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Robots process SA insurer’s policy claims in 3 minutes

Smart insurtech is enabling policy holders to claim in far less time than before.

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1Life, a South African direct life insurer, has announced that the company is able to assess selected funeral policy claims for pay out within only 3-minutes, using an automated technology solution underpinned by Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Anton Keet, Head of Risk Services at 1Life, says: “This innovation comes off the back of the need for the industry to better service the sector in terms of expediating claim turnaround times, removing human error as far as possible and, for us, ensuring that our customers’ interactions with our business are quicker and more convenient – technology is playing a fundamental role here.”

Using robots to drive such tangible business benefits is very much a reality today. In fact, the IT-enabled RPA market has been growing rapidly at 60.5% annually from 2014,  and is expected to reach US$5 billion by 2020.

It is then evident that the potential for robotic and cognitive automation across the insurance value chain is significant. Claims processing is a perfect example given that it is data and document intensive – where lengthy, time-consuming manual processes can be troublesome to both provider and customer, delaying the timely response that customers desire when they file a claim. RPA assists in easily gathering the data from various sources for centralised processing so that claims can be processed much quicker.

“When a claim is requested, the technology triggers a series of events that automatically and simultaneously cross-checks all relevant information to ensure that there are no anomalies and that all information is correct and available,” says Keet. “For example, while one robotic process is checking that all rules were followed (accordingly to what has been set up), another is checking the death certificate against a name and ID number, while API links to specific databases are verifying further information. Once a claim is verified (this happens in 3 minutes or less), the system comes to a conclusion either for immediate payment, or to be referred to a consultant for follow up (where anomalies occur).”

This process ensures that 1Life is eliminating potential errors that arise from manual processing of suchclaims.

1Life is piloting this technology within the funeral insurance space – given the need to fulfil payment as quickly as possible with this kind of event-based insurance. The technology allows 1Life to pay out selected funeral claims in as little as 3 minutes. By eliminating this substantial manual processing by consultants, says 1Life, it is enabling consultants to focus on servicing customers’ immediate needs. 

“We are very proud to bring this offering to market and believe that it will certainly set new benchmarks for the industry,” says Keet. “Such technology – with time and through ongoing machine learning – will give us access to even more granular detail to further enhance the business of long-term insurance and create much more opportunity for speed and efficiency – exactly what our customers are expecting.”

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Projection tech transforms retail

By TIMOTHY WILSON, visual imaging business account manager at Epson South Africa

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Display designs, such as those found in retail stores, are no longer confined to static visuals on pull-up banners, 2D print and posters. The increasingly popular use of projection technology has ushered in new and exciting ways to create immersive displays using rich media and high-quality visual content to go beyond the four walls of traditional marketing.

In the past, projectors were lamp-based and prone to failure when used in a harsh environment, such as a retail store. Today, newly introduced laser projection technology has unlocked a range of capabilities.

Transforming the way brands engage with audiences

Creative techniques such as projection mapping, which can be described as the projection of video, animation and other colourful displays onto 3D surfaces, have completely transformed the way brands engage with audiences and can live in retail spaces, concert halls and even sports stadiums.

Projection mapping offers venues wide-spread creativity in using lighting in small or large environments, as was the case with Epson’s showstopping kinetic portal, which implemented projection mapping on a 360 degree vortex at the largest AV and systems integration show in the world – Integrated Systems Europe 2019. Driven by a new, affordable generation of projectors, mapping not only covers flat walls and traditional projections screens but also irregular shapes, objects, and even entire building façades.

When projecting on a larger scale, such as at events and music concerts, the process of visually combining several projectors to display one single seamless image might sound simple enough in principle but can prove to be a challenging task in reality. To overcome this challenge, experiential marketers are adopting the use of image edge blending, which refers to the process of stacking multiple projectors to create a single overlapped projection that appears continuous and clear.

It’s due to these advancements that displays in retail and events no longer pivot just on aesthetic appeal but can now deliver immersive consumer experiences that drive engagement and increase foot traffic. This is starting to drastically change the way that retailers, events and even restaurants host, engage, entertain and communicate with their audiences.

Projection is driving growth in experiential marketing

Consumer interest in the transition towards projection has seen this technology take centre stage at leading retailers such as Mall of Africa, events by brands such as ABSA and restaurants like Saint, transforming their environments into immersive spaces through projection that displays captivating imagery and video.

Saint restaurant in Sandton has pushed the boundaries of branding and displays, transforming all surfaces into a visual delight. Patrons entering the restaurant are greeted by a visual experience within a dome, featuring a series of moving, constantly changing artworks – such as a starry night sky or a replica of the Sistine Chapel – projected onto walls and the ceiling.

In fact, EventTrack research, which showcases the current state of marketing around the globe, highlights the continuous growth of event and experiential marketing. It notes that high-quality projection technology, more specifically its ability to emit stunning visual experiences, has grown in popularity to become the go-to tool for event organisers and retailers looking to captivate and engage with consumers.

The future of projection technology

Projection technology has proven to be an outstanding, much more cost-effective and reliable form of marketing collateral – setting an entirely new standard for high-resolution projection.

Sandton City recently embraced this market-leading technology with the installation of a virtual aquarium in its Centre Court. This installation centred on creating a 3D mapping concept that enabled shoppers to select an undersea creature from a touchpad to swim across digitised hoarding.

With capabilities to meet the demands of large-scale projection and the ability to effectively transform the way brands remain visible at shopping malls, restaurants and retail spaces – the unprecedented imaging power of projection technology has set a considerably high bar when it comes to retail and event displays. 

Epson, which is not only pioneering imaging technology and innovative projection solutions, is also the market leader when it comes to high lumen laser projection, having recently announced its 30,000 lumens laser projector (EB-L30000U) which will officially launch in 2020. This high-end installation laser projector, complete with 4K enhancement, is aimed at rental and staging companies, hospitality markets and visitor attractions, which is yet another progressive step towards transforming the way marketers engage with their consumers in the 21st century. 

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GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes

The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations

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GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.

In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”

The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.

GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.

The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm, GoFundMe.org, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.

Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:

  • Global giving trends and data
  • Top 10 most generous countries
  • Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
  • Biggest moments in 2019

To view the entire report, visit: www.gofundme.com/2019

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