It's important to give your customers convenient yet secure ways to pay premiums for their life, health, home or auto insurance policies. Learn how insurance payment experiences are undergoing a transformation.
The insurance sector is no stranger to gauging risks - but it's facing one of its riskiest disruptions in recent history right now.
In the wake of the financial disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies had to scramble to launch on-demand and personalised risk-management offerings for individuals. On the other hand, for businesses, the need for business continuity cover, event-cancellation cover and pandemic insurance soared.
Beyond the pandemic, there are other long-term changes on the horizon. The global insurance market is undergoing massive transformation, largely driven by ‘digital first’ business models. After decades of paper and manual processing, AI, data analytics and other emerging technologies are leading this transformation.
Emerging insurtechs are also gaining traction. For established insurers, although advantaged with expertise and regulatory knowledge, it would be risky business to stay still.
To compete, insurance companies need to review their digitisation strategies and improve their customer experience. Payments sit at the heart of the customer journey and payment systems need to reflect the evolving requirements of today’s policyholder; from one-off claims through to recurring billing. Creating the right payment system for the right product is essential.
In this post we’ll look at how the technological winds of change are affecting the insurance sector - and how to avoid being left behind.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES INSURANCE COMPANIES FACE TODAY?
As digital touchpoints become more pervasive than human advisor interactions, it's important for insurers to strike the right balance between the two. According to an Accenture survey, almost 49% of respondents said they place more trust in a human insurance advisor over an automated service.
Another massive challenge is the emerging trend of usage-based insurance - for example: pay-as-you-drive or pay-as-you-travel. This means that in today's scenario, some insurance products are one-off or repeat, like travel insurance, but other products have a much more powerful lifespan. Life insurance, health insurance and home insurance are all examples of insurance policies that have the potential to last decades.
Customers may want to make one-time payments or spread payments out monthly or quarterly. They might want to pay online, bank transfer or over the phone. How they want to pay today might be different tomorrow. Meeting this anytime, anywhere expectation is essential.
Your customers are looking to protect their valuable assets quickly and easily. Traditional insurers are challenged to align their years of experience with new ways of reaching customers, policyholders, agents and partners. A global study from Accenture highlights 42% of insurance customers are willing to use computer-generated advice for buying insurance, viewing it as faster and much more convenient than talking to an agent.
Delivering a seamless experience
Creating cross-channel consistency, from branding through to payment options, can be challenging. Customers expect to receive the same access, branding and information across web, mobile and live interactions with a business. They’ll use different channels to research their preferred policies, and use another channel to pay - but the experience must be seamless.
Consumer-centric solutions are the best way to retain customers. The same global study by Accenture notes that 46% of insurance customers say high quality customer service drives their loyalty. To stand out from the competition and retain valuable, potentially lifelong customers, insurers must look to offer a simpler customer experience through convenience-focused features like recurring billing.
Digitising the claims process
The claims value proposition needs to go beyond traditional after-the-fact claims management. Ideally, the value proposition is serviced to customers via a connected, omnichannel customer experience and supported by super intuitive digital processes - like through a handy app. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many customers have switched to a digital-first way of life. Not many will revert to the traditional ways. The opportunity to make digital experiences and payments a part of the claims process is now bigger than ever.
INSURANCE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS TO BOOST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Meeting customer needs and expectations is the driving force behind going digital; intuitive navigation, clarity, an integration of information and options that feel personalised.
Deliver an omnichannel experience
Omnichannel is about creating consistency for consumers across your different channels; from branding through to personalised information. Digital transformation, coupled with omnichannel and personalisation, can help insurers deliver competitive advantages needed to increase the ‘stickiness’ of customer relationships.
Accept multiple premium payment methods
With 72% of Australians preferring to use digital payment methods, consumers want to use multiple payment types, including digital wallets, to get life admin done quickly. Consumers are comfortable completing more ‘serious’ purchases on their phones, too, like mortgages and holidays - all at the click of a button on a small screen.
Enable recurring billing
Providing subscription and recurring payments can effectively capture recurring revenue. Automating the billing process can help to retain customers as well as provide flexibility in how they pay. Greater freedom to pay insurance instalments may also help reduce the number of customer service calls you’ll have to deal with.
Fast transaction times
The insurance industry is getting busier and busier. Partnering with a payment processor that has the capability to process transactions quickly and securely will set your insurance company in good stead. Decreasing your load time and ensuring a good experience on your payments portal will also help resolve potential customer service tickets.
5 MUST-HAVE PAYMENT FEATURES FOR EVERY INSURANCE COMPANY
You’ll need a payment solution that lets policyholders pay in all sorts of different ways. Bambora are on hand to offer the very best in payments for the insurance sector. Let’s look at some of the features that will help grow your business.
Mobile SDK As consumers pay more and more on the go, buying and settling insurance policies anywhere at anytime is becoming the norm. Bambora’s easy mobile SDK integration enables businesses to create an in-app and mobile payment strategy.
Token Tokenisation works well for companies looking to offer subscription, repeat and recurring payments. Encrypted tokens are stored in Bambora’s PCI environment which allows customers to save their payment information and use ‘single click’ checkout for future transactions.
Contact Centre Solutions Bambora’s automated telephony system interacts with callers to provide simple billing solutions for customers who want to pay over the phone. Our platform is PCI compliant and comes with a couple of industry-leading features:
Audio tokenisation: Working with new technology, we can devalue spoken card data passed via the phone as soon as it enters your environment.
Quick product renewal: Customers can do even more with your policies. Make it easy for them to choose you again through simple payments processing.
Batch processing With Bambora, you can save time and cut costs by processing all your authorised transactions at the same time instead of treating them individually.
Direct Debit Our Direct Debit solution is easy to set up and enables businesses to accept one-off, repeat and recurring payments. The solution includes automated retry capability, easy chargeback management and multichannel support.
BAMBORA HELPS INSURANCE COMPANIES GROW
In the past, a consumer’s relationship with their insurance company often centred around their relationship with an individual agent. Now, insurance companies need to develop a personal connection with a customer via digital media. Digital technologies are transforming the industry right now - and it’s time to join the revolution.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how Bambora work with insurance companies, please get in touch.
About the author
Victoria Galloway has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.