Mehmood Mansoori, Member of Executive
Management - IT Innovation & CEM, HDFC ERGO General Insurance
While the arrival of mobile phones in the mid-1990s’ increased India’s tele density exponentially, with the advent of smartphones, a new kind of revolution is underway. Thanks to Mobile Applications – or Apps – a mobile phone of today has become a “smartphone” and does everything and more than what the laptops and the desktops of the yesteryears did. With increased penetration of cellphones and rising adoption of smartphones and growing consumer preference towards mobile commerce (m-commerce), not having a presence in the Mobile Apps space can be a costly strategic marketing error.
According to industry estimates, more than 65 percent of mobile users in the country access the internet through mobile. India seems to be moving fast in the shift to mobile for e-commerce companies, with mobile platform accounting for 41 percent total e-commerce sales in 2014. Usage of mobile wallets is increasing with e-commerce adoption and changing the way how we transact money.
Mobile apps are key to customer engagement in insurance. While broking firms and banks have been the early adapters of the m-commerce among all financial services providers. Insurance companies also are catching up fast with innovative Mobile Applications, offering customers another channel to connect and transact. Today, almost every insurance provider – life as well as non-life – is offering mobile apps to its customers for value-added service.
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s fourth largest non-life insurance major in the private sector, offers the “Insurance Portfolio Organizer” mobile app as a value-added service to its policy holders. This organizer is available for HDFC ERGO policy holders through the company website and also on mobile phone as an application which is compatible with all mobile platforms like Apple, Android, Blackberry and Windows based devices.
HDFC ERGO policy holders get a host of quick, hassle-free and easy-to-access services for their policies at their fingertips. The policy holders can get access to their policy related information like product and coverage details, access to their health card, register their Motor and Health claims, track claim status, request for policy document on email, set renewal reminders, find nearest branch, cashless garage and hospital networks and quick access to customer care etc. Currently, over 3 lakh customers actively use this application and the number is increasing on a daily basis.
Importance of mobile channel for insurance companies is very significant in years to come. Insurers would need to learn fast and adapt effective mobile strategies in order to compete at a level playing field with the other industries, maximize returns on mobile channel and at the end of day provide value to the customers.