ANZ Develops Blockchain Solution For Insurance Industry

Blockchain, Innovation | April 30, 2018 By:

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) is collaborating with IBM and Suncorp New Zealand to develop a blockchain solution for the insurance industry.

The project aims to make the data transfer and payment reconciliation process faster and more transparent between insurers and brokers. Built on top of the Hyperledger Fabric, the solution captures the information from the insurers and brokers’ systems and shares it between the parties that need to see it.

“Reconciling policy information and premium payments made by a broker to an insurer on behalf of customers is a slow and painful process,” said Paul Goodwin, ANZ Managing Director Institutional NZ. “The blockchain solution will be much more efficient for the industry as well as being very secure. As a ‘single source of truth’, it will provide greater visibility throughout the process, remove uncertainty, and help make response times faster. This technology will work with existing industry solutions to capture relevant information, ensuring payments can be forecast and made without the need for reconciliation.”

According to the proof-of-concept white paper on the technology, the solution built during this project successfully demonstrated the use of blockchain for the following opportunities: efficient data transfer without the need for multiple reconciliations and rekeying throughout a multi-party purchase of an insurance policy; consolidation into one data exchange system, giving clarity of the status of policies throughout their lifecycle to allow greater visibility, reporting, and insights; and automated allocation of receipts for bulk payments down to the individual policy/invoice level.

Mike Smith, managing director of IBM New Zealand, said that IBM used design-led thinking principles and practices to reinvent the business processes behind intermediated insurance at ANZ.

“The result is an interoperable network that could not only decrease policy costs and improve customer service, but also build a foundation for the introduction of other transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence,” Smith said.

Tim Buckett, Chief Financial Officer at Suncorp New Zealand, said they’re always looking at ways to generate operational efficiencies, and the proof of concept was an exciting way to test whether a technology solution can speed up the reconciliation process for insurance premium payments, while at the same time improving the customer experience for policy holders and their business partners.