In the face of digital disruption, we are embracing new technologies and gearing our business to deliver relevant products and services for a new generation of clients
The ongoing technological revolution is altering the way people live, work and relate. Disruption from the Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect our current and future clients, employees, partners and other stakeholders. Digital capabilities are therefore critical to transforming our business for client-centric growth. We focus on innovation across our products and services, distribution channels and back office processes. Digital innovation is a key focus area and our approach is threefold:
We have identified disruptive threats and the Fourth Industrial Revolution as one of our strategic risks. We also recognise cyber-risk, which includes the various risks related to digitised information, the supporting IT infrastructure and increasing digitisation of all channels. Read more about how we are mitigating our strategic risks and leveraging opportunities.
Clients increasingly demand solutions that are simple, fast and effortless, yet personalised. This includes easy and cost-effective access to Sanlam policy information.
We want intermediaries to be comfortable in serving clients through physical and digital interactions. Sanlam consultants should be able to operate in a digitally enabled way that connects them via mass personalisation to more intermediaries via mobile phone and or other technology platforms.
To prepare and enable intermediaries for the future world of work, SPF launched Sanlam Now Cover in 2018. The digital platform allows intermediaries to complete a client’s application for death and disability cover in 15 minutes.
The platform meets expectations of digitally connected clients while allowing intermediaries to work more effectively, given increased compliance requirements alongside downward pressure on fees and commissions. No similar intermediary-empowering products are available locally or overseas. The offering simplifies the underwriting process to be as quick and non-invasive as possible.
Further digital solutions for intermediaries developed and launched in 2019 include:
Sanlam Personal Finance has three direct life businesses: Indie (originally aimed at millennials), MiWayLife (an additional product offering by MiWay) and Sanlam direct (focused on the affluent segment). Earnings contributions made by these channels are still modest, but early traction is promising, and we consider investment into digital client interfaces to be imperative to being competitive in the long term.
Sanlam Sky launched a WhatsApp channel that operates 24/7. It offers digital services and interactive voice response. For clients this is the most comfortable and convenient communication platform. The channel is cost-effective as data for WhatsApp is cheaper than airtime. Clients in remote areas can access all services cost effectively, engage more frequently and have an overall improved client experience.
We continue focusing on robotics and how to automate standard processes to improve the client and intermediary experience. At the same time, we aim to lower the cost of execution.
Sanlam and MTN SA launched a range of innovative and inclusive financial services in 2019. This started with MTN subscribers being able to purchase Sanlam funeral cover and other life products on MTN’s platform. Sanlam Indie’s digital-first set of insurance solutions was also made available to MTN clients via Sanlam’s digital platforms.
The offering includes funeral cover which, after two years, automatically doubles the amount of cover at no extra cost and various life insurance products. Every policy further includes a free, built-in investment called Wealth Bonus – Sanlam matches up to 100% of the client’s monthly premium with an additional 10% Wealth Bonus for MTN customers.