“AI and ML to become very key aspects on the financial services”

says Neeraj Gupta, CEO, Policybazaar UAE in an exclusive conversation with Captain’s Tale on the Dynamics of the UAE Market & 2022 Predictions

The year 2021 saw a relaxation in the Covid-19 imposed restrictions and there has been a certain economic recovery as well. Though the uncertainty persists and may linger upon for an indefinite time, the silver lining for the UAE insurance industry is that the digital transformation investment is expected to accelerate in the coming year. In addition, the evolving consumer preferences and outlook for sustainability are what the insurance and lending businesses are focusing upon.

Full Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1CvVxHhlsI

In an exclusive conversation with Captain’s Tale, Neeraj Gupta, CEO Policybazaar UAE highlighted some interesting points about the current dynamics of the UAE market as well as the key technological trends that may keep the insurance industry bustling in 2022. Here are some excerpts.

Key Highlights of The Interview

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be key aspects of financial services in 2022  

Data to play a major role in understanding the consumer behavior and risk behavior  

Customer service cycle and customer appetite are significant in improving insurance products and curating according to the consumer needs

Post-Covid Era is Dedicated to Digital Transformation and Data

Categorizing the market landscape into Pre-covid and Post-covid eras, Neeraj talked about how a majority of the sectors and financial niches are undergoing a digital transformation to go paperless in the coming times, for which the UAE government has already taken an initiative.

“There’s a lot of things and processes going to play. What you’re seeing is the majority of the financial institutions betting behind digital, so they’re now putting in the resources and the investment, which is required.  To see the entirety of those things come into play, I believe you’re still about 18-20 months away, when you start seeing a lot of financial institutions able to fulfill the digital space.

And if you see in the UAE, certainly in the last 12 months, a lot of digital Neo bank sort of things are coming up late, which say that we won’t have any physical branch and it’s going to be app-based. So those things have started happening. We will see the fruits of it in 2022″, said Neeraj.

In addition to the digital transformation, according to Neeraj, it will be the data that is going to play a crucial role for the financial sectors in the coming times.

“…what we are seeing is a lot of data is going into it. The traditional elements of data might not be the only factors that will determine and that is where AI ML and a lot of data, data analytics are going to come. And that is what we are betting on. We are going to use a lot of data in terms of understanding consumer behavior, risk behavior, and as a result, we are curating specific products.”

Speaking on futuristic technologies, Neeraj further emphasized that Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning will allow the companies to understand risk scoring factors as per the consumer population, which is transient in UAE.  Also, with the focus on consumer preferences, these technologies are assisting Policybazaar in curating specific products.

..if you look at life insurance, especially in the UAE market, term insurance is never to be insured as such majority of the term insurance is bought sold through home loans and all. As a result, the products were very traditional. So, what we have done is that understand the appetite of different insurers, get into our learnings from the other market, which is the India market, understood the consumer’s behavior and a need of what product should look like. We already have a couple of products on our website, which is sort of exclusive to us. In the coming time, you will see a lot more products coming about.”

Educating Customer Makes All the Difference

Apart from technology, Neeraj also explained the importance of educating your consumer base. The company has already launched a few campaigns in collaboration with influencers to make sure that their target audience understands the necessity and benefits of the insurance, especially Post-Covid.

“..our objective right now is educating the consumer on what term insurance is.  It is the cheapest form of life insurance, and the benefits of the product are huge. A lot of consumers are still in doubt whether I should buy it or how much does it costs

So, if you see all the campaigns are more on that side, more about personal stories of individuals, where if they had some sort of protection, how could it help them, and then secondly, how cheap that product is in terms of the cost of the product.”

The response, the company has received is promising. Further, such campaigns alongside creating awareness have also helped the company to increase credibility and trust among the customers. Lending one key tip, Neeraj urged the consumers to look at the protection part while buying the insurance as it is the insurance that works as a safety net during the adverse times of death, disability, and disease.

Further, highlighting the company’s core values, Neeraj said that the company’s focus is not only on selling the products but also on making sure that they are there for the customer during the service cycle.

“We go very deep into the customer service cycle… we are not gonna act very hands-off if you have a problem tomorrow, when you want a claim or need to service the policy, we are going be there, we’re going to help you do that. Right. And that gives a lot of splash.”

On Partnerships and Investments

Talking about the investment and the partnerships, Neeraj also told Captain’s Tale that the objective is to better the financial services in the region. The technical integration with Al Etihad Bureau has already lent a much-needed push by allowing the Policybazaar consumers to avoid documentation by gaining credit scores and improving the approval chances by risk-profiling them.

“A lot of documentation used to happen in banking space, and that is where we want to transform there, and credit score becomes an important factor in that journey. So now a consumer can come on our platform and take a credit score, which helps a bank also in a way that now they only get a certain application which has gone through certain scoring.”

According to Neeraj, this model has improved the conversions by 30-40%.

“Our objective is also that whosoever comes in gets the desired product, and with this, that funnel can happen.”

Riya
I am a content strategist and writer, and like to post on business, technology, people, places, money---and food!

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