Mobile technology: how it’s redefining insurance business

Mobile technology: how it’s redefining insurance business | Insurance Business America

Mobile technology: how it’s redefining insurance business
Mobile technology is far more than an emerging consumer channel. It represents a fundamental shift for all organizations and has far reaching ramifications that will disrupt traditional business models, provide new sources of data and insight, impact customer loyalty, and drive bottom-line results.
 
There is little doubt that consumer adoption of mobile products and services will continue to grow exponentially. Mobile is changing how we interact with each other, what we expect as consumers, and how we work. Consider the facts:
  • The average mobile phone user checks their phone 150 times a day.
  • 85% of adults expect a mobile transaction experience to be better than when they use a laptop or personal computer.
  • 81% of employed adults use at least one personal mobile device over the course of their day to accomplish a wide range of work activities.
Marketplace data has identified five key trends, which have strong implications for the future of mobile:
  1. People are using mobile devices as their primary channel to complete a transaction and that can mean anything from shopping to seeking a service, searching for information or completing a task.
  2. However, data also shows that often enterprises are not meeting peoples’ expectations. Clearly the mobile experience must transcend any single type of device with attention to design and usability being paramount.
  3. As consumers increasingly use their mobile devices to complete transactions, vast amount of data are being collected – data that when analyzed provides valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences that could not be gleaned any other way.
  4. Mobile is not just about devices like phones and tablets. It’s about technology becoming more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent with mobile at the convergence of these digital realities.
  5. Finally, mobile is not just about business to consumer interactions. Increasingly it is playing a key role within the enterprise to increase productivity, reduce costs and keep back office functions secure.

For enterprises just starting out on their mobile journey, there are many misconceptions.

Often mobile is treated as a supplementary transaction channel to an existing enterprise infrastructure, or an extra way to connect, or yet another way to provide product and service information. This kind of thinking misses the transformative potential of mobile to: empower your workforce to execute their day-to-day activities anytime, anywhere; improve internal processes; reach out to customers more effectively; and reduce costs while increasing sales.

With insurance, mobile is key in helping organizations transform the overall consumer experience. In fact, new mobile capabilities – like location-based services that enable targeted retail promotions; new payment structures that turn the mobile device into a digital wallet, and mobile applications that measure driving behaviour – allow insurers to build customer value, generate loyalty and regain trust. (IBM Institute for Business Study, 2013).
 
To fully tap the capabilities of mobile requires applications that link an insurance company’s core business processes across all lines of business with the big data and analytics that drive these critical work flows and can be further transformed using cognitive computing.

New solutions are being developed like Risk Inspect – an app that allows underwriters to price profitable businesses faster and more accurately. Another example is a Retention app that gives insurance professionals the tools they need to exceed their customers’ expectations. Agents receive timely, prioritized alerts about the status of their customer’s accounts helping them better deliver excellent customer service and timely follow-up.

Mobility is not simply a passing fad and while there are always risks associated with using new technologies, there are more risks in not taking advantage of mobile with ever increasing customer adoption rates and expectations, coupled with new emerging competitors who are achieving results in the mobile space.

Contributed by: Christine Haeberlin, Business Development Executive, Insurance, IBM Canada, and Christian Corso, Global Business Services Partner, IBM Canada