Friday, November 5, 2021

What are Some Differences between InsurTech and Conventional Insurance?


Although the word "InsurTech" dates back to at least 2010, its use and influence have grown in recent years. InsurTech - a portmanteau of insurance technology – is about how technology is transforming the insurance sector at its most fundamental level. InsurTech in Malaysia and the rest of the world has gained relevance over time as an integral component to the future of insurance. Like Fintech, it is a wide term that encompasses both insurance processes and products. It's also often used in the insurance business to describe disruptive start-ups and products. InsurTech's ascent has coincided with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and the enhanced data-crunching capability now available to businesses.

The investment share of the InsurTech market fell dramatically in 2020, although analysts believe this is a one-time pandemic-related blip. Investment, as determined by the number of agreements completed, has consistently increased over the last decade, peaking in 2018 with 466 deals completed worldwide. As a result of the epidemic, several insurers have accelerated their digital transformation initiatives and are looking for InsurTech opportunities that can help them speed up virtual interactions in sales and claims while also lowering costs.

Data has traditionally been used by insurance companies to perform the core responsibilities of underwriting risk and assessing claims. According to Abbott, new technologies have boosted the volume and quality of data available, allowing insurers to uncover new efficiencies and develop new solutions. The initial concentration was on web-based and mobile-friendly content. It was always about making the experience more user-friendly. In recent years, we've seen technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics used to develop more efficient and cost-effective alternatives.

With that being said, there are few differences between InsurTech and conventional insurance that may lead to a disruption of the insurance industry, bringing more innovative and customer-friendly services to market.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Innov8tif Received a Top Placer Mention for AI in the 2021 Go Global Awards

On the 14th October 2021 the International Trade Council announced the winners of the 2021 Go Global Awards. Originally launched in 1989, The International Trade Council’s Go Global Awards celebrate organizations that drive the global economy through their innovations, technologies, and strategies.

The 2021 Go Global Awards received a total of 6416 entries, coming from organizations in 178 countries. 

Unlike the past, when we made an announcement for emerging as the winner of awards, the competitive nomination seen at this year’s Go Global Awards is accompanied by winners more qualified than Innov8tif to win the top spot of respective categories. Although not making the final spot, we are pleased to receive an honorable mention from the judging panel - as a Top Placer for Artificial Intelligence in the 2021 Go Global Awards.

We are committed to continuously deliver innovations to tackle real-world business challenges using AI while displaying leadership and resiliency in our go-global mission.

Congratulations to Luminance from UK, Diveplane from USA and AI Superior from Germany for winning the top spots in the Artificial Intelligence category of 2021 Go Global Awards.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

What are Some Benefits of eKYC for Non-Financial Sectors?


eKYC (electronic Know-Your-Customer) is a concept that you've probably heard or read about. With the migration of a wide range of products and services to the internet, the necessity for digital customer onboarding has grown. 

The procedure entails a series of tests carried out in the early stages of the customer connection to ensure that s/he is who s/he claims to be, taking into consideration his/her identity documents and persona. A range of rules, such as anti-money laundering (AML), counter terrorism financing, electronic identification standards, and trust services (eIDAS), have had an impact on this process. eKYC solutions are seen as a response to traditional problems that come with customer onboarding.

All organisations and economic agents are going through a significant digitalisation process. Digital transformation has been one of the most significant shifts in organisations over the last decade, causing those who ignore it to miss out on possibilities or fail in their industries entirely.

Companies and organisations are battling to transform and digitise processes that previously seemed inefficient. However, specialised solutions have emerged to accomplish this work, transforming and optimising processes using cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. As the future grows evidently more tech-reliant, eKYC stands as a strong pillar for many security, regulatory and consumer-related aspects for various businesses.

eKYC for financial services is obvious in its benefits, as it is mainly driven by regulatory compliance while keeping up with the customer demand for self service channels. On the other hand, could non financial sectors, especially when not driven by regulatory compliance, reap some benefits from eKYC in favour of businesses and consumers?

Here are a few benefits that eKYC has to offer non-financial sectors:

1. Better Operational Measures for Government Agencies

Apart from financial institutions, government bodies and agencies can greatly benefit from the implementation of highly advanced security innovations, and eKYC matches the capabilities necessary for more effective processes.

In many parts of the world, government agencies rely on systems and digital platforms that are either outdated, inefficient or occasionally unreliable. Fortunately, the tide is turning and the digital era has transitioned to include the improvement of many of these government-related systems. However, security and authentication measures must still be kept as a top priority, since there are a lot of verification phases related to many services that fall under the government.

Whether it’s for documentation renewal and identification confirmation or paying of fines and registering new companies, eKYC can help iron-out authentication processes. In other words, eKYC technology adoption can help to enable uncompromised accuracy when it comes to customer identification and verification. This can be used to ensure safe and secure application processes under government agencies, or the facilitating of supervisory oversight from an internal operations perspective, as well as the improvement of control measures against criminal activities.


