Because Pinnacle Life are so technology based, we spend a lot of time focused on our digital customer experience – in fact some may say we’re obsessed by it. Most kiwis only apply for life insurance once, maybe twice in their lives and so if it isn’t easy and intuitive they just give up. That makes getting our digital customer experience right, vital to our business.
We are very aware that there’s no way we can keep up with the plethora of new technologies, and constant changes ourselves – so we hire experts whose sole purpose in life is to keep up with developments.
We see many challenges coming our way from technological change, especially in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, or machine learning. We’re already starting to see our actuaries getting concerned about this. Technology can now do a lot of the ‘simple’ actuarial work – leaving people to do the more complex work. (All well and good – but how do the up and coming actuaries learn how to do the complex work, if they haven’t had to learn by doing the simple stuff …)
We know we’ll find a way to solve this in terms of our future people capability, but we have to be onto it now – not in 15 years!
We not only look at technology innovations in our field, but also in other markets. We don’t expect that the real disruption will come from within the industry, we expect it will come from other quarters - particularly from businesses which have lots of data on customers, and who can use that data to short-cut application processes for our potential future customers. So whether that’s Facebook, or Google or even other service industry competitors like health care or financial services, we scan the market constantly trying to foresee where the next best innovation might be.
We don’t think we’ve got all the answers, or that our model is perfect, but we do think that we have a nimble and agile business model that will help us move to meet the next big changes in the market.
What do you see as the next big digital disruptors?