Australia: national digital health strategy

National Digital Health Strategy and Framework for Action was launched in 2018 and was developed act as a road map to high-quality digital healthcare. The strategy was intended to help deliver improved services including the distribution of digital books coordinating real time care for patients with chronic illnesses and eliminating the use of fax machines to communicate key clinical reports. Click here to read more

Sometimes when you scan the digital world for news you get surprised by how bad technology is in places. Especially wealthy places where you would think things could move faster. 

Facebook and Google set to expand respective financial services

Earlier this month Google and Facebook announced that they will expand the scope of their financial services by developing a Google checking account and a digital wallet that will be integrated across all Instagram services. Although these services are set to make our lives simpler, adding our financial data to their existing database allows Big Tech companies to understand our risk tolerance, buying habits, track our shopping behaviour as well as our loans and credit card exposures. Click here to read more

Can robo-advisory become the dominant design in financial advice?

In 2010 many new robo-advice tools started emerging in the financial services industry worldwide. This article outlines some of the pioneers, growing pains and emerging leaders, while this article explains how Kiwis are becoming more accepting of 'digital humans' and some of the services they offer.

This is a really important quote from the first piece, highlighting a nuance in digital-human hybrid service provision: 

"...moving to ‘hybrid’ models,digital-first services that offer human advice when required. This, for us, is the key. It gives these firms the ability to serve their customers at a level they want and at a price point they are happy with. At times this price point will include a human interaction, others will simply demand a transactional-focused digital-only product."

Instead of asking 'can robo advisory become dominant?' perhaps we should be asking 'can primarily non digital services survive?' the question then becomes the extent to which digital services are present in your offer. If you are waiting for someone else to develop digital services for you, then you are going to be placed in the situation of merely accepting the role (and margin) that they envisage for you in the value chain. 


Partners Life: Underwriting Management System

Partners Life's new underwriting platform was launched earlier this week. Originally announced as being called PLUME the name has been finalised as MUM (My Underwriting Manager). Today I attended a presentation on the new system and here are some of the key points:

  • It has reduced questions by about 50% from the original paper app form
  • MUM adjusts the questions based on the benefits quoted, so there are no income and work-related questions for someone applying only for Life Cover for example.
  • You can also apply for business covers through MUM, at this stage Business Life, Trauma and TPD can be automatically underwritten but some other business products such as Key Person cover and Loss of Revenue will still be referred to an Underwriter
  • After an online app has been done you can go back to the quote and change sum insured etc if the client changes their mind and MUM will automatically adjust itself accordingly
  • The confirmation of terms of a policy will be instantaneous in most cases
  • Payment methods can be added to avoid delay in issuing the policy and are verified in real-time
  • You have 90 days to complete an app, you can start and go back and continue it at anytime within the 90 days
  • MUM can be used to apply for alterations to existing policies but will it still need to be approved by an Underwriter
  • Customers can sign online to allow the insurer to gain access to medical records through Konnect
  • A customer signature is only required if requesting information from a Doctor, otherwise Partners Life just require the client to tick a box as a declaration

What happened to the FMA website?

The FMA website was down yesterday, and this morning. What happened? The New Zealand Herald has this story to update you - link

It is a reminder that we can all be affected by cyber issues, and privacy breaches are easy to make, and hard to recover from. This reminds me to make a post on Cyber Week and to feature more around management and insurance for these events. 

Congratulations to Pinnacle Life on being granted a digital advice exemption

The FMA has granted Pinnacle Life a digital advice exemption. Congratulations to Gillian Vaughan and her team, in particular Amy Cavanaugh who has been driving this project forward. From the media release:

General Manager Operations Amy Cavanaugh says the provision of digital advice will extend Pinnacle Life’s existing online service to customers, offering a flexible approach to personalised advice.

“We know our customers are busy people, so we thought about how we could provide advice in a flexible, personalised, easy-to-access way. The new digital advice platform we are developing will enable customers to make informed decisions about insurance through tailored, real-time digital advice, whenever and wherever they want it.

The Chatswood team has been privileged to be a part of this project. Our prior contributions to online processes have tended to be data services. This project is a further step forward as it has been for a personalised digital advice process. I would like to recognise Shaun Dowler, who provides data science consulting as part of our team has been particularly valuable in pushing ahead this work for Chatswood. 

The announcement says that the service will be launched later this year. 

Another robo-adviser goes online

Another robo-adviser has gone online. How many robo-advisers will there be? The way we phrase that question may not be helping us assess the future. Rather than define the business as 'robo' why not ask, how many advice businesses will have some advice automation in the future? Put that way, I find it hard to argue that many won't have much advice automation.