2. More Trustworthy Secondary Market Merchants

Secondary market merchants can benefit from the eKYC notion of stronger security measures and better authenticity brought on by advanced tech. Seeing that eKYC can protect the interests of various bodies through the validation of legal, regulatory and policy developments, the secondary market can begin to effectively identify reliable prospects and merchants from unreliable players in any given platform.

Safety is a big concern here as well. In fact, there is a current major focus on the regulation and safety aspects across many verticals, especially since digital inclusivity leads to a higher volume of users on countless platforms. This means that cybercrime, fraudulent activities within financial and non-financial context, as well as digital conflicts are all rapidly on the verge of breaking many areas of any given market. For instance, many media outlets within Malaysia alone had reported a rise in cybercrime activity since the MCO, totaling to a 441.7% increase.

In order to mend trust between businesses and customers, regulators and service providers are working together to implement practices and limitations to prevent crimes. eKYC is a crucial part of that strategy, in order to stop malicious behavior in its tracks through stronger authentication requirements.


3. Restore Visitor's Confidence in the Hospitality Industry

What's interesting about the technological preferences between the hospitality and financial industries is that they share many striking similarities, especially when it comes to the need for seamless verification and security. What's more, a post-COVID future relies heavily on the trust and comfort of customers as well as tighter control under regulatory and policy measures. As the hospitality industry opens up again, a new battle ensues to attract patrons to physical spaces when hesitancy is at an all-time high.

eKYC works to provide features that can help to restore the confidence of visitors, using components like facial recognition technology via face image retrieval or face comparison devices to help identify prospects or optical character recognition based on documentation or passport details.

This security is coupled with the potential for better contactless services through verification features that don’t require customers to touch devices or linger around registration areas too long. eKYC ultimately helps in the fight against COVID-19 by creating better environments with social distancing in mind and safer hospitality spaces in general.


Monday, September 13, 2021

Tech in a Time of Pandemic and Political Turmoil

This article first appeared in Digital Edge, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, authored by Pathma Subramaniam.

Malaysia has undergone more political instability in the last decade than it did in the early days of its formation 58 years ago.

The continuous arbitrary changes in government — following a contentious 2018 general election — has resulted in an increasingly fractious political process that has thrown the country into one upheaval too many, which have been compounded by the unceasing Covid-19 pandemic.

While political pundits see the situation as a sign of a maturing democracy, the political bloodletting has only exacerbated a weakened economy and resulted in a state lacking in direction.

thumbnail of news "Tech in a time of pandemic and political turmoil"

And here is where technology can come in to save the day. Law Tien Soon, Chief Operating Officer at Innov8tif Solutions Sdn Bhd, an artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider, points out that public services can be effectively carried out during a time of political turmoil — such as this — using the right technology.

“Fortunately for Malaysia, there is a convention of caretaker governments practised in the absence of a Cabinet, unlike the government shutdown in the US where federally run operations were halted [between December 2018 and January 2019],” he says.

“Thus, it is not so much a concern of maintaining functions at status quo by a caretaker government, but the integrity aspect of mandatory spending on essential functions could be improved with the help of technology, especially during times of crisis.”

For years, the adoption of technology in public service has been focused on adding processes to an existing system without looking at streamlining and eliminating redundancy and questioning the relevance of an existing activity, Law points out. “Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2019 said, ‘If a person wants to run a tourism project in Langkawi, he has to seek permits from close to 20 departments.’”

Meaning to say digital transformation does not necessarily have to involve the latest technology. It merely has to streamline existing processes and make everything more efficient and convenient.

“Many government agencies have embarked on system modernisation programmes for business processes. However, these programmes have often stopped at digitisation — where traditional paper forms are converted into online forms for data processing and storage in a database-driven system,” says Law.

“Larger opportunities remain to be unearthed [such as] the reengineering and optimisation of business processes. When an electronic form can be enforced with mandatory validators to ensure that sufficient information is provided in the expected format before submission, what is the relevance of keeping the ‘checker’ role in a process?

“There must be 20% of mundane and common [regulations], which can be effectively automated to yield 80% of outcomes. So, shouldn’t there be an irrelevance of traditional approval activities by appointed officers for most of the applications received by an agency?”

Click here to continue reading the full article

Monday, August 9, 2021

How can Biometric System Further Optimise the Healthcare Sector?

A new era of individualised technology has arrived. Biometric technology has recently been hailed as the way of the future in healthcare. Improved patient’s privacy, enhanced security for patients and staff, as well as a reduction in the risk of clerical mistakes and system vulnerabilities, are just a few instances of how biometric system can benefit the industry.

We have grown accustomed to unlocking our phones with our fingerprints and faces. We can even use speech recognition to unlock our cars. Biometric technology is a sort of identification and identity authentication technology that has important ramifications in the healthcare industry. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Here are a few aspects of the healthcare sector that biometric technology is currently unearthing opportunities for improvement.

