IBM and ANZ combine efforts to develop insurance blockchain solution

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group intends to improve insurance industry efficiency.

IBM has teamed up with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) to create an insurance blockchain solution. Its purpose is to enhance insurance industry efficiency levels.

Also involved in this partnership is Suncorp New Zealand, a financial services firm.

The insurance blockchain solution is meant to make it possible for premium payments and data to transfer more easily between insurers and brokers. This could result in a more transparent and much faster process overall. The announcement was made in a press release and whitepaper this week.

“This technology will work with existing industry solutions to capture relevant information; ensuring payments can be forecast and made without the need for reconciliation,” said Paul Goodwin, the New Zealand managing director institutional at ANZ.

The insurance blockchain solution may greatly improve the process of data and payment transfers.

At the moment, the process of reconciling policy information and payments between insurers and brokers is a “slow and painful process,” said Goodwin. He added that the blockchain solution is an “efficient, single source of truth” for the insurance industry.

The developing blockchain solution for the insurance industry is based on a proof-of-concept (PoC) that has shown blockchain’s possibilities in solving a range of issues. Primarily, it would iron out a spectrum of inefficiencies through the reconciliation of “bordereau” statements. Those are lists prepared by brokers of premiums payable for an insurance company.

The original PoC was built using Fabric. That blockchain-based platform was first created by the Hyperledger consortium, which is backed by the Linux Foundation.

“We’re always looking at ways to generate operational efficiencies and the proof-of-concept was an exciting way to test whether a technology solution can speed up the reconciliation process for insurance premium payments, while at the same time improving the customer experience for policyholders and our business partners,” said Suncorp New Zealand chief financial officer, Tim Buckett.

The new insurance blockchain solution will make “a future ecosystem with multiple insurers and multiple brokers a viable outcome,” said the whitepaper. The idea is that this new type of platform would enhance the proposition for policyholders in coming years.

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