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Scope of Phygital in Insurance

The Indian insurance market is undergoing a rapid change. The focus on digital cannot be limited to customer acquisition since customer engagement is the key. However, some customer segments depend on traditional insurance channels of interaction. 

Problems With Traditional Insurance

With customers split into different segments, insurers require hybrid methods to satisfy the needs of all. A reimagined approach to the network and methods of interaction to provide seamless and frictionless experience is the need of the hour. 

Phygital, as a paradigm, challenges the cascaded approach of traditional insurance and bridges the gap between both the worlds effortlessly.

The insurance industry is expected to touch sales of US$ 280B by 2020. However, there is still a trust deficit between customers and insurance companies primarily due to suspect products with unrealistic returns being sold in the past decade. This causes the customer’s experience to be very different both online and offline for the same customer. 

Enter Phygital

The amalgamation of ‘Physical’ and ‘Digital’  or ‘Phygital’ experience can help the insurance industry amplify their yield, manifold. Phygital models can enhance the insurance buying experience. It can increase customer interactivity in insurance and enhance the overall customer experience. The sole objective of Phygital is to provide the ultimate 360-degree experience, i.e focus on relationships, life-cycle, and even life-stages.

Source: Accenture 

What’s After the Death of Traditional Retail?

Ever since Marc Andreesen predicted the death of traditional retail, the e-commerce vultures have been circling. Consumers worldwide, purchased US$2.86 trillion on the web in 2018, up from US$2.43 trillion the previous year. In India, growth is even stronger. Online retail in India is growing at a faster pace and is expected to be worth US$170 billion by FY30, growing at a CAGR of 23%.

The insurance purchase process today mostly take place in the digital medium before the customer consciously seeks a sustained physical engagement. The insurance companies then take initiatives for either influencing their conversion or closure.

In this, the customer journeys are mostly “ phygital ” – i.e. customers jump between digital and physical touchpoints while making a purchase decision. 

All these possibilities have spun a whole new disruption story through well-orchestrated alignment along the phygital retail journey.

Along with large marketplaces, the Indian insurance sector is the sandbox for medical operators, payment platforms, and insurance aggregators.

Brands Bringing Phygital Disruption in Indian Insurance 

Flipkart and Amazon

Both the consumer-tech giants have a strong understanding of how to track and influence customer journeys. With a large and loyal customer base who come to them for buying “everything”, they have a clear edge at Phygital disruption in insurance.


“Insurance” is the highest revenue-generating keyword for Google. The recent announcement of Google car (Waymo) to join hands with Trov to provide car insurance for its driverless cars. This demonstrates the innovative path Google seems to be favoring at this stage in the insurance space.


Large aggregators like PolicyBazaar, originally just a portal to compare quotes, realized the significance of “phygital marketing” in Insurance and invested in “last mile feet on the street” for adequate engagement.

PayTM and Phone Pe

Payment platforms like Paytm and Phone Pe also are in a strong position to build an insurance distribution franchise. They are already distributing a selected set of products tailored exclusively for each customer, in their mall/store, leveraging their phygital distribution reach. 


Medical platforms like Practo has created a large data-rich ecosystem of customers and medical service providers; making them a powerful channel to distribute health insurance – and in due course life insurance. 

Final Thoughts

Phygital is a bridge between traditional processes and the swiftly growing digital space. Insurer distribution models that blend both digital and physical experiences for its customers will stand to gain a significant advantage over competitors that are yet to embark on their digital transformation journey. An omnichannel marketplace that brings the customer on a unique buying experience will draw the most visibility complete with data-driven analytics and insights to personalize the modern ‘buyer-seller’ relationship.

What is your take on the future of Phygital insurance?

Let us know by commenting.

To know us in person, drop a Hi at hello@mantralabsglobal.com  


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Enhancing digital patient experience with healthcare chatbots

5 minutes read

Chatbots are fast emerging at the forefront of user engagement across industries. In 2021, healthcare is undoubtedly being touted as one of the most important industries due to the noticeable surge in demand amid the pandemic and its subsequent waves. The Global Healthcare Chatbots Market is expected to exceed over US$ 314.63 Million by 2024 at a CAGR of 20.58%.

