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Blockchain technology as a platform for digitization

Implications for the insurance industry

Implications for the insurance industry. Digitization has moved far beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) process automation. We are witnessing a gradual convergence of technologies, processes, data, assets and people across an integrated ecosystem. Smart life, mobility, agriculture, manufacturing and financial services are all underpinned by sophisticated web interplay between data and capital. As the digital trend continues, business models are forced to evolve or to disrupt in order to survive.

Insurance is experiencing an evolution in products, services and infrastructure in response to the connected world. Progress in the insurance digital space will be driven by successful innovation, including the adoption of disruptive technologies such as mobile, analytics, big data and payment platforms.

The initial drivers for insurance innovation were related to cost reduction and process efficiencies. These now have been superseded by coveted client-centric principles including customer experience and service quality, particularly in claims. As digitization continues its pervasive path, the need for customer intimacy, transparency and security (of personal data) are becoming essential to an insurer’s infrastructure. Without these cornerstones in place to build a customer-centric organization, the value of businesses can easily be eroded as quickly as customers can be attracted.

Fast-emerging disruptive technologies such as blockchain and next generation iterations such as Ethereum are evolving rapidly and underpinning many aspects of innovation. Initially, these were created to orchestrate Bitcoin payment technologies via distributed secure ledger systems. With continued investments in development, they are now building industrial strength platforms1 using industry standards to cover the entire value chain from customer wallets and clientdriven applications to transaction and money exchanges.

There are obvious benefits to driving the adoption of these global technologies. Blockchain is one innovation whose architectural properties increasingly provide essential foundations to the digital landscape where there is an appetite to define greater levels of autonomy and attribution. This includes increasing use of mobile-to-mobile transactions and swifter, secure payment models, client data provenance, registers of assets, fraud detection and reduced risk of duplication or exposure management.

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