FinTechNZ has created an Insurtech working group in response to a huge level of interest from the insurance industry. The New Zealand Financial Innovation and Technology Association (FinTechNZ) was established early this year to bring together an inclusive community of financial service providers, technology innovators, government regulators and other interested parties. Its key focus is connecting industry participants to promote and advance financial innovation and technology for the prosperity of New Zealanders.
To complement its breadth of ‘horizontal’ engagement across the diverse financial services sector as ‘one inclusive community’, FinTechNZ is setting up a number of ‘vertical’ areas of focus and associated working groups to both deepen and expand engagement within multiple areas of interest and relevance across the community. Insurance was identified as a key segment where there is a huge amount of scope for further innovation.
“New Zealand financial technology is the fastest growing segment of our tech sector, at 48.5% per annum, and Insurtech is an integral part of the opportunity to advance and transform financial services, not just domestically but also internationally.” commented Mitchell Pham, Chair of FinTechNZ and of NZTech – the broader alliance of technology communities across New Zealand.
There are many exciting technological developments that could transform the way insurance works, is delivered and ultimately experienced by customers. Digital offerings and customer experience through the use of technologies such as chatbot, blockchain, predictive analytics, telematics, artificial intelligence and image recognition are already growing across the financial services landscape. Each of these developments could dramatically improve how insurance is sold or how claims are handled. Most importantly it provides ways to improve the customer engagement and experience in the insurance industry, which has often come under criticism.
One significant development in recent months is the Financial Markets Authority allowing the provision of personalised robo-advice from early 2018. This is expected to revolutionise financial services with insurance being an obvious focal point. Through active government participation in FinTechNZ, the association is uniquely able to influence and guide the development of this space. Other areas of regulatory development include the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s ongoing review of the Financial Advisers Act 2008, which will have a direct impact on the insurance industry and shape how insurance entities invest in technology.
The FinTechNZ Insurance Working Group (IWG) believes that they can provide a crucial conduit for all stakeholders in the insurance industry to engage and collaborate. Being an inclusive community, FinTechNZ is inviting IWG members from across the entire insurance value chain (including insurance industry associations), so that no part of the insurance sector is excluded from opportunity and participation. In addition, the group is also building working relationships with other international groups such as Insurtech Australia, InsurTech UK and Insurtech Asia.
“FinTechNZ joined the ASEAN Fintech Network last month. Our most recent meeting with the international fintech community in Singapore reaffirmed that Insurtech is a truly global movement, and so New Zealand simply has to maintain our presence and innovate alongside the rest of the world.” commented FinTechNZ General Manager James Brown.
To build industry engagement the IWG will be hosting monthly meet-up events from early 2018. These will include speakers and the opportunity to pitch ideas and concepts as well as build up networks across the sector.
Initial FinTechNZ IWG members include: Augen, Cove, Delta, Fidelity Life, IAG, IDS, InsuredHQ, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, NIB, Partners Life, QBE and Vallum. One part of the group’s work includes building the Insurtech map (as part of the Fintech map) of New Zealand.
“It’s pleasing to see businesses who normally compete head-on in the insurance market coming together to collaborate on innovation, and work collegially to seize opportunities and address challenges that pervade the whole industry” commented Jason Roberts, FinTechNZ IWG Lead Coordinator. “It is also really exciting that the group is totally passionate about the end-customer’s perspective – which will be a consistent theme across all of our work.”
For those who are interested in becoming part of the rapidly growing FinTechNZ insurance community, please contact the IWG Lead Coordinator Jason Roberts at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 021 222 7624.