Ping An and AXA have transformed insurance in China and Singapore

In this series we’re looking at innovative ways that insurance companies can tap into the power and possibilities of open platforms. We’re asking what insurers can learn from open banking and how they can open up their business models.

In my previous post, I looked at the Dutch remote-sensing start-up VanderSat to explain how insurance-API partnerships yield strong benefits for clients and their customers.

In today’s post, I’ll explore two further case studies of insurance companies that are making waves in Asia with their open platforms: AXA and Ping An.

AXA invites trailblazing insurers to join its transactional API

AXA announced late last year that it’s become the first insurer in Asia to offer end-to-end insurance transactional APIs that will help realize its vision of “insurance as a service”. This is in response to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s call for players to publish open APIs to grow the region’s financial services and technology ecosystem.

The benefits of AXA’s innovative new open platform abound: insurers can provide customers with customized risk management as well as personalized, simplified, convenient insurance products. The API can plug into any digital ecosystem and insurers can use it for customer service, product distribution, claims management and more.

AXA’s API is currently available for home, travel and car insurance, with health and life offerings in the pipeline. AXA has partnered with SATS on the services provider’s Ready to Travel app for “seamless insurance coverage while you’re planning your trips”. This partnership demonstrates the value that APIs hold for the future of open insurance—making the customer experience akin to that which they have come to expect from tech giants like Google or Amazon.

In a press release, AXA’s Director of Digital Transformation, Tomasz Kurczyk, said: “Technology is the great enabler that allows organizations to better engage customers and APIs are the key to turning Insurance-as-a-Service into a reality by transforming the way people experience insurance—this is crucial for the future of the industry.”

Ping An’s Smart Insurance Cloud

I have written on a previous occasion about how Ping An is swiftly becoming China’s largest open internet finance platform. I explained that the Chinese company is a trailblazer in technology-driven financial services, and is currently in its 3.0 phase of development which includes an open platform and open marketplace approach to doing insurance. Ping An operates four ecosystems: financial services, health, auto services and real estate financial services.

In September last year, the carrier announced its new Smart Insurance Cloud as a complete financial services solution for the insurance industry. The Smart Insurance Cloud contains two open-source API solutions—Smart Authentication and Smart Claim—which Ping An has made available to all its partners in the insurance industry.

Writer Zarc Gin explains that the insurer now calls itself a “technology company with full financial services licences” and is fighting Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent for market share.

Gin further explains that Ping An’s Smart Authentication API covers insurance processes such as sales, after-sales, underwriting and claims, as well as customer service. Its Smart Claim API facilitates accurate photo recognition, quick loss assessment, accurate pricing and fraud detection.

I suggest reading the rest of the article for more examples of Chinese insurers that use cloud or open platforms.

So far, we’ve discussed innovative insurers that are growing and reshaping the landscape with API technologies. In my next post, I’ll conclude the discussion with a look at how Allianz and Lemonade are doing open insurance. Until then, download the open banking report or get in touch to find out how to apply the principles of open banking to insurance.

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