Evolving Finance Technology In The Insurance Industry

Evolving Finance Technology In The Insurance Industry

Kedar Patki, Chief Financial Officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited, 0

Extremely well versed in Planning & Budgeting, Strategy, Accounting, Tax, Management, Offshoring and Insurance and completed Chartered Accountant (ACA) from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

In the last decade or so, the BFSI segment of the industry has seen fair amount of technology-led changes and embraced disruption. The influx of technology in Finance has been a pivotal and game-changing for the industry, helping it evolve and re-invent its services. This has also brought about a revolutionary change in financial reporting and business environments. The current amplification of the new digital way of doing business and advanced analytics is now the norm across industries.

The use of financial data analysishas contributed to growth by opening new avenues and opportunities. While financial reporting and accounting has been automated for quite some time now, advanced financial data analysis has transformed how companies look at data and identify ways to manage key controls in performing financial functions. Today, analytics is the buzzword used across industries and is no different in insurance. According to KPMG’s ‘Pulse of Fintech’ report, insurance companies invested approximately 60% more capital than 2018, forecasting the increased use of digital augmentation early on.

Insurance organizations are using data analysis to help extract critical strategic financial insights to plan more effectively. Traditionally, analytics was largely used by actuaries for interpreting data beyond the obvious. However, as growth led to complexities and data became voluminous, the scope has amplified to a level where it is impossible to manage this without technological intervention. With improved accuracy and scientific calculative abilities, financial technology has enabled life insurance companies to build accurate business forecasts and scenarios. It infuses innate confidence in key business decision making with its data-backed insights. It is fair to say that data analysis has and will continue to fuel growth for insurance industry.

In insurance, predictive analytics dictates integral functional decisions with sophisticated risk and compliance analysis. Insurance being financial product with long-tailed liabilities, it operates in heavily regulated environment. As a result, there are number of potential policy and regulatory ramifications and unless these regulatory requirements are adhered to competently, business may hit many hurdles. Complying with these continually evolving requirements calls for agile monitoring, interpretation and implementation on the go.

The dynamic requirements of the industry require readily available reports and at the same time ability to churn out bespoke ones. This has been possible due to the adoption of the latest in technology. It has created a controlled financial environment for businesses to function. The regulatory and compliance data challenges have been harnessed with interactive real-time dashboards that drastically save human resource costs while providing timely reminders and alerts.

With the surge in governance, risk and compliance requirements, internal control processes have been streamlined and tightened with the help of data and
predictive analytics to ensure stable internal control environment.

Manpower intensive tasks such as audit functions, accounts payables which were voluminous and transaction oriented were one of the first to be automated. Technology has taken pain out of these processes.

It has made them less time consuming and more intelligent, making the process more meaningful and worthwhile. Further, data being captured at multiple customer and system touchpoints and being available seamlessly in data lake, it is now feasible to connect data points that were earlier out of reach of analytics.

While the essence is of pure managing structures, inferences and management of key compliance, regulatory and business specifications has become extremely straight forward. While business environments have become more complex and control requirements have become more onerous, technology has kept pace.

This has made the life of CFOs’ everywhere easier, made work more reliable as well as less manpower intensive. It is prudent to remember that with dynamic technological advancements are seen every day, CFOs need to assess the adequacy against the constantly evolving requirements.

Consumers tend to form their perception by a brand’s ability to roll with digital innovation and technology

With the presence of over 3.2 billion people around the world on social media, today, data insights are crucial. ‘Big data’ has become extremely significant in understanding buying patterns and tweaking overall cost mixes to get maximum returns. Customers are also focused on the ease of implementation and are not scared to shift loyalties for superior product offerings. Owing to this, insurance companies are redirecting major capital investments to AI &Blockchain technology to predict customer behavioural patterns to innovate.

With IoT enabled product data permutations and combinations, the financial implications of pricing and risk related decision making are backed by solid inferences and data-driven research, becoming increasingly sophisticated. RPA environments and Chatbot automation has given insurance companies a head-start by facilitating controlled vendor and virtual pay outs which result in increased cost savings and decreased manpower intervention. The idea is to implement the right technology at the right time to foster business innovation.

With financial technology on the brink of making or breaking the future corporate strategy, a strong IT Infrastructure is the need of the hour. This has led to the multi-layered convergence of CFO& CIO roles. Broadly, CFOs look at ROI, taxation and commercial viability of the business and CIOs use information technology to maximise organisational efficiency. However, with the ingress of Insure Tech and fintech, it has become imperative for CFOs and CIOs to work in an integrated fashion, share ideas and come up with practical solutions that leads to overall business growth. These proactive steps and real time visualizations with limited resources have purely been possible because of the evolution of technology.

Consumers tend to form their perception by a brand’s ability to roll with digital innovation and technology. In fact, organisations will continue to adopt mature fintech innovations to gain maximum business value. Essentially, the technology adopted by an organisation today will go on to predict their financial and organisational health in the long run.