The Mobile Channel is the Next Paradigm for Distribution for Asian Insurers, says IDC Financial Insights
23 Aug 2012
Singapore and Hong Kong – August 23, 2012 – IDC Financial Insights' latest survey reveals that 60% of insurance customers across Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) use more than one interaction point to purchase their insurance policies, and the mobile channel is increasingly becoming more popular.
IDC Financial Insights observes that consumers today prefer to have a choice of interaction points and would not hesitate to switch insurers if their preferred channels are not available or operating efficiently. As such, insurers in Asia/Pacific are increasingly seeing the need to embrace a multichannel distribution policy as customers are demanding the convenience of having several touch points to interact 24x7.
"The advent of electronic channels and the emergence of a tech savvy consumer generation are radically changing the distribution strategies of insurers. Alternative distribution models -- predominantly the Web portal, and increasingly the mobile channel -- are being utilized to supplement (and in some instances, even replace) the traditional agency channel and cater to divergent buying preferences of policyholders," says Li-May Chew, Associate Research Director at IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific.
Chew continues, "With mobile telephony being one of the fastest-growing technologies and such devices becoming more commonplace and affordable in emerging countries like India and the Philippines vis-à-vis better Internet connectivity, insurers cannot choose to neglect the mobile distribution channel."
There are several ways in which mobile technology can assist insurers. This ranges from the most basic, such as the provision of timely information and promotions to policyholders through a mobile application, to what is commonly being offered now -- the convenience of self-service capabilities. Examples of self-service capabilities include the ability to submit requests, claims or complaints and receive acknowledgement; status updates via mobile devices; tracking of policies and premiums; performing fund switches; payment of premiums; and, resolving queries in real time using Web-enabled mobile handsets. More advanced features incorporate the option of multimedia communications (for instance, policyholders can submit on-the-spot digital photos to the workshop from vehicle accident sites to obtain same day repair cost estimates) and machine-to-machine technology such as telemetry that enables insurers to introduce pay-as-you-use policies."
Although the global proliferation of mobile devices and expansion of mobile networks are propelling the growth of the mobile channel and opening up another avenue for insurers to sell their policies, they are also posing new threats to carriers. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is invading the enterprise workspace and this brings about a host of potential information risk for the insurance sector; insurers today have to deal with not just their employees but also agents who are not under their payroll.
"Devices like the iPad and iPhone have unleashed a torrent of employees wanting to bring their own devices into the workplace, leaving IT departments with headaches around security and support," says Bryan Ma, Associate Vice President of Client Devices Research at IDC. "Fortunately, a large ecosystem of solutions has also emerged to help IT departments manage this new multi-OS multi-device environment."
To learn about the channel and distribution strategies that insurers are increasingly expanding and innovating around to cater to divergent buying preferences of policyholders, together with issues and challenges pertaining to technology transformations; governance, risk and compliance; and customer centricity, join us at IDC Financial Insights' Asian Insurance Congress (AIC) 2012.
About the Asian Insurance Congress (AIC) 2012
Organized by IDC Financial Insights, the AIC 2012 provides a platform for insurance practitioners from across Asia/Pacific to discuss the core business, operational, risk and technology issues that they are championing. Themed “The Insurers' New World Order: Adapting to Changing Times", the 2012 Congress features a panel of visionary speakers from highly-experienced industry practitioners and strategic partners to provide a holistic overview of the critical factors and change agents needed to sustain insurers’ competitive advantages, while adapting to the erratic business environment. For more information, please visit http://to.idc.asia/aic2012
About IDC Financial Insights
IDC Financial Insights assists financial service businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the banking, insurance, and securities and investments industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-fi.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 508-620-5533. Visit the IDC Financial Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/financial.
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