Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Liberty Life Botswana wooing Regulator to the technology space

Liberty life Botswana, a specialist life insurance company, has put itself in a race against time to become a market leader in innovative services by 2020 but the Regulator will have to become party to this if it is to fully achieve its goal. 

The company has recently demonstrated its aggression to align the use of technology to its business model but the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), which oversees the space that Liberty Life Botswana plays in, hasn’t caught up to the technology. This was said by the Head of Business Development, Kgomotso Disele, on Tuesday last week at the launch of the company’s latest innovative service called ‘office in a box’. One particular area Disele expressed their readiness for which however its scope isn’t yet covered by NBFIRA is the ability of customers to buy insurance through the internet.   

When launching the new service Disele deemed the solution a stepping stone towards their goal. Office in a box as its name suggests is an antithesis of the brick and mortar style of selling policy documents. Instead of approaching potential customers and later going back to the office to draw up a policy document, ‘office in a box’ eliminates the time-lag by producing on the spot policy documents.   The box comprises of a laptop ÔÇô to generate quotations at worksites and email communication; modem ÔÇô for internet connectivity; scanner ÔÇô to scan Know Your Customer (KYC) documents from the clients; biometric device ÔÇô used in two ways, first one, password to use the equipment and second, in future when the Regulator allows, clients will sign off their policies using their biometric data; identity device ÔÇô to capture clients’s omang; printer ÔÇô to print product policies and terms and conditions at a worksite. The use of the biometric device for customers to sign off their policies using their thumb also currently lies outside the scope of NBFIRA. Disele said that the requirement by the Regulator is for policy documents to be signed strictly on paper. 

To date the company has two boxes with three months in the market. The use of the service has been in crowd pulling events which are identified as work sites. Disele said that moving into 2018 the company will introduce three more boxes bringing them to a total of five. 

The advantage of ‘office in a box’, as was explained by Disele, is that it allows the company to play in the educational space by discussing in thorough detail the contents of the policy before the potential customer signs it. She said it helps customers to sign the document from a knowledgeable position. In addition to the prompt service that the company has committed to through the use of office in a box, Disele said that the solution is aimed at increasing financial inclusion. Given that they cannot set up brick and mortar in every location, particularly in remote areas, the solution will draw the inclusion of people that had previously been geographically disadvantaged.  

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