In line with the growing wave of digitalization, the acting Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Sunday Thomas has announced the launch of a portal that will integrate all insurance transactions in the insurance industry into a single hub. This innovation is scheduled to go live next year.
The Details: Thomas who harped on the importance of technology in insurance said the essence of the new portal is to reposition the industry and bridge the gap between the business and the customers.
“We must invest in technology in order to meet up with current phase of advancement and take our products to the doorsteps of consumers. The demand by consumers for ease of transacting business is becoming clearer and aggressive. How we respond to these demands will certainly determine our position in the financial market and longtime sustainability of our businesses.
“If the industry is to effectively key into the financial inclusion target of the Federal Government, it, therefore, behoves them to reinvigorate and face the challenge of digitalizing their operations not only to build trust, confidence and reassurance of all stakeholders that the industry is ready to encore its peers, but to enhance penetration,” he said.
Timeline of the project: He gave a timeline of the process as next year while speaking at the 2019 Insurance Professional Forum organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He assured members that the commission processes would have become fully automated and operational at the next edition of this event.
Sunday, however, warned that failure to effectively integrate into the robust financial circle for insurance could spell doom for the industry. He added that inability to master Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies (SMAC), would result in failure of meeting the customers’ demands in a post-digital world. Hence, he charged members to embrace newer methods of disruption or face extinction.
“Insurance professionals need to be more alert and integrate SMAC as a baseline or core competency first before adopting newer technologies- the internet of things (IoT), telematics, “big data”, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), “chat-bots”, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and so on.
“Choosing carefully the customized and on-demand customer experiences we intend to target is essential before we can work backwards to map out or develop a strategy on these three things which include how to get there, identifying what ecosystem partners we need and our position in that ecosystem.
“All of these simply mean, better decision making for all of us in the insurance industry. We all need to move beyond our comfort zone. This means moving beyond the current structures and culture we have in order to achieve our goals. All these been said, for this transformation to occur, strong leadership is required,” the acting commissioner urged.
This call-to-action is in tandem with the advice of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in charge of Operations, Mr Ade Shonubi, who advised business owners to prepare for the present and future of digital business environment using big data and tech. He noted that any organization that failed to jump on this new pace of change would surely go out of business.