The launch of Prudential Singapore’s Fintegrate Partnership, which looks to collaborate with fintech start-ups in Singapore and globally, and co-develop digital solutions for customers, is one of many steps the insurer is taking in order to stay relevant in the digital era.
The PRU Fintegrate Partnership provides a clear goal as selected starts ups may enter into a commercial engagement with Prudential. PRU Fintegrate is also a rapid-deployment programme offering start-ups the opportunity to build and validate prototypes.
Prudential Singapore CEO, Wilf Blackburn said: “Digital innovation is a key component in our overall growth strategy. It’s essential to our efforts in making insurance simpler and more accessible for our customers, and to help our financial consultants work more efficiently. Collaboration with fintechs will enable us to develop such new solutions at speed.”
Adding: “Our customers are leading digital lives. As part of our digital roadmap, we are building new digital capabilities to understand their needs better and to provide a seamless and convenient experience for them at all our touchpoints.”
One of the ways Prudential uses technology is to connect with customers and financial consultants via its You online community. This is a real time interaction allowing the insurer to respond to customer feedback more promptly, gain insight into new trends and design solutions from a customer’s perspective.
After feedback from PRU for You, Prudential redesigned its private hospitalisation insurance plan to a claims-based pricing that rewards customers who stay healthy and make smaller private hospital claims, with savings on their premiums.
Another tech-driven service is ask – PRU, a chatbox powered by AI that provides financial consultants with real-time information that is specific to their customers’ life insurance plans.
Prudential’s financial consultants are also equipped with PRUONE Express, a digital point-of-sale portal capable of generating a detailed quotation in 3 seconds. It uses the latest technologies, such as SmartData Capture and fingerprint Authentication, to facilitate a quicker and more effective consultation and sales process, and the submission of new policy requests.
Prudential have also partnered with genetics testing company Prenetics on the ‘my DNA programme’.
More recently, Prudential is experimenting with machine learning for faster claims assessment. This AI application is at the core of a new e-claims solution that makes claims assessment in seconds.
Blackburn says: “We’re using AI and machine learning for data-driven decision-making. This cuts down on manual processes and frees out people to focus on more meaningful customer engagement initiatives.”
Based on annual premium equivalent sales, Singapore is the second-largest market for Prudential in Asia.
APE sales increased 23 percent YOY to £195mn ($353mn) in 1H2017, contributing 10 percent of Asia’s overall APE sales.
Asia in turn contributed to 54 percent of APE sales and 65 percent of the insurance group’s new business premiums.
For 1HFY2017, Prudential announced that its Asia post tax operating profit based on longer-term investment rose 36 percent to £1,641mn and accounted for 55 percent of total long term business post tax operating profit of £2,991mn.
Prudential Singapore continues to take the market share from its competitors. Recently industry statistics from the Life Insurance Association points to Prudential Singapore’s widening gap between itself – as the No. 1 life insurer for new sales of regular premium products and the No. 2 insurer in 1H2017.
Second place is believed to be between Manulife and AIA.
Prudential also has one of the largest market shares for private hospitalisation plans.
Protection is where Blackburn sees Singapore as something of a growth market. The growth of the life insurance market trends to follow the growth of the middle classes as they have lifestyles to protect and the affordability to save for the future so they need medical protection, education and retirement plans.
Prudential Singapore has 900,000 customers, or one third of the market with total sum assured of $147.7bn.
Blackburn says: “We’re future-proofing ourselves. We’ve been relevant for 86 years in Singapore and we’re making sure we will be relevant for the next 86 years. You could say we’re building an environment for the 22nd century.”