Singlife with Aviva: Delivering a seamless, simplified login experience for all customers

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1.5 million

customers migrated to new unified financial services company

7 months

since merger, Okta integration has been “faster than anticipated”

1 million

logins migrated to SSO with Okta

  • Digitally transforming traditional systems
  • Simple integration with experienced partners
  • Driving room for innovation
  • Self-service empowerment
  • A password-free future
Digitally transforming traditional systems

With 1.5 million customers and an adviser network with unique requirements, there were many layers of authentication demands to be considered. The merger realised the need for a digital-native, mobile-first solution.

Simple integration with experienced partners

Singlife with Aviva wanted a market leading partner that would bring simple, seamless identity services to its merger process. Choosing an experienced global leader like Okta added confidence in meeting all regulatory requirements.

Driving room for innovation

With proof of concept taking just days to perform, the simple integration of Okta services saw Singlife with Aviva considering difficult questions on how best to align unique identifiers across a wide range of products and services. The right identity partner enabled more innovative thinking.

Self-service empowerment

With the rollout of the new merged platform, customers have access to self-service systems for easy requests, reducing the load on call centres. This also helps advisers reduce mundane paperwork as customers can now update addresses and other basic details for themselves.

A password-free future

While the platform offers help when customers are facing difficulties with logins, Singlife with Aviva aims to implement passwordless access in future to make access as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Simple integration with experienced partners

Hear Singlife with AVIVA Head of Engineering Ned Lowe detail how they are delivering a seamless, simplified login experience for all their customers.

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.

Ned Lowe, Head of Engineering, Singlife with Aviva

Singlife with Aviva: Delivering a seamless, simplified login experience for all customers

Insurance plays a vital role in people’s lives, but is an aspect that’s not often thought about until the need arises. However, when the day comes, people expect it to be ready to serve their needs with minimum stress.

"If you're making a claim on a life insurance policy, it might be a very difficult moment in your life," says Ned Lowe, Head of Engineering at Singlife with Aviva, a Singaporean financial services company. "Maybe you've just lost a loved one. We need to be very sensitive to the customer experience in that context. That's why making logins simple is an important hygiene factor for us."

Singlife with Aviva 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. The merger officially completed in January 2022, presenting the technology teams with the mammoth task of merging the digital native operation at Singlife, with the traditional insurance organisation at Aviva.

At Singlife, Lowe was CTO, and is now leading this critical integration project for the combined company in his Head of Engineering role. When it comes to identity management, there has been a lot more to do than just combine two sets of logins into a single organisation.

"We're merging a cloud-first, mobile-native operation with a more data centre 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," says Lowe.

"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."

Valuing the access needs of every user

It's more than just customers and staff for Singlife with Aviva. The company also works with a network of advisers who act as intermediaries for customers and the insurer. It's important to maintain the right system access and tools for advisers, but Lowe also sees ways to make their experience easier too. Giving advisers access to all their customers, showing them the right information, and allowing their clients to self-service when it comes to updating personal details and other basics, make general housekeeping tasks easier for everyone involved.

Lowe says he finds the interplay between these various channels the exciting part of his work, with opportunities for new experiences and new data intelligence to emerge through smarter customer analytics. But when it comes to managing the identity and access management systems, he felt 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," shares Lowe.

Driving business decisions with secure technology

Across the board, 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 regulated industry, ensuring compliance was also a big question 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," he says. "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 carefully make decisions on how to choose the best unique identifiers for customers when both phone numbers and email addresses are potentially shared by some couples. When many traditional customer interactions have been conducted on paper, it can potentially even take contacting customers to confirm details are accurate before committing certain identifiers into the system. That's a large project if you're talking about a million customers or more.

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," he says.

"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."

Keeping customers top of mind for future success

With great strategic preparation and this 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 centre, 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 achieve great results on this KPI.

When considering factors like Net Promoter Score, Lowe shares that when 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 at what can be a difficult time 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."

About Singlife with Aviva

Singlife with Aviva is a leading homegrown financial services company offering consumers a better way to financial freedom. Through innovative, technology-enabled solutions and a wide range of products and services, Singlife provides consumers control over their financial wellbeing at every stage of their lives. 

In addition to a comprehensive suite of insurance plans, employee benefits, partnerships with financial adviser channels and bancassurance, Singlife offers investment solutions through its dollarDEX and Navigator platforms. The mobile-first Singlife Account – with a Singlife Debit Card – allows customers to save, spend, earn and be insured all in one app. 

First announced in September 2020 and valued at S$3.2 billion, the merger of Aviva Singapore and Singlife was the largest insurance deal in Singapore at the time and created one of the largest homegrown financial services companies in the republic. Singlife is an official signatory of the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance, affirming its commitment to finding a better way to sustainability.