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Pakistan: 3G/4G Can Transform the Insurance Sector
Source: dailytimes.com.pk
Source Date: Monday, December 26, 2016
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Pakistan
Created: Dec 26, 2016

There is a vast potential for insurers to cater to evolving customer demands, as rising 3G/4G penetration in the country has paved the way fro insurance companies to offer services through mobile applications, said Arshad Iqbal, deputy general manger, head of life operations at EFU Life Assurance Limited. In Pakistan, with the advent of 3G/4G technology, the number of mobile Internet users has risen sharply over the past couple of years, while out of the total broadband subscribers; a majority of them use Internet services on their cell phones."I feel that the most useful utilisation of this technology (3G/4G) is an app that can provide clients with handy access to all relevant pieces of information relating to their policies. The app should ensure that they (users) can immediately access all policy related information any time anywhere on live basis", he said.Making suggestions and recommendations in the latest annual report of the Federal Insurance Ombudsman Pakistan, Iqbal stated that the concept of up-selling and cross-selling via online mediums should be adopted by insurance companies to ensure that the concept of insurance penetrates well into the market, and that individuals find it easy and quick to buy insurance policies.He said that ease of paying premium could be provided by introducing new payment solutions that should aim at easing the process of premium collection via credit cards by accepting the payment anywhere - even at clients' doorstep. Despite a large number of mobile users in the country, only 12 to 15 percent avail conventional banking options, which means that a large chunk of people are out of the financial net. "This situation creates a huge market for branchless banking or mobile banking," he added.

"Introduction of payment via easypaisa provides easy means of transferring and receiving money without availing conventional banking options and can be utilised by insurance industry for transfer of premiums. Point of Sale (PoS) is yet another development that could be capitalised by the insurance companies. The POS will allow insurance companies to issue policies right away. Introduction of the POS will save time for all parties involved."He continued: "In this regard, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA)'s biometric access control system will allow the insurance industry to have a high level of security and quick respond to likely frauds at the time of claim settlement.""Further, insurance companies can also take benefit from big data analytics to uncover market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information. This will in turn provide us the opportunity to carry out more effective and targeted marketing. Social media can also be utilised to gather customer-related information and their feedback to improve services.""To ensure that everyone in the country has the benefit of life insurance, micro-insurance can be our future. Keeping in mind the economic situation of our country, micro-insurance will aid low-income class by offering insurance plants tailored to their needs," concluded Iqbal.

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