Malawi Broadcasting Corporation
Business Feature Technology

Local insurance industry catches the digital penetration euphoria

At the heart of Malawi’s insurance sector, a quiet revolution is taking place, one that promises to reshape the industry’s landscape and touch the lives of countless individuals. It is a tale of innovation, determination and above all, a commitment to serving customers better.

Being a world where paperwork once reigned supreme, Malawi’s insurance sector is embracing digitalization with open arms. Gone are the days of cumbersome manual processes and endless paperwork stacks. Instead, companies are turning to cutting-edge technology to streamline operations and enhance customer service like never before.

One of the players in this digital revolution is Britam Insurance Malawi, where CEO Wales Meja is spearheading efforts to bring about meaningful change. For them, the goal is clear: to harness the power of technology to simplify the claims process and ease the burden on customers.

Meja

“We understand that claims process can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. That’s why we’ve developed this innovative system to streamline and automate every step of the claims journey,” he said.

But it is not just about innovation – it is also about responsibility. With the enactment of Malawi’s new Pensions Act, employers are now mandated to provide pensions, ensuring the long-term financial security of their employees. This regulatory shift highlights the importance of embracing change and adapting to new realities in the insurance landscape.

Back in 2021, NICO Pensions launched its online member service pensions and USSD platforms, aimed at empowering members to keep track of their pensions in real-time. This innovative system allows members to access various services including account summaries, claims documentation and the flexibility to switch between accounts if affiliated with multiple pension funds. With features like self-registration, contribution history viewing, claim initiation, and progress tracking, NICO Pensions set a new standard for accessibility and transparency in pension management.

Fast forward to 2024, Reunion Insurance, under the leadership of its CEO Dorothy Chapeyama, followed suit with the launch of Reunion Online. This digital platform offers customers the ease of purchasing, renewing or inquiring about insurance services from the comfort of their homes or offices. With a user-friendly interface, Reunion Online simplified the process for general inquiries, applying for new insurance policies, and renewing existing ones, effectively putting the power of insurance management into the hands of the consumers.

For Information Communication Technology Expert Anthony Ziba, the benefits of digitalization extend far beyond mere convenience. In a world where financial crimes are all too common, digitalization offers a powerful tool for combating fraud and ensuring transparency in the insurance industry. With every digital transaction leaving a trace, the days of undetected financial misconduct may soon be behind us.

Anthony Ziba
Ziba-Digitalization offers a powerful tool for combating fraud

“If these transactions happen using physical files, it would be more difficult for law enforcers like the Financial Intelligence Authority to follow such illicit proceeds and take appropriate action because there would be no digital trail and they would have to rely on the insurance specialist’s or agent’s goodwill to report such fraudulent activities. When insurance companies go digital, such transactions will always leave a digital footprint and can easily be followed up,” he said.

As Malawi’s insurance sector continues to evolve, there’s a sense of optimism in the air. President of the Insurance Institute of Malawi, Hastings Kapesa, sees a bright future ahead, one where digitalization not only enhances operational efficiency but also strengthens the bond between insurers and their customers.

In this new era of digitalization, everyone stands to benefit – from the pensioners receiving their rightful claims to the employees who make it all possible.

“As an economy, digital is the order of the day and companies need to adopt such a system,” Kapesa said.

In the end, Malawi’s embrace of digitalization is not just about technology – it is about ensuring that every customer receives the support they need when they need it most. It is about empowering employees to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. And above all, it is about building a future where innovation and compassion go hand in hand, ensuring a brighter tomorrow for all.

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