A little bit and there on insurance-eCommerce under the Breeze….

Hi… I am now in the land below the wind – that’s Sabah, the place I “screwed” (not screwed up though…) for almost 17 years! Or was it luv?

 

Overview of Kota Kinabaly Skyline and coastal front

Overview of Kota Kinabalu Skyline and coastal front. Photo credited to http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=947236

Over the last couple of days, I picked up a fair bit of things (food for thoughts…) from conversation I have had with many of the East Malaysian friends especially those relating to realities of application of eCommerce in the insurance trade. The following are matters of interest, at least from my perspectives… into the areas of insurance eCommerce:

  1. My adjuster friend (David) is not specifically a techie but he has been embracing online transactions for his share tradings and also for all his unit trusts investments and his daily banking requirements – he has been doing this for quite a number of years…
  2. A long time acquaintance told me (while discussing the subject of My.EG’s compliance with our industry Inter-company agreement of General Insurance Business or ICAGIB) that our industry should loosen the grip on restrictions which are a significant part of the Malaysian insurance industry, for the sake of insurance-eCommerce channel development…. as eCommerce is still at infantile stage for insurance trading online in this country. Much money have to be spent building the interactive and innovative sites in engaging the end-customers. The industry should relax those rules specifically for this channel (B2C), which as it is, less travelled!
  3. My long time agent, Alex too told me about his business venture into the cyberworld – his was about the cybercafe. He owns two such cafe and doing reasonably well despite the fact that he does not possess much knowledge of the cyber world save for his own email access, which he merely log in nothing more than once a month – most time unable to remember the password! However, he is able to explain how the cybercafe operations work, quite well though! He believes that the use of internet in insurance selling, quotation and transactions is going to be a reality in the near future, but he is not sure how this would develop since his insurance related works are more of a “runner” for his long listing of clienteles…
    That's how and where games are played between friends

    That's how and where games are played between friends

    He further stressed that Games are one of the top reasons why people go to cybercafes. They are of multi-ages or ageless as he termed them. His youngest ever cybercafe’s client is 4 years old and his oldest is more than 55. The public just loves to go to the cybercafe, hammer a few games especially those involving weaponry and wars. Some of them even stayed overnight at the cybercafe…. just to wait for their friendly competitors who will be accessing a challenge at an overseas venue with them! Whenever he organised team competition, he gets entry from all over the country and many of these participants are professionals and very skillful with the competition.

  4. Another friends also felt the reasons why people access the net are more towards seeking entertainment and vital information (especially those that would enable them to make money) rather than buy something from some strangers…. especially insurance which is traditionally sold rather than bought. Moreover buying insurance requires the data entry of alot of information and there are risks of non-disclosure along the way – one day this may be a claim nightmare!

Was there anything that I learned over the weekend? I guess plentiful ….

It goes to show creating an insurance-eCommerce platform is not exactly a clear-cut sort of project…. It is beyond bloggers, facebook, twitter, hyperlinkages, advertisement banners and websites, it is really about people surfing the internet for info-entainment. Every day we are tsunamied by all sorts of information coming through our emails – and we just hardly find time to read them let alone surfing for more information that we do not want….Thus, creating the platform is not something too difficult but to continue reinventing as we go along is more important and is the real thing that would differentiate between the able and the disabled. The availability of the latest games online is important for customers’ entertainment just to get them to remember our platform or sites whenever there are needs to purchase or seek quotation for any insurance. Thus banners to hyperlink to cybercafes’ PC screen-savers may be a great idea… The ability to make the platform automated as part of the browser’s bar is also important and making investment banners as part of the platform is important so that the customers can easily access the platform before clicking into the investment banners, which may be their ultimate destination. 

Basically, the major focus is really about competing for attention from the cyber audience – competing for their TRUST and MEMORY so that whenever the needs to source for insurance information and making a purchase, they should know where to go…..

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3 comments for “A little bit and there on insurance-eCommerce under the Breeze….

  1. Thinking Aloud
    October 19, 2009 at 09:10

    I believe e-Commerce is about making the opportunity to purchase the ware being hawked available everywhere in the cyber universe – ubiquitous is the word. At the same time, focus should also be placed on the audience targetted. It’s ironic in that sense.

    • vk
      December 14, 2009 at 09:01

      I think convenience, interactive and trust must be portrayed in the design of the websites and web-portal. For insurance e-comm to work well there must be a great online platform well supported by an offline channel.

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