Technological innovation is one of our growth drivers here at Legal & General. Why? Because technology solutions increase security, improve the way we work and live – something that has been especially important recently as we and others have transitioned to working from home – and, crucially, how we access information, all of which provides a fairer and more inclusive society.
Studies have shown that extending traditional financial services to low-income households and small businesses goes hand in hand with increasing economic growth1 and decreasing income inequality,2 yet it’s not uncommon for these demographics to miss out on access to traditional financial institutions altogether. Some 1.7 million people globally remain ‘unbanked’.3 But with 87% of all adults in Great Britain using the internet daily,4 taking financial services online through technological advances and innovation makes these services more accessible to the wider population, putting people in control of their financial futures.
While many financial institutions were already providing digital offerings, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards an increasingly digital landscape. “Coronavirus has propelled us forward,” explains Robert Jamieson, Legal & General’s Group Chief Digital & Technology Officer. Since lockdown began in March 2020, we have seen a 69% increase in customer use of our self-service logins as we’ve evolved our digital services. Customers are now choosing to complete quote applications, access documents, nominate beneficiaries online and update their profiles online. Customer enquiries, meanwhile, went from 10,500 for the whole of 2019 to 83,000 in the first six months of 2020, almost 24,000 of which were related to Covid-19 (read more about these figures here).
“The key things to come from the pandemic have been the move to digitally-enhanced collaboration and an increasing number of people engaging online. Some of our other digital tools have seen 80% increases in traffic.”
At the same time, we know that not all of our customers feel comfortable using digital services, so we’ve maintained a post room service for those who do not have access to digital channels. By opening up digital access while keeping more traditional services alive, we’re increasing financial resilience for our customers. So while there is always more to be done, we’re learning that digital transformation encourages people to engage with and take control over their financial futures. We’re learning that, as long we don't lose touch with those who lack digital access, digital transformation creates a more inclusive society. What's more, we’ve partnered with Co-Op Legal Services to help customers access a Lasting Power of Attorney at a discounted rate so they can rest assured their money can be accessed by the right people for when they need a helping hand. (Read more about financial inclusion in our CSR report.)