Scotland’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation visits fintech Origo

Blog written by Anthony Rafferty Managing Director at Origo.

Origo was delighted this week to welcome Ivan McKee, Scotland’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation to our Edinburgh headquarters.

He visited to talk about the work we do on behalf of the UK financial services industry, in particular to see a demonstration of our world-leading solution for the Pensions Dashboard and to hear about the important work being developed in Scotland to make the Pensions Dashboard a reality.

The purpose of the Pensions Dashboard is to find and display an individual’s pension savings on one screen and is intended to encourage people to engage with and, where appropriate, take action on their retirement income planning.

In his official comment on the visit, Mr McKee pointed out that Scotland is

a highly competitive business location, with investment built around the quality of our research and innovation as well as the skills of our workforce.”

He added:

“Origo looks set to reinforce our reputation as a centre of excellence for financial services and FinTech by transforming the sector’s operating efficiencies. This includes the introduction of their Pensions Dashboard which will allow members of workplace pension schemes to see all of their pension savings at the same time in one private, secure place.”

At Origo, we are excited by the potential for Pensions Dashboard to not only benefit millions of consumers and potentially improve their financial outcomes, but also to help to drive further innovation in the pensions market by facilitating an open pensions environment.

We have been at the heart of the Dashboard project since its announcement in 2014, responsible for helping develop and prototype the core technology – the Pension Finder Service – and we were selected to provide a prototype to the HM Treasury sponsored Pensions Dashboard Prototype Project, which was the project managed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

More recently we provided input to the Department for Work & Pensions’ Feasibility Study and we have continued to develop the technological solution to an advanced state of readiness – testing to an anticipated 15 million users, for example.
Our remit from our foundation in 1989 (making us one of the UK’s longest established FinTechs in Scotland and the UK) has been to improve the financial services industry's operating efficiencies, lowering costs for market participants and improving outcomes for consumers.

In this respect we work collaboratively with government, other industry bodies as well as product providers, platforms, financial advisers, portals and software suppliers, to find new ways to cut costs and make processes more efficient.

Other industry-critical work we have carried out, for example, has enabled significant reduction in the amount of time it takes to transfer pensions (from c.50 working days to an average of 11 calendar days) and ISAs, as well as delivering and servicing digital IDs for 8 out 10 financial advisers in the UK.

The Minister met staff around the building and we talked also about Origo’s aspirations for the future of FinTech in Scotland and the UK, which we believe is very bright indeed.