Here's proof that life insurance companies must bet on digital to delight customers. Source: Gibraltar BSN

Here’s proof that life insurance companies must bet on digital to delight customers. Source: Gibraltar BSN

Gibraltar BSN bet on digital to delight Malaysian customers — and won big

UP AND COMING life insurance player Gibraltar BSN recently bagged the “digital insurer of the year” award at an industry conference.

One of the digital initiatives that impressed the judges was the WhatsApp e-Policy delivery system that Gibraltar BSN introduced last year.

As the name suggests, the company uses WhatsApp to deliver policies to customers once it has been issued.

Tied into the launch of the WhatsApp e-Policy delivery system is also a WhatsApp based chatbot that provides customers with basic information such as branch locations, list of panel hospitals, and performance of investment-linked funds.

The chatbot, dubbed GINA (Gibraltar INtelligent Assistant), also lets customers download relevant forms and accepts requests to speak with customer service executives.

“Over the past couple of years, Gibraltar BSN has been focused on executing our digital transformation strategy to elevate the quality and relevance of our service and products for our customers,” said Gibraltar BSN President and CEO Rangam Bir at the ceremony.

“We are certainly motivated to continue the introduction of digital initiatives that improve customers’ experience, accelerate business growth and expand distribution channels.”

To better understand the insurer’s motivations and strategy behind the WhatsApp e-Policy delivery system, Tech Wire Asia reached out to Bir.

“With Malaysia’s mobile penetration hovering at 134.2 percent and WhatsApp being the world’s most used messenger app with more than 1.6 billion users, we sought to service and engage with our customers on the platforms they prefer,” said Bir.

“As digital becomes increasingly integrated into the everyday lives of Malaysians, we also recognized that sending e-Policies is a natural extension of our service to ensure that our customers are aware of their protection from the moment it is approved.”

According to Bir, the insurer also recognizes that customers nowadays expect immediate and responsive customer service. Hence, the organization decided to augment the launch of the e-Policy delivery system with its chatbot.

From a customer standpoint, the two services sound extremely practical and useful. From a user experience point of view, so long as the services are provided seamlessly, customers are bound to be delighted.

Although leveraging WhatsApp for the digital initiatives sounds like an easy task, Bir reveals that careful planning was required given the nature of the industry, the need to adhere to strong regulatory guidelines, and the fact that nobody else in the market had attempted something like this in the first place.

“We built everything from the ground up. We successfully launched our service by working closely with our partner (WhatsApp approved vendor) and tweaking the process to meet our customers’ needs while adhering to our internal standards.”

According to Bir, what really helped get the project across the finish line was forming a cross-functional team where members collaborated to design the end-to-end flow to deliver e-Policies via WhatsApp and embracing a “fail fast, learn fast” mindset for continuous improvement.

In order to ensure compliance with relevant guidelines issued by the Malaysian Central Bank, Gibraltar BSN engaged an independent review to assure that all associated IT risks & security controls were addressed.

Again, given the nature of the business, Bir emphasized the importance of baking in IT Security, Risk & Compliance measures into the project, right from the start.

Of course, the fact that WhatsApp features end-to-end encryption was an added bonus and made it a tad easier to design a secure network architecture for the delivery of policies via the popular messaging app.

At the end of the day, Bir believes that the company is only getting started on its digital transformation journey. It acknowledges that there’s a long way to go in its endeavor to continuously deliver on policyholders’ expectations— but relishes the fact that its initial efforts are being recognized by industry stakeholders and customers alike.