Customer satisfaction is the golden thread that unites all these examples of insurance innovation, thus once again proving the point that digital transformation is all about achieving customer-centricity.

Another example of a banking innovation that can be used to inspire an insurer is KBank’s use of the LINE communication app to reach consumers. Changes in Facebook policy had reduced the effectiveness of this social media platform, so KBank used the wildly popular LINE app, which allows free voice calls and messages (rather like WhatsApp or WeChat), to open up communication with the broader market. It used popular cartoon characters— Brown & Cony—on LINE to good effect in both the digital and real worlds, particularly to promote the launch of its upgraded mobile banking app. This tactic achieved startling results, gaining a social media audience of 2.6 million in a single day—and increasing downloads of the mobile app by 15 percent a month. A year later, KBank has over 9 million users, and spawned many imitators.

Fidelidade, a Portuguese insurer, is using digital technologies effectively by providing a secure portal through which business customers can manage their entire portfolio of insurance policies. The company also uses this channel to share useful statistics and other information to help clients manage their risk profiles more effectively.

I was also particularly impressed by the way in which DenizBank from Turkey is using voice-recognition technology to enable users of its mobile app (who don’t need to be bank customers) to withdraw money from the nearest ATM. I wonder whether voice recognition could not also be used to make it easier for insurance customers to access services, make claims and even spend loyalty points. The telco industry is also increasingly combining artificial intelligence and voice interfaces, and this combination can certainly be applied at scale in our own industry: sometime in the future, it may be that insurers will contribute to customers’ driving experience through apps that provide voice alerts and guidance about driving behaviors.

Finally, let me refer to the example of South Africa’s Discovery, which set out to change the way insurance works. Having begun in the health insurance sector, Discovery now is a fully-fledged provider of a range of financial services. The basic—and highly disruptive—principle behind its phenomenal growth is to incentivize members to manage their health and lifestyle better and so score lower premiums, along with a wide variety other benefits. To do this, Discovery has partnered with a growing range of non-insurers like gyms (for reduced membership fees) and supermarkets (to earn discounts and loyalty points for buying healthy foodstuffs)—this program is called Vitality. In the process it has integrated itself into its customers’ lives with astonishing success—and has been able to use the insights it’s gained to develop a raft of other products and services.

Discovery recently announced a scheme to incentivize users to link wearable health devices to Vitality by providing up to 25 percent cashback on selected devices, and loyalty points for workouts undertaken wearing a linked health device.[1] The group also concluded a strategic partnership with Cambridge Mobile Telematics to enhance its push to promote safer driving, “with exceptional results for both our clients and the company,” in the words of CEO Adrian Gore.[2]

Discovery shows how a customer-focused orientation creates a virtuous cycle by setting up a stream of valuable data that can be used to improve, expand and personalize the offering. As such, it’s a great example of the Tailor-Made model.

There are many more examples I could give of insurance innovation but it’s time to move on to some exciting new research, the Accenture Digital Innovation Survey. My next blog series will look at what this research tells us about where insurers are in their drive to digitally transform.

For more information, download our recent paper, Double the profits: How insurers can create business value from digital transformation. For more on the case for digital transformation, read the Accenture 2013 Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey. You might also find Four capabilities insurers need on the journey to digital mastery and high performance useful background reading.

[1] http://www.mynewsdesk.com/za/discovery-holdings-ltd/pressreleases/funding-wearable-health-1058610

[1] http://www.mynewsdesk.com/za/discovery-holdings-ltd/pressreleases/funding-wearable-health-1058610

[2] http://www.mynewsdesk.com/za/discovery-holdings-ltd/pressreleases/discovery-insure-concludes-partnership-with-leading-us-technology-firm-1044507

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