Payment Solutions and Insurance: Emerging Opportunities for Leverage

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20 November 2009


Growing distribution complexity, the growth of the direct channel, changing consumer behaviors and expectations, and the development of technology and service models have created a world where premium payments matter. Insurers need to recognize their payments capabilities as a potential point of differentiation and give their payments strategies careful attention.

In a new report, Payment Solutions and Insurance: Emerging Opportunities for Leverage, Celent examines the insurance industry’s perspective on payments and the solutions that support them. The report is based on in-depth interviews with insurer staff, plus an online survey with over 300 respondents.

The key finding is that the typical focus regarding payments has been on processing efficiency and unit costs. These factors, while important, should be viewed in conjunction with agent and customer service requirements, process optimization, and the total cost of ownership of these solutions.

"In the current competitive environment, insurers can no longer focus exclusively on payment unit costs," says Craig Weber, Senior Vice President of Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report.

"There are other strong drivers of agent and customer behavior that should be taken into account," adds Bob Meara, Celent senior analyst and coauthor of the report. "For example, support for credit card payments sounds expensive if you’re just looking at costs. But if you consider that some customers won’t do business with you if you don’t support credit cards, that can change your strategy pretty quickly."