January 23, 2017:
Technology & The Brokerage Market in the Middle East
Technological advancements in recent years have caused vast changes to the way consumers shop and interact with businesses. These changes have also started to affect the brokerage market in the Middle East.
Shopping for Insurance Policies
Traditionally, someone in search of an insurance policy in the Middle East would have contacted a sales agent or broker to discuss their needs and purchase a policy. Online support was then normally provided by the insurance provider themselves, not the brokerage.
This traditional approach to brokering is being tested by modern consumers who are looking to find a tailor-made policy via online channels. Large online retailers such as Amazon have helped to create consumers who expect all of their purchasing needs to be met in a simple, easy-to-understand, online experience.
While there are a large number of brokers in the Middle East, there are only a few who have the capabilities to help their clients make such purchasing decisions online. Many brokers in the Middle East have simply failed to realize that improving their digital capabilities would help to strengthen their relationships with their customers.
Nexus Group’s Chief Information Officer Weldon DeSouza pointed out that brokerages need to recognize and adjust to the technological changes that have occurred in the Middle Eastern market place. The brokerage industry doesn’t need to walk this road of technological advancement alone, however. DeSouza recommends that the industry can learn a lot by looking at how other industries have made the jump to digital. One such digital jump can be seen in the banking industry – online banking has completely changed the way that consumers handle their day-to-day banking.
Going digital could also help the industry to increase their reach to potential customers, introduce new products and services to clients more quickly, and respond to client needs faster. The key to keeping pace with new technology will be strategic partnerships between the insurers and brokers, according to DeSouza. These strategic partnerships will benefit both the insurer and the broker to continue to rise to new technological advancements and stay relevant to an ever changing market place.
DeSouza also stated that the broker’s “…basic purpose in a customer’s life remains unchanged.” Brokers create peace of mind and offer customers a service that online algorithms can’t: a personal touch. A good broker will take all of the facets of a customer’s life and policy needs into account to find the best policy or combination of policies to fit their needs.
Do you have questions about the employee benefits market in the Middle East? Get in contact with Asinta’s Partner in the Middle East, Nexus, via their contact page here.