CONSUMERS can now choose their preferred financial planner using a new online service by insurer NTUC Income - in a process not unlike online dating.
The service, called Adviser Connect (www.income.com.sg/ AdviserConnect/index.html), on the insurer's revamped website was officially launched yesterday.
Consumers can search for and then select a financial planner based on criteria such as age group and interests.
They can then start an online chat anonymously with the financial planner, without having to leave contact details.
When they are comfortable with the financial planner, they can choose to leave their contact details for a follow-up session.
Mr Marcus Chew, NTUC Income's senior vice-president of strategic marketing and communications, told The Straits Times: "This is a way for us to close the gap between our customers and agents, who don't have to go 'hunting'.
"The insurance industry is such that agents hunt for customers, but now (customers) can hunt for an agent instead in their own time."
He added that part of the inspiration came from dating app Tinder. When the right match is made, "it's the agent's role to court the consumer".
Since NTUC Income's website was relaunched on April 1, about 1,000 unique users have clicked on the search function to look for a suitable financial planner, resulting in more than 400 online chats.
Mr Chew said the average response time has been about 1.3 minutes and the average chat duration is nearly 12 minutes.
There are about 200 financial planner profiles on Adviser Connect and Mr Chew expects all of the insurer's agents - about 1,000 of them - to be on the platform in three months.
The new online service cost about $100,000 to set up. It complements insurance Web portal compareFIRST, which allows consumers to compare similar life insurance products across a range of insurers at a glance.
Mr Chew said: "We can use digital services to close the gap with bigger insurers and we are likely to see productivity per agent increase."
The insurance industry is such that agents hunt for customers, but now (customers) can hunt for an agent instead in their own time.
- Mr Marcus Chew, NTUC Income's senior vice-president of strategic marketing and communications
The Straits Times / Money Published on Friday, 10 April 2015