Like we usually do here in Digitalscouting, please share your top 3 books everyone should read and top 3 gadgets everyone should have?
Haha - why books? I’m an avid movie fan. So, how about this:
Perfetti Sconosciuti (perfect strangers) - a 2016 Italian comedy drama film. During a dinner party, seven friends dare each other to place their cellphones on the table and to share all text messages and calls ‘because they have nothing to hide’. It turns out to be a dangerous game. And it perfectly illustrates how new technologies have changed individual behavior and human relationships.
Check out the BBC documentary about David Bowie. What makes Bowie so special, at least in my view, is constant innovation. It’s remarkable how often he decided to change his music and image, even when he was having a massive success at that moment. Every time it turned out he was way ahead of the pack and striking the right chord. And the music is great!
Last but not least, for perfect binge watching: the German TV series ‘Weissensee’, about a family that is part of the elite in former East Germany just before The Wall fell - it’s available on Netflix in many countries. What I found so interesting is that the existing convictions, rules, processes, hierarchy and criteria to get a promotion lead to lack of awareness and even denial of everything that was taking place outside in society.”
“Top 3 gadgets: an analogue photo camera, a turntable and a cassette recorder. Because having to really decide whether or not to make a picture is refreshing and when the photos are ready it’s always a surprise. A turntable for vinyl records forces you to experience albums as they were created by the artists; a concept, a story in which each song is a chapter. And a cassette recorder allows you to make mix tapes and give them to your friends.”
Covering Banking, Insurance, Fintech, Insurtech, Consumer Trends, and Digital Technologies are a lot to handle, how do you manage all of these topics - and organizing one of the most important insurance and insurtech events?
In our view these are not separate subjects. We believe consumer trends are driving digital innovation. And vice versa; new technological possibilities change customer needs and behavior. Too often still, new digital projects are launched simply because it is possible from a technology standpoint without a clear latent or manifest customer need that is solved or new value that is delivered.
We also believe that we cannot only focus on insurance in splendid isolation. The Future of Insurance is determined by the Future of Living, the Future of Mobility, the Future of Health, etcetera. That’s why, at previous DIA editions, we had keynote speakers on stage from for example BMW, Rakuten and Philips. At forthcoming DIA Amsterdam you can expect among others Samer Al Moubayed, co-founder and CEO and Furhat Robotics, the leading innovator in human-like robots, and Eugene Borukhovich, global head digital health incubation and innovation at pharmaceutical giant Bayer.
When it comes to scaling new insurtech innovations, which is still a major issue, there’s just so much we can learn from banking. Think of the rapid adoption of mobile payments. At DIA Amsterdam, Olivier Guillaumond, global head of fintechs at ING Bank, and Kasper Sylvest Olsen, one of the great minds behind Danske Bank’s incredibly successful MobilePay, reveal their success factors.
As one of the renowned influencers, what use cases made you excited over the last 12 months?
We believe that we are on the verge of what we call the Third Wave of Insurtech’. Three years ago, when the term ‘insurtech’ was first introduced, it was mostly meant as ‘challengers’ who wanted to attack the established order with new products or distribution models. NY based Oscar was the most mentioned example in those days.
Since then the definition of insurtech has slowly shifted to ‘enablers’, innovative tech companies that focus on assisting established carriers to improve and innovate specific parts of the insurance value chain. The growing importance of ecosystems means we need to broaden our view even more. In our view every party that improves the insurer’s value proposition is interesting. This is The Third Wave of Insurtech.
Other industries are often faster when it comes to applying new technology. RPA for instance, is typically a new technology that is developed in a different industry. Also, in the IoT and health space we see numerous young tech companies that purely focus on improving health care and more relief for patients - and not primarily on insurance.
We’re seeing more and more of those ‘Third Wave’ use cases. Let me share some examples:
Somnox, together with Auping, a leading bed manufacturer, created a ‘sleeping robot’. The purpose is to help people sleep better and ultimately to make sleeping pills obsolete. To give some perspective: in The Netherlands, 10 percent of a 17 million population consumes around 170 million sleeping pills. Although insurance is not their primary focus, it is evident that Somnox is interesting to health insurers to improve patient care and cut costs simultaneously.
We really like the move of AVIVA in expanding their offering to consumers. After having acquired Wealthify, a digital wealth management provider, AVIVA now decided to seamlessly integrate this solution in aviva.com, making this available for the complete AVIVA customer base. It’s a great example of the blurring boundaries of The Third Wave of Insurtech as well a best practice in how to scale insurtech innovations.
A third example would be Zhong An. Of course we admire that they’ve grown so fast into the largest online insurer in China and first insurtech unicorn worldwide. But, in view of your question, we mention them here because of their strategy to share their core technologies with other insurance carriers through Zhong An Technologies. Quite a few insurance executives say they are transforming the company from an insurance firm to an IT company, while at the same time keeping their assortment limited to insurance products and services. A successful IT company makes money by selling IT - which is the most direct motivator to develop the best IT. Zhong An is doing just that.
