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#BizTrends2020: Mobile-first generation is driving the financial services industry

With unprecedented technological advances and shifting customer and employee expectations, the South African insurance landscape is set to keep changing.
Berniece Hieckmann, Business of Tomorrow strategies, Metropolitan
It has been said that if you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more. This is true for the financial services industry where large insurance companies must continue to move with the changes in consumer needs and behaviour or risk being left behind.

The digital transformation of the industry has forced companies to make the shift from simple digitisation – typical of the Third Industrial Revolution – and improve the way of business by harnessing the full potential of the combined technologies, which is typical of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This move is compelling insurance companies to re-evaluate the way they conduct business. Digitalisation opportunities for businesses are layered. They are not only about selling products directly to clients through digital channels, but some of the massive opportunities presented by technological evolution are “under the hood” of the business.

New generation clients


There is no doubt that the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, the internet of things (IoT) and behavioural analytics will continue to play a major role in shaping the industry. These technologies have led to insurers providing consumers with a new-generation of digital products and lifestyle apps.

South Africa’s emerging market is a mobile-first generation who expect ease of access, convenience, simplicity and efficiency. That said, they have affordability constraints in a market that is characterised by low growth and high unemployment. This generation needs real solutions and outcomes for every life stage, as opposed to a one-size product. They are also looking for value for money.

While brands matter to millennials and Generation Zs, these demographics have a high need to be respected. They are a rising force in South Africa and advocates of Afro-futurism and community centricity.

We also know that culture and tradition are important drivers for insurance, and that our clients value personalisation.

With data and analytics driving policy personalisation, this can include personalised product pricing that is tailored to an individual’s exact needs. This level of personalisation was not previously possible as, without the assistance of modern digital capabilities, personalisation of solutions came at a high level of cost and complexity.

With this determined shift towards delivering personalised insurance solutions, the end result is that the policy holder will benefit and be firmly placed at the heart of our business – exactly where they should be.

About the author

Berniece Hieckmann is aresponsible for Metropolitan's Business of Tomorrow strategies.
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