe felt the choice of Okta is beneficial as he would have access to all the necessary ISO standards and certifications that make compliance conversations easier.
“We need local regulatory bodies to sign-off, so you have to pay close attention to compliance factors while choosing your partner,”
“Making sure your compliance team is fully on board with the choices you make is essential, but in general, market leaders make certifications easier and having one login for all applications ensures you only need to certify a single system for all your needs.”
Lowe says the proof of concept with Okta was “very fast,” with confidence that implementation would work as required within just a few days.
His real challenge was operationalising across multiple systems, with the need to make careful decisions on how to choose the best unique identifiers for customers when both phone numbers and email addresses are potentially shared by some couples.
As many traditional customer interactions were conducted on paper, the company might even have to contact customers individually to confirm their contact details before committing certain identifiers into the system.
That’s a large project if you’re talking about a million or more customers.
Boosting success with Okta Professional Services
While considering these questions on a system-by-system basis, Lowe brought in Okta Professional Services to assist in the execution process alongside his technology team.
“In all industries where time is of the essence, one has to weigh up the cost of acquiring knowledge versus the delay cost that might entail in not getting the right customer experience or not having the right product in market. We definitely wanted a booster to make sure we were not making avoidable mistakes,”
“It was a booster for my team too. My philosophy is to be surrounded by great technologists who love what they’re doing. Having Okta Professional Services to help get my team going also meant they absorbed a lot of knowledge and quickly became experts themselves.”
Singlife with Aviva eager to adopt passwordless login
With great strategic preparation and the boost from Okta Professional Services, Lowe says the migration and integration projects have moved faster than anticipated, and have been showing benefits in wider areas of the business.
One key success is a significant reduction in calls to the customer service center, as more customers can easily access self-service functions through the Singlife with Aviva app.
An ongoing expansion of self-service tools and FAQs is expected to continue to deliver great results on this KPI.
When considering factors like Net Promoter Score, Lowe shares that when digital identity is working as it should, it isn’t something people talk about.
But it really becomes a focus point when it does not. He goes on to share that the frequency of anecdotal stories of customers having problems with authentication is definitely going down.
As he thinks back on his desire to reduce stress for customers during potentially difficult times in their lives, Lowe suggests that Singlife with Aviva is eager to adopt passwordless login once the rest of the seamless single login integrations are complete.
“Passwords suck. It’s as simple as that,” says Lowe. “People lose them, or they get stolen. The more we can move away from passwords the better, and there’s now a host of possible solutions. It’s something I’m very keen to do.”
Hear Ned Lowe detail how Singlife with Aviva has tapped Okta to deliver a seamless, simplified login experience for all their customers.
The post Here’s How Okta Helped Singlife with Aviva Deliver a Seamless Login Experience appeared first on Fintech Hong Kong.