The future of the traditional insurance players is playing out on the mobile, according to Mr Aurelien Duval-Delort, founder of Bizao, a mobile payment services operator in Africa.
In an article published in The Point, he notes that despite their efforts, mainstream insurers in Africa find it difficult to penetrate certain market segments, particularly the most vulnerable segment of the population. The reasons for this include insufficient household income, low levels of financial education, and a lack of confidence in insurance companies. Consequently, “self-insurance” or other forms of informal insurance designed to transfer and manage risks collectively often take the form of community savings, such as tontines.
Fortunately, digital innovation appears as a means of conquering new markets for insurance, Mr Duval-Delort says. The digitisation of the sector allows the reduction of the costs of customer services, the rationalisation of internal processes, but above all the provision to the greatest number of an enriched customer experience.
Smartphones are becoming essential for expanding an insurer's customer base, but above all for enriching its service offering. By investing in mobile, insurers are expanding their range of products and strengthening their market share and brand image.
The alliance between insurance companies, mobile operators and digital payment specialists is proving to be a promising bet for the insurance sector, says Mr Duval-Delort.
For example, Mr Matt Lilley, CEO of Prudential Africa, said in an interview with The Africa Report in November 2020 that his company was seeking new partnerships with mobile phone companies to extend its African insurance distribution network,.
The British life-insurance and financial services company was looking at a number of markets given that the mobile phone has a unique ability to reach lower-income customers and give them a method to make and receive payments.