Our digital initiatives have been the building blocks in shaping our business – Sachin Dutta, COO, Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance

Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance has been on a transformational journey in recent years and its digital initiatives have been the building blocks for the company to shape the business, he says. Sachin Dutta
Director of Operations, Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance

Some edited excerpts:

Can you tell us about some of the main digital initiatives of the last year?

The Company has been on a transformation journey in recent years and our digital initiatives have been the building blocks for us to shape our business. We are investing in modern, scalable, stable, and secure technologies, pathways, and digital platforms that support an agile way of development, thereby reducing our time to market for new products, features, and functionality.

We moved away from monolithic architecture to a microservices-based architecture with our cloud-native CRM and workflow and the focus is currently on revamping our onboarding journeys and leveraging the cloud and its capabilities to redesign the entire process. We are confident that our investments in technology will help us aim for further growth and a superior customer experience, while also providing the necessary focus on governance and controls.

Our current new business workflow is a state-of-the-art, bespoke end-to-end workflow application developed to meet the complex requirements of new businesses, i.e. all activities related to pre-issuance under a single umbrella. The app is completely based on microservices architecture which will help in real-time integrations with all upstream and downstream systems like tablet app, online travel, benefits illustration and policy management system. This system provides a one stop shop solution for various processes and departments.

This application is deployed using systematic configuration, moving the operating system to the cloud, which meets the long-term strategic goal and allows us to scale up or down based on business need. This also increases the productivity of the business by reading the documents through the document AI solution for the OCR process based on AI and ML for the initial scrutiny of the system along with indicators for the users during the quality control process. . It will also help maintain consistency in the processing of the request. Another advantage is that it is based on rules, which improves the efficiency of subscribers.

What has been the impact of these initiatives on different aspects such as customer service, operational efficiency, etc.?

With the help of the digital-only adoption strategy, our auto underwriting increased from 42% to 60% directly through processing, meaning underwriters spend more time on cases that require human intervention or trial, while the systems are trained to underwrite cases. predefined custom rule sets. The platform also analyzes the subscriber’s action and learns to predict the subscriber’s next action in similar cases, thus further improving the car subscription rate, which has made the whole process smart and efficient.

Our investment in CRM has provided an omnichannel experience and also a view of the customer for all internal functions. This has led to a reduction in response time where the positive impact on most features is quite apparent. This has also given us the opportunity to redefine our processes to take full advantage of new digital construction capabilities.

System availability and remote access have ensured that we can switch between various operating models, including remote work, hybrid and office. This makes our workflow more streamlined at a time when COVID was pushing everyone to stay home. Making changes to such an environment is easy and does not require the significant downtime that typically interrupts business hours. Therefore, we are making more changes to systems without compromising their uptime requirement, thus giving business operations more uptime.

How do you see the relevance of AI in your sector? Can you give us some examples of AI use cases in your organization?

AI has a very important relevance in the life insurance sector, where there are successful use cases of how insurance adoption can be driven in poorly penetrated geographies through up-selling or cross-selling, efficiency gains for operations, fraud predictive and business retention analytics and use of AI to provide superior and efficient customer service to life insurance customers. All of this coupled with datafication as a concept has far reaching positive benefits and the industry has seen a good rate of adoption, the key is to continue leveraging these platforms to identify new customer segments and create new propositions.

The AI ​​solution provides an event-driven process engine, a business rules engine, AI constructs for document management, an advanced deduplication engine for fuzzy matches between complex and varied business parameters, AL and ML connectors for reviews of STP (direct) recommendation and underwriting decision patterns. -through processing), integrated micro-frontend with API Manager for back-end system integrations through an asynchronous service structure and built-in AI-based signature and photo matching algorithms. These are all solutions implemented within our organization that drive excellence.

As we move into a new hybrid world, what kind of changes do you expect in your processes? How can technology play a role?

As our new application stack is deployed using containerized and elastic cloud services, we are moving the operating system to the cloud, which meets the long-term strategic goal and allows us to scale based on business flow. that extends the hybrid work culture. New age technology platform, especially cloud-native, is expected to see wider acceptance as it provides the speed/agility needed for the life insurance industry and also redefines the way we serve customers. our clients.

Several interesting InsureTechs have launched innovative solutions. What has been your company’s strategy to take advantage of the strengths of Insuretechs?

Yes, it is part of our IT strategy, we are leveraging and working closely with InsureTechs to strengthen our AI/ML based STP (straight through processing) and custom business illustration systems. Our architecture enables integrations with established external solutions via APIs, which feeds critical KPIs of improving time to market and not reinventing the wheel of an existing service.

What are some of the IT or digital initiatives your company is going to take in the next six months to a year?

As an integral part of improving the efficiency of the processes that use our digital assets, we are building the new integrated payment and reimbursement system that helps reduce manual effort and speeds up the policy issuance process more effectively. The next phase of the new business and claims workflow is leveraging new age technologies, insuretechs offering is also in a state of reach where we will leverage the benefits of development and IT operations to accelerate implementation and in In parallel, additional plugins are being evaluated to enable our legacy system to expose APIs to seamlessly integrate with our edge systems.

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