From insurance companies to financial services firms to ridesharing platform providers, over the course of the past month, companies in a wide range of industries are turning to faster disbursement methods to meet consumers’ demand for speed. That has meant moving away from legacy payment methods like paper checks, and toward Same Day ACH and real-time payments.
In the latest issue of the Disbursements Tracker™, PYMNTS explores the latest news from around the space, including the latest efforts to improve speed of disbursements around the world.
In the insurance industry, a growing group of providers are looking to improve the claims process and give their customers faster access to funds.
That includes Blue Shield of California. The company recently teamed up with San Francisco technology provider OODA Health to build a cloud-based software platform, which provides real-time payments to customers. Blue Shield also made a $1.5 million investment in OODA Health as part of a recently completed $40.5 million Series A funding round.
Meanwhile, some companies are turning to emerging technologies in hopes of improving the insurance payment process.
Swiss insurer Etherisc, for one, is working to move insurance workflows to a distributed transactions ledger, which will allow companies to build insurance policies via its smart contract system. So far, this technology has been put to use in Puerto Rico, where it disbursed disaster relief funds after last year’s Hurricane Maria.
Meanwhile, insurance provider FWD unveiled a new mobile app in hopes of improving payments speed. The company recently unveiled a new smartphone app, FWD Flyer, designed to provide users with real-time payments for travel-related claims, like lost baggage or flight delays, as well as cashless payments for medical treatment and procedures.
To read more on these and other stories throughout the space, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section.
FWD isn’t the only travel insurer recognizing the need for immediate claim payouts. Allianz Travel Insurance recently introduced a new program aiming to assuage travel delay pain points, known as SmartBenefits.
The program allows customers to take out an insurance policy that will compensate them with cash in the event that their flight is delayed or baggage goes missing. What’s more, those funds can be delivered to consumers the same day this happens, according to James Serato, retail channel manager for Allianz Travel Insurance, and Alec Snetkov, the company’s director of new product development.
The program is, in part, an answer to consumer demand for real-time payment options, the pair told PYMNTS in a recent interview for this month’s Disbursements Tracker feature story.
“People want things faster now. They expect payments to process almost instantly,” Snetkov said. “It’s a trend in the marketplace that I think involves all companies, including insurance companies.”
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