Business Differences Abroad
Geoff has worked on an array of projects with businesses all over the world, as evidenced by his intro. He’s seen how businesses operate outside of Western norms and how customers in different countries need completely different things. Take for example, Nigeria. Undertaking business deals there highlighted some cultural differences. Negotiations weren’t very focused on finding a partner, but were more based on having power and control over the relationship. The conversations were more aggressive, which isn’t because they didn’t want to do business, but was just their approach to the process.
With the tools Montoux provides, life insurance carriers are able to create the most efficient pricing process they can. This allows them to stay relevant in regard to their competition. Geoff can’t stress the importance of this enough – a recent study showed that the average time it took a new product or reprice to get to market. It can take 40 weeks from ideation to implementation, and pricing takes up a huge chunk of that time. Taking down pricing to a very granular level to improve profitability, and becoming more efficient allows carriers to spend more time on product development.
In our special edition episode with TransUnion, it was brought up that there’s no such thing as bad risk, but there is such a thing as bad pricing. Montoux allows carriers to take a closer look at alternate sources of data, such as step and diet data from wearables, so they can price risk more appropriately. Montoux is built to handle those alternate data sources, and they also bring in competitor pricing so analysis can be done to see where the carrier stands in relation to the rest of the industry.
Geoff sees that innovating in the insurance industry is difficult due to its sheer size. Life insurance makes up 25 percent of the global market on its own. Thinking back to his experience in retail banking, he sees a lot of similar challenges that the banking industry has already tackled. Some teachable moments would include the way companies engage with the customer. Plain and simple, it needs to be contextual. The shift away from physical banks and ATMs to digital services brought up the discussion of, well, do people really want to go through the whole mortgage process on their smart phone? The answer was no, that there was still a need for some one on one interactions in the space. So the context of the product will still need to meet the customer’s needs going forward. Going 100 percent digital doesn’t need to be the focus, the focus needs to be designing the process around what the customer need is specific to their product.