World at a Glance - 2Q17

The evolution of product development revolves around distribution capabilities, new innovations, and targeted consumer segments. The global insurance landscape is changing rapidly. Demographic shifts and the increased connectivity and popularity of social media require insurers to become more mobile-friendly and tech-savvy to meet customer needs. With an estimated 4.3 billion mobile phone users worldwide (2016), mobile distribution opportunities are plentiful.

Increasingly, insurers are recognizing the need to adopt and integrate new mobile and digital technologies into their bancassurance business models. Mobile distribution can enhance productivity and process capabilities to attract the next generation of consumers, who require more self-service options; at the same time, mobile distribution can also improve satisfaction among existing customers, strengthening their relationships with insurers. Mobile apps can facilitate insurers’ ability to gather consumer information; insurers benefit from an improved process of analyzing and understanding customer needs, while increasing brand awareness. This customer data aids in the development of customized products for the mobile channel.

Leveraging social media via mobile apps can further enrich customer engagement and increase customer satisfaction. Monitoring social media helps insurers understand consumer behavior, address complaints, improve service models, and build relationships. Robust customer relationship management can be achieved through intuitive customer views supported with analytics, deal aggregation, upselling, loyalty services, and location-based offers that promote sales.

In China, Taikang Life collaborated with social media platform WeChat to attract new customers through an insurance-linked gifting program known as “Wei Huzhu”, offered to WeChat’s more than 700 million active users. Customers can purchase (micro) cancer insurance while friends or other WeChat users can donate online to increase a customer’s coverage to the maximum sum assured of the product.

Mobile distribution is proving to be a significant, growing trend for the insurance industry. Customers are increasingly driven by easy-to-access products that are targeted, simplified, and personalized for their particular needs based on the application of data and behavioral analytics. Mobile technology helps facilitate the development and distribution of such products. Moving forward, implementing a successful mobile strategy will be a key differentiator in an increasingly competitive bancassurance landscape.

RGA examines the connection between the importance of product development and distribution in the article, Mobile Distribution: New Technology, Social Media, and the Impact on Bancassurance.