Absa goes all-in online
Absa has increased the scope of its digital services by adding new insurance products and allowing customers to manage existing ones. By Craig Wilson.
Absa has added a new channel to its Internet banking portal with Absa Online Insurance, which allows customers to purchase insurance products or maintain existing ones.
Customers can apply for insurance, complete the necessary applications and secure long- or short-term insurance entirely online.
Absa Financial Services CEO Willie Lategan says the focus of the new channel is the 1,3m Absa Online users.
Consumers can apply for and manage short-term insurance policies to cover residential buildings, household contents and vehicles using the updated Absa Online service. It’s also possible to purchase life insurance, funeral cover and credit protection.
“We want to become the go-to bank in Africa,” says Lategan, adding that this is part of the reason Absa last month changed its name on the JSE to Barclays Africa and the bank is looking at expanding into other markets and increasing the range of products across the region.
Lategan says the feedback from clients suggests Absa need to be “a whole lot more holistic” in what it offers them. This includes ensuring that customers can do as much as possible online.
“We operate in an environment that’s highly competitive, where there’s lots of innovation from our competitors and where client needs are evolving rapidly,” he says. “Customers want a complete experience online … you have to offer clients a unique and holistic digital experience.”
Absa Insurance Online offers a “seamless application quoting experience”, Lategan says. Customers can also make claims on new or existing insurance products using the platform.
“The quote, purchase, and fulfilment processes are all online, along with contract delivery,” Lategan explains.
Absa head of digital channels and payments Adrian Vermooten says the new service also makes it easier to keep track of contracts and other insurance documents because they are all accessible online.
Components of the insurance offering will move into bank’s smartphone banking application in future “without cluttering it”.
Absa Online has also added a “consolidated view” that allows customers to see their assets, investments, net worth, loyalty programme status and insurance products in one interface.
Absa isn’t the first bank to offer personal financial management (PFM) functionality, with Nedbank having added PFM services to its online banking platform last year.
“By consolidating insurance and banking products, customers will have a clear picture of where they stand financially at a glance,” Vermooten says. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media