SBI General running PoC on Blockchain for asset tracking
The CEO at SBI General, in his past stints was associated to technology functions and thus the company has charted a strong business focused digital strategy. SBI General Insurance’s MD, CEO, Pushan Mahapatra was in-charge of IT, Risk and Compliance at SBI Hong Kong in 2000 followed by a stint at SBI serving the IT functions of the bank’s international operations. Thereafter, he headed the enterprise datawarehouse project at the group level.
“At SBI General, every two weeks, a senior management review of the outcomes from the digital initiatives in undertaken. The financial impact and customer service enhancement is specifically tracked in these meetings,” says Vinai Krishnan Nair, Head – IT Delivery & Insurance Business Solutions, SBI General Insurance.
Technology is a secondary factor. In the last one and a half year, the company started devising the strategy around the customer. In terms of how the customer will interact and perceive with the services delivered through different customer service channels by the respective LoBs. Keeping the customer at the centre and then building backwards on what would he requires. This philosophy drove the interactions between business and IT.
Multiple programmes have been initiated as a result. “We term the initiatives not as IT projects but customer journeys, which will involve milestones, Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), etc,” says Nair. One such programme has been in the area of operational efficiency. The objective was, faster delivery of the product to the customer and operational efficiency would be a byproduct, for example, the customer is reminded on policy renewal via SMS, which has a link to pay renewal premium and also buy the renewal policy. This drastically reduces the policy renewal time and thus enhances operational efficiency.
Another area would be servicing motor claims. A live streaming has been enabled for the surveyors and loss assessment personnel. This has collapsed the claims payment TAT from days to hours and has also resulted in enhanced operational effectiveness.
These programmes have seen improvement in the policy renewal numbers and has also experienced significant improvement in operational efficiency.
PoC: Private blockchain for asset tracking
SBI General Insurance has joined the insurance consortium on no claims bonus specific to motor insurance. A PoC is also underway to explore blockchain to process vendor payments and tracking assets.
For using APIs, since the days of digitisation at the company, the thought process was to keep all the technology implementations to be based on Services Oriented Architecture (SOA). “We made sure that all the IT infrastructure is SOA compliant. Thus, we had the web services ready for all kinds of business transactions,” says Nair. The question, then was, how can these services be externalised outside the enterprise. An API management layer has been set up on top of the SOA platform and the customer related information and service channels sit above them. The externalising of the API layer was made easy because of this setup. Ultimately, whether it is a bank, direct agent, broker, or any channel, they can directly interact with SBI General through the API channel, which has the services already published.
Bots are also being used for internal jobs. A couple of bots are operational for production support services and data transfer.
A cloud policy is also being formulated. Experimentations are also on to move non core applications on the cloud. An interesting PoC is being done to host a frontend insurance digital distribution platform for customers and channel partners. This will enable to handle the business peaks.
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