Practice ManagementTechnology

Technology brings business revolution

A business that does not integrate technology in its corporate strategy will not thrive in the coming revolution. Actually the revolution is already here. The Internet of Things, Big Data, wearable devices, autonomous cars, Blockchain, social media, robo advisors and telematics, these will be the future of business. If you don’t know what all these mean, then you’re not ready for the future.

Technology is changing the conservative way of doing business, Uber and AirBnB are good examples that we always hear about, the new revolution that has no boundary.

Insurance or the financial service providers in South Africa is one of the industries in the country that is still resistant to change and transformation and as the result, it is always playing catch up and many of them see this new technological revolution as disruption rather than opportunity.

Speaking at the 4th GIB Africa Alliance Conference held in Sandton, Kim Gallus from Genasys said insurers have to meet the changing customers’ needs with new offerings. She said ‘one size does not fit all’, and emphasized that insurers have to build personalized insurance solutions. Gallus said insurers should use software to leverage existing data, and analytics to generate risk insight. She said the software also help businesses with sophisticated operations capabilities.

The industry is currently under a regulatory reform and this will also bring new challenges and it comes with high costs as well, a concern for many financial service providers. Caroline da Silva from FSB said technology provides access and inclusion but dismissed the notion that the industry is under a tsunami of regulations.

Da Silva said the driver of regulation is the economic landscape, and have also ascertained that as the regulators, they will take consideration of the changing market landscape when drafting new regulations. She said the main reason South Africa was protected or was not highly impacted like the rest of the world during the 2008 global financial criss “is because our banks and insurers are well regulated.”  Regulations should protect the customers and help to resolve dispute and as well as educate customers, build confidence and trust. According to the Consumer Confidence Index, customers confidence and trust continues to drop over the years and regulators need to respond to these consumer trends.

In his thrilling presentation, Tony Webster talks about client retention and value proposition. He said the reason clients cancel their policies is because they are dissatisfied with the service or products. Webster said insurers can keep clients if they are able to resolve conflicts and they are proactive.

“Clients who are unable to see value in our products or service delivery are naturally more sensitive to pricing. More than half of clients are interested in value than price.” He advised that proactive vigilance is the effective method of client retention and that trust is the ingredient that bind client and service provider relationship.

Tracy McLaughlin warned that if the industry wants to be sustainable it has to embrace the culture of Generation Y as Baby Boomers are reaching retirement. Companies need to start hiring Generation Y to embrace and encourage knowledge sharing and mentorship across the generations, include reverse mentoring.

“We need to be interested in them, they are our future customers. “She said the culture and products insurance companies provide should be current and relevant.

Donald Makhafola

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