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All aboard the technology train

31 October 2019 editor@fanews.co.za

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has catapulted the financial services industry into a world that was unknown to it a mere five years ago.

Clients are becoming more demanding and their expectations are high when it comes to engagements with brokers and insurers. In order to cater for these increased demands, insurers have had to rely heavily on technology. 

FAnews spoke to Tial Technologies, Thryve, Genasys Technologies, and iPlatform who contributed to our Broker, UMA and insurer administration systems Digimag to find out more about the growing importance of these systems. 

Increased demands
Riaan Bekker, Force Solutions Manager at Thryve, says that there is a definite increased demand when it comes to clients who expect their brokers to be available 24 hours a day seven days a week to answer queries. 

“It’s about access to information and creating context. Brokers need to juggle a dizzying array of data points that are connected in certain ways to match a customer’s point of view. This is the minimum of what a modern administration system should offer,” said Bekker. 

He adds that, to make a broker’s life easier, more can be done. Data can be used in better ways to help spot trends or predict events, contextualised to a customer profile. Access to information can be much easier, such as on a mobile device, and more secure. 

“In technology jargon, this is called a platform. A singular yet malleable system that is very connected, secure and adaptable. Administration platforms in the modern sense assists brokers in making their lives easier while still meeting customer expectations,” says Bekker. 

More control please
Clients are also demanding more control and more self-service options when it comes to their policies. Thomas Kieck, Business Development Director at Tial Technologies points out that this is where technology can show its true value. 

“In today’s always-on world, and with ever-increasing demands for access to information at all times, it is essential that systems provide the client with access to pertinent and relevant information at times and via mechanisms that are most convenient to the client,” says Kieck. 

He adds that the broker can utilise the omni-channel environment to not only reduce costs by reducing their administrative burden but to use the contact points with the client to ensure quality interactions, ensuring better perceived customer service levels and can also use the interaction to provide possible sales opportunities to the client specific to the current interaction. This will alleviate frustration and aggravation. 

It's all about the client

One of the biggest demands currently placed on insurers is that clients want individuality. 

Craig Olivier, Head: Sales & Business Development Genasys Technologies, says that the goal is for administration systems to integrate into sources of Big Data to decision making. “This allows for a simple customer journey and makes use of various lookups to suggest vehicles registered to them, and address information. This ensures data is more accurate and streamlines the new business process. Additional data enrichment strategies include credit scores to understand risk better together with the vetting of proposed clients and checking sanction lists,” says Olivier. This will possibly allow insurers to individualise products.

Costs is one of the biggest influences of the value that an insurer offers clients. To improve operational efficiencies,  insurers are relying heavily on software administration systems to take care of the administrative burden. 

“In an ideal world, insurance administration systems should take care of all the mundane tasks, create well designed workflows that trigger events and correspondence which will help to always keep the customer in the loop. This will proactively manage client expectations,” says Olivier. 

Relevance is key

The above demands are key when it comes to the increased relevance that brokers and insurers need to play in the lives of their clients. Technology needs to be updated as often as business and distribution models. 

Joel Rothman, Head of Product at iPlatform says insurance administration systems are integral to many insurance business's operations and so do not change very often. “Most of the current administration systems in South Africa have been operational for five to ten years and may continue for many more years if the system provider continuous to keep the systems relevant to needs,” says Rothman, adding that technology is changing all the time and it is important for system providers to avoid chasing the latest technology for technology's sake, but to find ways to implement newer technologies to the extent that it adds value to their clients. 

“Every few years, a large shift occurs in the world of technology such as the increased adoption of cloud based services. System providers may adopt different strategies in migrating to these new waves of technology. This may be building out entirely new offerings from scratch or in migrating modules and functionality to newer technologies over time. However, failing to take action will result in customer attrition,” says Rothman. 

Writer’s Thoughts:
If costs are the biggest determinant when it comes to value, technology (and the adoption thereof) is becoming the single biggest determinant of relevance. Be sure to look out for more insights about software administration platforms by clicking here to view or download our Broker, UMA and insurer administration systems Digimag. Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts editor@fanews.co.za.

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