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IndiaFirst Life wants to provide E-commerce like experience to the customer


The company has designed a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), which essentially allows the customers to access services on demand with minimal human intervention. On top of that IndiaFirst Life Insurance has also invested in nextgen InsureTech. Abhishek Raval speaks with Mohit Rochlani, Director, Operations & IT, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company

Going forward, customer experience will define one player from the other in the BFSI space. What’s changing is the way the customer wants to interact with the company. It’s automatically compared to how it’s happening in other industries. For example, in an ecommerce site, the buying process is very easy. “My efforts are to bring in those kind of processes at IndiaFirst Life Insurance. Effectively, this is Bi-modal IT. A layer is built above the core system and data is consumed from these places giving the desired customer (at times an ecommerce like) experience,” says Mohit Rochlani, Director, Operations & IT, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company.  

IndiaFirst has developed on top of the basic core system, a sales process engine, which is working on a tablet. The policies can be sold using the app on the tablet. End to end. From origination to closure including the policy information documents. Hence, no need for the sales person to carry policy related documents. The app provides functionalities for the sales executive to show to the customer various combinations of policies and the associated cost/benefits. The app is Aadhaar enabled. In case the, the customer doesn’t have any authentication documents, he can give the Aadhaar number to verify himself after getting an OTP. The advantage with Aadhaar is, it enables the verification of both the age proof and the photo ID. The policy after proper verification can be issued, after completing the bank related details are filled. At one go, the process can be completed and the policy is issued via email or a physical paper is despatched at the postal address.

One of the other customer / distributor requirements is speedy query resolution without any human intervention. IndiaFirst Life has recently introduced a Bot, which replies back to general queries. It has taken over the role of the brochures and other policy information related documents.

The third initiative being experimented is an arrangement to train the salesforce without any need to congregate them in a classroom environment. A self service based training. A knowledge base has been created and updated. The sales executive can solve quizzes over the training modules. This would keep him explained and aware about the new policies launched.

The core philosophy is to invest in technologies that can work over the business processes. The core system of the company can be exposed to APIs, through which the data can be criss crossed across the business processes and other systems. The IT architecture of IndiaFirst Life Insurance is built on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). It essentially means, all the details can be asked through services. Benefits: It helps in moving the asked information to the customer faster. Secondly, the company can easily integrate its systems with the distributors faster and seamlessly. For example, banks distribute our policies and they can pull out the customer details on demand because of a service based model that easily enables the bank to extract the customer detail. The information exchange happens server to server using the service based model. From the IndiaFirst Life’s server to the bank’s server. A pertinent example is GST enablement using the SOA. The bank’s were able to pay the premium from the very next day GST was announced.

IndiaFirst Life was formed in 2009 and since then, we started operating with an SOA architecture and we have only evolved from thereon.

Experimenting with new technologies

We are running a PoC and exploring AI powered bots. Another area, where a PoC is underway is profiling and thus underwriting the customers by finding alternative ways of extracting customer related data from unstructured sources, like publicly available data, data residing on social mediums, etc by AI powered information gathering mechanism,” says Rochlani. The objective is to find relevant information, converting them from unstructured to structured and then offering the right product.

The company has approached multiple opensource vendors and implementation partners, on voice based speech working on AI. The bot hears the speech, decides on the context, convert to text, which is then understood by the computer, which gets further converted into an answer into text, and then takes a voice form and answered back to the customer.     

The IoT technology has the potential to allow the life insurance players to approach the regulator and furnish evidence on how Insurance products can be priced differently to the customers based on their health parameters. Currently, specific regulations doesnt allow differential pricing. There is a common pricing mechanism, which applies uniformly to all customers. “We are working with vendors to bring about this change,” says Rochlani.  

IT Budget

The ratio of investments into new projects and experiments to keeping the lights on, upgrades and annual maintenance kind of expenditure is 15:85. The focus is to invest in making more and more processes digital and automate them. Rather than investing in manual processes. “Our underwriting, claims management, information exchange with IRDAI is automated,” informs Rochlani.  

Even before the IT security guidelines were out, IndiaFirst Life had started working on them in terms of doing the gap analysis partnering with E&Y. A Data Leakage Prevention (DLP) tool has been implemented. All our mobile devices have an Airwatch, an enterprise mobility management software, which is basically an app container. It acts as a common security framework for all the apps put together in the mobile device. The container also has a browser inside, which doesnt allow confidential data to be transferred. As well as it acts as an added layer of defense against phishing.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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