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6 Challenges of Blockchain

The blockchain is touted as the most significant technological innovations that have already captivated a good chunk of major industries. There has been an exponential growth in the adoption of blockchain technology in the past few years.

 Yes, blockchain is a groundbreaking technology as most of the marketers state it to be, but still, it has a long way to go. We have already heard a lot about what is blockchain and how it is changing the market trends.  

Now it is time to understand the significant challenges of blockchain industry.

1. Scalability:

The ability to manage a large number of users at a single time is still a challenge for the blockchain industry.  Blockchain technology involves several complex algorithms to process a single transaction. As of October 2017, the total number of coinbase users is recorded to be 11.7 million. As more and more people are getting used to it, the average transactions have also increased dramatically.   It severely hit the processing speed of the transactions as a higher number of people implies more computers writing and accessing the network creating an overall cumbersome system.

2. Hackers and shadow dealing:

The one thing that the blockchain industry lacks is a set of regulatory oversight making it a volatile environment and an easy target for market manipulation. For instance,  the infamous one coin scam where a lot of investors lost money thinking it to be the next revolutionary digital currency was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme scam.  No matter how good you are with your cryptocurrency understanding, there is always a chance that the online wallet you are using may get hacked or be blocked by the government due to some shadowy practices.

3. Complex to understand and adopt:

Blockchain technology and the complexities it involves makes it hard for a layperson to understand and comprehend its benefits. Before diving into this revolutionary application, one needs to read it through and understand the principles of encryption and distributed ledger. Another point that makes blockchain hard to adopt is that financial institutions are adequate to provide secure payment gateways and other services at affordable prices compared to the costs incurred with blockchain.

4. Privacy:

Blockchain is an open ledger which is visible for everyone to view. It is an essential aspect in many cases, but it becomes a liability if used in a sensitive environment. Blockchain technology still has to go a long way to be adopted on a broad scale. The ledger needs to be remodeled in a way that allows restricted access and is accessible only to people who are authorized to view it.

5.Costs:

Blockchain is implemented usually for eliminating the expenses related to the third parties and intermediaries involved in the process of transferring values. Though, the blockchain technology is quite beneficial it is still in the nascent stages of innovation making it tough to integrate into the legacy systems. It makes it an expensive affair overall preventing its adoption by the government as well as private firms.

6. Blockchain is still a distant dream:

The market pundits are going gaga over the blockchain technology, its benefits and how it is re-shaping the infrastructure of emerging technologies like InsurTech and others. But, the truth is that the challenges mentioned above are still hard to conquer, and it will take some good time before blockchain becomes an integral part of all the industries.

The Blockchain is an innovative technology but needs a lot of technological advancements.  However, technology has an intrinsic property of evolving and can always find a way through any challenges.  So, we cannot say that blockchain is going anywhere anytime soon but will take time to revolutionize the technology sector completely.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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