1. Biometric System Helps Negate Healthcare Fraud

Impersonation is when someone pretends to be another person, and it can happen in universal healthcare and social health insurance programmes. According to news report dated Sep 2019, dead patients undergoing kidney dialysis, ghost patients getting cancer treatments and fake members are just some of the fraudulent schemes that led to at least P154 billion (US$2.94 billion) losses in Philippines state-health insurer. 

While no system is perfect, combination of contactless biometrics techniques such as face biometric authentication and voiceprint verification can produce a very stringent patient record verification system that achieves error rate only in the range of less-than-one-in-a-million. 

Face recognition system can be degraded by ageing effect, voiceprint verification can be rendered ineffective for unconscious patients, and fingerprint recognition can be worsened by worn-out or cut fingerprints, but it is unlikely that several unimodal systems will suffer from identical limitations. 

Individuals attempting to impersonate other patients can be declined fraudulent attempt with biometric authentication. This will also ensure that caregivers are working with the correct medical history and demographic data.

2. Biometric System Helps Prevent Unauthorised Access to Restricted Areas

Certain parts of a hospital are frequently restricted, with access provided only to authorised or privileged medical personnel via a key card. Unfortunately, if these key cards are forgotten or stolen, they can lead to serious security breaches with life-threatening repercussions. 

Biometrics are great in these instances as the step-up measures for stringent access control to these restricted places. If there is any instance of malpractice in the building, combination of CCTV and biometric access records can present tremendous help in investigation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Electronic KYC in ESG

Investors are increasingly applying Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) data – the non-financial metrics, as part of their analysis process to identify material risk and growth opportunities. Vincent Triesschijn, Director of Sustainable Investing at ABN AMRO, highlighted the significance and growth potential of ESG driven investing in an interview: “We’re seeing that investing according to ESG criteria is becoming more and more popular. Worldwide, sustainable investments have reached record amounts. ABN AMRO is currently managing 20 billion euros’ worth of client assets in sustainable investments, of which 1 billion euros in impact investments. We’re incredibly proud that the new Impact Equity Fund has already raised 200 million euros.” 

Sustainable investing has grown in popularity thanks to a shift in investing methodology preference driven by the millennial generation. The earliest batch of millennials (born in early 1980s) are already in their late 30s by now – the prime investing years. This investment discipline shift will gradually influence all other generations when the interest is becoming mainstream. Sustainable funds are growing, with the total asset size globally just shy of US$2 trillion. The bulk of these funds are in Europe (US$1.63 trillion).

Even the banks and financial institutions, are increasingly allocating a higher weightage to sustainability metrics as part of financial loan approval.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

eKYC for Positive Environmental Impact

Microsoft set a bold goal and detailed plan to be carbon negative by 2030, and even to remove historical carbon emissions by 2050. 

Even in current times when physical movement is facing disruptions, many businesses are still primarily relying on physical customer servicing touchpoints in business and sales operations. This is a significant source of carbon footprints. Based on a survey done by Michael Page, the average commuting time between home and work, in Kuala Lumpur, is 44 minutes. Deriving inspiration from research done by NRDC, 1 minute on the road and assuming at ideal traffic (55mph), average carbon dioxide emissions is 291 grams/minute/car. In Kuala Lumpur alone, even if we are assuming a very low traffic volume of 100,000 cars on the road each day, the carbon dioxide emissions would reach 1,280 tonnes per day! Using the same analogy, you can derive the carbon footprints produced by your business, for all the branches nationwide, contributed by your staff and customers each day.

Outdoor air pollution was estimated to have caused 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016, and the highest concentrations of air pollution are in Asia.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Post Pandemic World: The Utilisation of Facial Biometrics in The Travel Industry

The recent pandemic is already transforming the way we travel and is showing to be an evolutionary catalyst for numerous sectors. Multiple touchpoints that formerly resulted in long queues of passengers are being phased out in favor of touch-less and self-service options. 

Restoring Confidence in Air Travel

Airlines and airports throughout the world are deploying technology that allows passengers to check-in using facial recognition, allowing them to pass through many touchpoints in the airport without having to touch anything. Instead of transferring documents back and forth, passengers can use self-service biometric verification to assist in baggage check-in, security check-point clearance, business lounge access, and boarding.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Face recognition is natural and crosses language barriers; most people know how to capture a selfie, so looking at a screen for a snapshot is easily accomplished. The pair of selfie photo and ID photo are compared by algorithm, and a match/no-match is concluded, following by the display of a red or green indicator light — a universal indication for a person to stop or go. 

To further promote touch-less consumer experience and safeguard personal data privacy, biometric authentication technology can be embraced at travel retail point-of-sales, and for in-flight purchases. Detection of elevated body temperature (EBT), auto-recognition of passenger’s flight number at duty free retailers without unnecessarily revealing travel document identification details, and not forgetting – the cashless payment. Spearheaded by market demand, face recognition algorithm has also been developed to a maturity that reliably recognises a face even when a mask is worn. Integration of various major technologies into a smooth process is the key to success. A new world means that contactless customer onboarding in every step of travel is now the new norm.