For Blockchain to succeed, there is a critical need of a community whose members can collaborate and learn from each other since this is a nascent and emerging area. Realizing this importance, some Indian firms have taken the lead and formed an informal community on Blockchain.
States Thomson Thomas, CIO, HDFC Life, “An informal IT consortium of private life insurers was setup in November 2016 to exchange broad insights and experiences with bleeding and leading edge technologies and discuss critical areas of sensitivities, focusing on customer experience and levers for healthy growth of the industry.” The IT consortium has met thrice so far and engaged with industry experts to understand merits of Blockchain and delineate criteria for evaluating fitment of business use cases.
Says Rajesh Varrier, Chief Information and Digital Officer, at Birla Sun Life Insurance, “Block chain has the ability to disrupt the way we store and secure our system of records. It will also bring about a whole new level of collaboration among life insurance companies to bring about some significant changes in the way we conduct business with respect to fraud detection and underwriting.”
Adds Rohas Nagpal, Chief Blockchain Architect of Primechain Technologies (one of the key people taking the lead in forming the consortium), “A Blockchain consortium for Insurance companies would be of tremendous help to the insurance sector. Some of the use cases that the consortium can explore are: verified KYC data, verified health & policy records, Blockchain enabled micro insurance platform through smart contracts, auto info management system, unclaimed life insurance ledger, national policy and claims records, and agent details registry.” Rohas Nagpal believes that Blockchain can help the insurance industry minimize fraud, fraud, streamline paper work and reconciliations with greatly improved auditability. The first meet of informal IT consortium was hosted by HDFC Life and the participation has been growing since then. Today, close to 9 insurance firms have joined the consortium, and its members have been actively participating and contributing to the growth of the consortium.
The members of the informal IT consortium continue to review the developments in the banking sector and have been deliberating on potential areas of collaboration where Blockchain can serve as a highly secured, scalable and reliable technology. Explaining the type of use cases explored by the consortium,
Akshay Dhanak, VP, Business Systems & Technology, HDFC Life says, “At the consortium, we are exploring use cases such as checks for agent recruitment, detecting and stopping AML violations, improving customer outreach for unclaimed amounts, managing cost of medicals, and curtailing claims fraud.”
All the members of the informal IT consortium are sensitive to aligning with the regulatory mandates and guidelines. While the use cases are being explored, timely representation and engagement with the governing bodies will be planned regularly.