Chatbots are being seen as those with high potential to revolutionize healthcare. They act as the perfect support system to agents on the floor by providing the first-step resolution to the customer, in terms of understanding intent and need, boost efficiency, and also improve the accuracy of symptom detection and ailment identification, preventive care, feedback procedures, claim filing and processing and more.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital tools in healthcare, most commonly chatbots, rose to the forefront of healthcare solutions. Providence St. Joseph Health, Mass General Brigham, Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare), and several other notable names built and rolled out artificial intelligence-based chatbots to help with diagnostics at the first stage before a human-human virtual contact, especially while differentiating between possible COVID-19 cases and other ailments. The CDC also hosts an AI-driven chatbot on its website to help screen for coronavirus infections. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a messaging app named Ratuken Viber, to develop an interactive chatbot for accurate information about COVID-19 in multiple languages. This allowed WHO to reach up to 1 billion people located anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, in their respective native languages.

For Care Health Insurance, Mantra Labs deployed their Conversational AI Chatbot with AR-based virtual support, called Hitee, trained to converse in multiple languages. This led to 10X interactions over the previous basic chatbot; 5X more conversions through Vanilla Web Experience; Drop-in Customer Queries over Voice Support by 20% among other benefits.

Artificial Intelligence’s role in the healthcare industry has been growing strength by strength over the years. According to the global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, AI spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries is expected to increase from $463 million in 2019 to more than $2 billion over the next 5 years, healthtechmagazine.net has reported. 

Speaking of key features available on a healthcare chatbot, Anonymity; Monitoring; Personalization; collecting Physical vitals (including oxygenation, heart rhythm, body temperature) via mobile sensors; monitoring patient behavior via facial recognition; Real-time interaction; and Scalability, feature top of the list. 

However, while covering the wide gamut of a healthcare bot’s capabilities, it is trained on the following factors to come in handy on a business or human-need basis. Read on: 

Remote, Virtual Consults 

Chatbots were seen surging exponentially in the year 2016, however, the year 2020 and onwards brought back the possibility of adding on to healthcare bot capabilities as people continued to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Chatbots work as the frontline customer support for Quick Symptom Assessment where the intent is understood and a patient’s queries are answered, including connection with an agent for follow-up service, Booking an Appointment with doctors, and more. 

Mental Health Therapy

Even though anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related disorders and their subsequent awareness have been the talk around the world, even before the pandemic hit, the pandemic year, once again could be attributed to increased use of bots to seek support or a conversation to work through their anxiety and more amid trying times. The popular apps, Woebot and Wysa, both gained popularity and recognition during the previous months as a go-to Wellness Advisor. 

An AI Wellness Advisor can also take the form of a chatbot that sends regular reminders on meal and water consumption timings, nutrition charts including requisite consultation with nutritionists, lifestyle advice, and more. 

Patient Health Monitoring via wearables 

Wearable technologies like wearable heart monitors, Bluetooth-enabled scales, glucose monitors, skin patches, shoes, belts, or maternity care trackers promise to redefine assessment of health behaviors in a non-invasive manner and helps acquire, transmit, process, and store patient data, thereby making it a breeze for clinicians to retrieve it as and when they need it.

Remote patient monitoring devices also enable patients to share updates on their vitals and their environment from the convenience and comfort of home, a feature that’s gained higher popularity amid the pandemic.

A healthcare chatbot for healthcare has the capability to check existing insurance coverage, help file claims and track the status of claims. 

What’s in store for the future of chatbots in Healthcare? 

The three main areas where healthcare chatbots can be particularly useful include timely health diagnostics, patient engagement outside medical facilities, and mental health care. 

According to Gartner, conversational AI will supersede cloud and mobile as the most important imperative for the next ten years. 

“For AI to succeed in healthcare over the long-term, consumer comfort and confidence should be front and center. Leveraging AI behind the scenes or in supporting roles could collectively ease us into understanding its value without risking alienation,” reads a May 2021 Forbes article titled, The Doctor Is In: Three Predictions For The Future Of AI In Healthcare. 


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