A primer on the customer journeys we will show the insurance industry at DIA Munich.
So I’m from Holland. More importantly, my company is from Holland, where we are pretty far along with digitalization in general - and payments in particular. Automatic recurring direct debit for most biller relationships, and iDEAL as the great success story for individual real-time online payments from any participating bank on the Dutch market. Both have been around for many years.
As AcceptEasy, we have always stressed the channels, messages and interactions around those payments, pushing iDEAL beyond webshops and into email, SMS, portals and chat for invoices, reminders and other use cases. And that is where the action is happening in insurance as well – in the Netherlands, but just as applicable to insurers elsewhere.
At the DIA conference in Munich (Germany) we showcased three real-world scenarios. They essentially reflect where brands can be in their digital transformation as it relates to payments. Or more accurately, where their customers might be.
The past: digital adoption
If small and highly digitalized Holland still has millions of customer relationships for which the biller only has a physical address, you can imagine the numbers for other countries. The result: large customer bases you can’t reach with your smart digital products and communications. High costs, missed opportunities, slow processes, no data, and that’s before you get to resulting payment problems like late and wrong payments.
Those paper bills however can be the entry ticket to get those customers started on their, and your, digital journey. Instead of waiting blindly for money to make it to a bank account, insurers can start getting real-time confirmation of perfect payments that bring convenience to customers. And while those customers experience that convenience, registering a digital address becomes a small step instead of a giant leap. But a giant leap it is, especially for an insurer who can see bill pay cycles cut from days to minutes. Who can start tracking the status of each message and payment in real-time. Who can personalize and optimize communications based on that behavioral data.
The present: cross-channel service
While paper is paper, digital is many things. Insurers invest heavily in building their own communication channels like their portal, their app and their site. Consumers in the meantime may still prefer channels they already have and use, like email, text and chat. All of them have merit. Consumers expect you not only to be wherever they prefer, but also to deliver perfect service whenever they see fit. This means not just choice, but also consistency and transparency across those channels.
A very common scenario with our insurance clients is that bills are sent by email while a live copy is placed in the portal and/or the mobile app (also to offer an archiving function). The bill is directly payable from any of those instances, also when the email gets forwarded to someone else. After a few days, a reminder via (SMS) text might follow while the Customer Contact Center also gets a copy and can offer the same payment request via WhatsApp, Messenger or other channels.
Wherever and whenever the customer pays, all instances should immediately reflect that. Customers are busy people, many have partners, few like administrative chores. If my wife happens to be in the portal and pay our bill, the email version in my inbox should reflect that and no longer be payable. Omnichannel should not just be multiple channels; channels should be in sync.
The future: instant micro-coverage
With the masses now safely aboard your digital omnichannel ship, we can turn our attention to the elusive digital natives. The coveted millennial-and-younger demographic who give you ten seconds before moving on. Who want right-sized insurance offerings for their diverse and changing lives. And who are sick of downloading yet-another-app for anything, let alone for another insurance brand.
For them we enable the payment and messaging portions of instant micro-coverage. From the insurer’s onboarding page, the consumer only needs to leave an email address and authorize a one-off payment. After that, the magical AcceptEasy email with its patented technology becomes a dynamic bill, proof of coverage and the vehicle to easily stop coverage again. Payment for the exact right amount then happens automatically in the background, much like getting out of the (by now almost proverbial) Uber ride. Sounds and looks simple, but that’s the goal of elegant technology solutions.
So if you’re going to DIA, be sure to attend our Show & Tell on Thursday morning and find us at our booth throughout the day. Find us in the Bizzabo event app to get in touch!
If you can’t make it, we’ll be glad to give you a private demo of these and other capabilities.