A case study in ecosystem power plays: how Ping An is making all the right moves

In my previous blog post, I spoke about the importance of ecosystem power plays and how building sound partnerships with digital platforms will enhance the future of your firm as well as the insurance sector as a whole.

In this post, I’ll discuss Ping An as a case study of ecosystem power plays.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China was established in 1988 in the city of Shenzhen. Since its inception, it has been a forward-thinking organization, hailed as the first insurer in China to adopt a shareholding structure.

Today the company aims to become the leading global provider of personal financial and life services. Ping An is currently in the “3.0” era of its development as a firm, with a focus on “open platform” and “open marketplace” to further its goals. The words “ping an” mean “safe”; the company strongly believes that a better life is achievable through technology-driven financial services.

Ping An consists of four business segments: insurance, banking, investment and Internet finance. Ping An Insurance has four lines of business: life, P&C, annuities and health insurance.

Here we find an interesting partnership and a good example of an ecosystem power play: Discovery’s Vitality program has partnered with Ping An Health. Ping An Health Vitality encourages a healthier lifestyle through the interactive rewards program.

Ping An’s traditional finance business has acquired 90 million customers over the past 27 years. In the next phase of its development, through its myriad Internet finance services, it aims to be a “one-stop shop” for its customers and to become a wealth manager, health advisor and life assistant, all in one. It is no surprise then that its Internet finance business has acquired 200 million users in only three years and has 18 million users a month.

The company hopes that its Total One Account (TOA) will become the largest open Internet finance platform in China. It’s recognized that customers find it difficult to manage accounts, wealth and documents and to procure a loan. TOA will address these challenges through four value propositions: account management, wealth management, credit management and life-related services.

Ping An’s TOA provides three services to help customers manage their wealth: self-service, consultation and robo-advice. TOA’s wealth-management platform already helps 10 million users a month to achieve financial wellbeing.     

Through this case study, I’ve illustrated how Ping An has built digital ecosystems that add value to the firm and its customers. Through strategic partnerships and a platform-based business model, it is leading the pack when it comes to transformation in financial services on a global scale.

Other insurers can learn from Ping An’s innovative approach to digital ecosystems. The Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017 predicts that:

  • In five years, the majority of customers will be buying goods or services through digital intermediaries;
  • 80 percent of S&P 500 firms will be engaged in multiple industry ecosystems; and
  • In seven years, an industry leader of today will have transformed to become an ecosystem company spanning multiple markets.

In my next post, I will look at another case study in ecosystem power plays—Tune Protect Insurance.

 To read more about ecosystem power plays and the five trends identified by Accenture, download the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017. You should also find our report on insurance ecosystems interesting.

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