What are your thoughts about others saying that the connection between insurtech and fintech is blurring already? Will we see a renaissance of bancassurance?
Definitely. We actually coined the ‘Renaissance of Bancassurance’ already in our DIA Top 10 Insurtech Trends, published end of 2017. Banking is one of the key adjacent industries for insurance. We see bank partnerships moving from just distribution and using bank data in the marketing and underwriting processes to really being much closer to customers.
One of the drivers of this development is PSD2, the recently introduced payment services directive by the EU. This directive makes it obligatory for banks to open up customer data to third parties. It effectively creates opportunities to all sorts of third parties to provide new opt-in services to these customers. Although this is not on the radar screen of every insurance carrier, we believe this will revamp the bancassurance model, making insurance much more individual and much more real time.
We really curious how Allianz will leverage their investment in N26 and how AXA will create a new model for their bancassurance partnership with ING.
We're really enjoying the concept of DIA for some years now but for those who do not know, can you share what is DIA is all about?
It’s our mission to accelerate customer centric innovation in insurance. That’s what we’ve done in our days as strategy consultants, having worked for the likes of Allianz, Baloise, Munich Re, NN Group and Zurich. And that’s the aim of the books and articles that we’ve written.
Because of our background we have a pretty good view of what the challenges of insurance carriers are. Our DIA Insurtech Database currently includes some 2,500 insurtechs from around the globe. Out of this 2,500 we personally handpick 50 to do a fast paced 8 minute live demo on stage. Powerpoint is strictly forbidden.
Furthermore we have provocative keynote speakers from inside and outside the industry. But perhaps the most important is, according to the feedback we get, the special DIA ambiance. We try to create an atmosphere where people feel at home and open to having informal conversations with other guests. At the last DIA Amsterdam edition we welcomed 1,200 attendees representing 50 countries and 6 continents. It’s by far the largest and most international conference in Europe.
How do you see DIA for the next 5 to 10 years? What contributions you are compelled to provide for the insurance and finance industries?
As said, it’s our mission to accelerate customer centric innovation in insurance. We’ll stay true to that mission.
When we started DIA three years ago there was a clear need: to connect insurance executives with the best of breed insurtech leaders. That need continues to exist.
DIA is short for Digital Insurance Agenda, and setting this agenda is what we’re trying to do as well. Two years ago we put ‘ecosystem thinking’ on the agenda, in publications and with speakers such as Rakuten, Philips and BMW. And now we’re fostering new themes that are in our view instrumental in moving the insurance industry forward.
One of these themes is ‘how to scale insurtech innovations for more top line and bottom line impact’. Many insurance executives have shared with us that in spite of the billions of investments in insurtechs, accelerators, hubs, pilots projects and proof concepts, the impact so far is still limited. Obviously, it’s in everyone’s interest to solve this.
Another theme for the coming years will be ‘East meets West | West meets East’. There’s just so much we can learn from Asia and vice versa. This is also why at DIA Amsterdam we’ll have several thought leaders from Asia on stage as well. For example Daisuke Iwase, group chief digital officer and member of the executive committee at AIA Group (Hong Kong); Koichi Narasaki, the group digital officer at SOMPO (Japan); and Kalai Natarajan, head of strategic engagements at Prudential (Singapore).
There’s a fair chance that we will launch a DIA conference in Asia shortly to cater to this clear need.
We're surely excited about the coming DIA Amsterdam 2019, can you share some of the highlights that will make the insurance and finance professionals more excited?
I already mentioned quite a few. But to highlight yet another: There have been a lot of rumours about Lemonade coming to Europe. And they are!
Furthermore, for the first time in DIA history, we’ve added a series of 20+ deep dives where leading insurers from around the world present how they’ve succeeded to innovate with insurtech. Allow me to give three examples:
Monika Schulze, global head of customer experience and digital strategy at Zurich Insurance Group, and Medallia share their vision on the Future of Customer Experience - and how to make that happen.
Liberty Mutual, the fourth-largest P&C insurer in the US, and Intellect SEEC will demonstrate how advanced analytics can be deployed at scale across business functions.
Many motor insurers have introduced telematics programmes but for a variety of reasons, these have met with limited commercial success. Discovery from South Africa is a notable exception. Zaheer Alli, global head of business development, will share why.
Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks founded DIA (Digital Insurance Agenda) just three years ago. They both have a 25 year track record in strategy and (digital) innovation, having worked for insurance carriers across Europe, the Americas and Asia. Think of AEGON, Allianz, Baloise, Munich Re, NN Group and Zurich.
They wrote two international bestsellers about the future of financial services; ‘Reinventing Financial Services: What consumers expect from future banks and insurers’ that was published in 8 languages, and recently ‘Reinventing Customer Engagement. The next level of digital transformation for banks and insurers’. All together they sold 100,000+ copies. The books got Roger and Reggy invited in boardrooms and conferences, business schools and universities across the globe.
Our big thanks to Roger and Marise for making this interview possible. All the best from all of us here in Digitalscouting.
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