Over the last three decades, there have been significant changes in the African technology landscape. With consumers by-passing desktop internet connections in favour of going directly to hand-held devices, there are significant opportunities for firms which embrace modern technology.
Mobile usage is growing at a rapid pace and the likes of M-Pesa and Fundamo are already processing billions of dollars in transactions every year, so insurers in the region need to raise their game. Yet in this scenario — and in terms of compliance with more stringent regulatory requirements — insurers are often held back by legacy systems that can’t respond fast enough to the demands of this new era.
While insurers may have already added some digital capabilities as an attempt to address these demands, their changes are often only skin deep. Beneath the surface of the digital customer processes, the core back end systems are made up of legacy platforms that are creaking at the seams and struggling to keep up.
SSP has witnessed all of this first-hand, as we recently celebrated our 30-year anniversary of providing general insurance (short-term) solutions to customers in the region. This makes us one of the longest-serving providers of general insurance technology solutions in the African market.
Our head office in Johannesburg is complemented by a regional account management office in Kenya. Together these two offices employ 35 specialists with proven local experience and assets, supported by the expertise gained from being an international vendor with 850 staff globally.
During our time in the region, our continued commitment to innovation and delivery have enabled us to keep pace with the technological changes in the region, so we can offer insurers a truly digital solution. The fact that SSP’s customers also play an important part in driving the product and direction through our African user group further ensures our platform meets the evolving demands of the market.
SSP has been a life-long partner for a number of African insurers. Over 20% of our African customers have been with us for more than 25 years, trusting SSP to keep their software current to drive their future growth.
While many customers are on their second generation of our software, Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) has adopted its third generation SSP solution. Having migrated from Insure/90 to S4i, BIC is now benefitting from SSP Pure Insurance, a flexible end-to-end core insurance system for all lines of business. It provides the full-cycle policy administration, finance, claims, reinsurance and MI/BI reporting capabilities needed to drive future growth.
Without such a digital insurance solution in place, insurers often struggle to meet customers’ thirst for mobile technology and brokers’ demands for straight-through processing, as well as risk falling foul of the stringent reporting requirements. All of this results in them falling behind their peers and having a higher expense ratio.
As we continue to expand our African insurer customer base, it’s not just SSP’s long-term customers who are benefitting from our digital insurance platform. For example, two further Zimbabwean insurers have recently chosen SSP Pure Insurance to support growth in line with their strategic objectives, while remaining compliant with the stringent Zimbabwean regulatory environment.
Over half of the top ten insurers in Zimbabwe now use SSP’s software, which is testament to our continued investment in supporting the territory without the need for reliance on third parties.
With an insurance penetration rate of just 3.6% in Zimbabwe, there are significant opportunities for insurers to provide affordable products that match the needs of the currently excluded population. SSP Pure Insurance enables simplification of the product design and development process, resulting in a more agile response to these market conditions.
Those who adopt this approach will reap the reward of significant premium growth both now and in the future. SSP has been a safe and trusted partner for the last 30 years, and will be for the next 30 years too.
This article is an extract from SSP eye issue 11
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