Johannesburg, South Africa, May 14, 2019 -- Standard Bank has recently launched short-term insurance chatbot together with new online functionality for wealth clients.
Deepesh Thomas has been appointed as the new Digital Head of Standard Bank Wealth to drive the ongoing digital transformation journey. He joins from Liberty where he was the CEO of Liberty’s Centre of Excellence and was responsible for developing and managing the fast-growing insuretech business unit within Liberty Short-Term. Liberty sold the technology platform which supports its short-term insurance business to Standard Bank in March this year.
"Apart from eliminating duplication of roles, unique digital capabilities can be used in the wider Standard Bank Group, as well as from the broad Liberty broker network," explains Thomas.
He says Standard Insurance Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, is on a journey to develop its digital capabilities and this includes leveraging what has already been built for Liberty to ultimately allow for a new channel for customers to access solutions.
"Standard Insurance is enhancing the value of insurance by reducing friction through digitisation by leveraging the cloud and using better personal risk assessment. The end consumer will feel our impact through the solutions we provide in the insurance value chain."
Chatbot capabilities already engage with customers and perform end-to-end fulfilment on digital channels.
"We have also built a referral portal to allow our advisers to refer their leads to our platform, for fulfilment via our chatbot or the call centre. Since our technology stack is fully integrated with our call centre, our omni-channel capabilities give the customer the ability to switch between engagement channels with ease and low friction," says Thomas.
The innovations are in full swing and will be rolled out in phases. Call centre quoting and fulfilment and app-based telematics are set for the second quarter of this year. Full digitised quoting, fulfilment and claims are planned for later in the year.
Live data points will be analysed to understand customer behaviour to provide informed insight for improved product development. Telematics, for instance, will gather information regarding customers to allow for better risk management and reward.
"Buying a short-term insurance product through our bot within 8 minutes without having to talk to a call centre agent is changing the face of insurance. This would previously have taken around half an hour to achieve and then also during office hours – the "bot" never sleeps and so this functionality is available 24/7. It enhances customer experience by giving them more control," says Thomas.
There is also no legacy drawback at all as this new functionality was built from scratch and so it was fully built in the Cloud, using Microsoft Azure. "Full cloud deployment removes limitations of infrastructure capacity and performance and going forward we will continue to accelerate innovation and digital delivery through integration with best-of-breed cloud services and API’s," says Thomas.
"Our technology backbone enables us to build out numerous exciting solutions –we will not stop on our journey of delivering exceptional client experiences," concludes Thomas.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Standard Bank:
Standard Bank has a 153-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise in the rest of Africa in the early 1990s. We currently operate in 18 countries on the African continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets. Standard Bank Insurance Brokers is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Standard Bank of South Africa
Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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