The “second floor”: we will stand by our customers in future as well
Building on these initiatives in the core business, UNIQA is providing additional momentum aimed at continually adapting the business model to current requirements. The overriding objective here is to be able to inspire today’s customers in future as well.
Our future – one shaped by digitalisation and innovation – can therefore be found on the second floor of our UNIQA House. Having remained highly static over the past few decades, the insurance business is now beginning to see some movement. By setting up our Digitalisation, Open Innovation and UNIQA Ventures areas, we are supporting our core activities while also gaining a foothold in new business segments.
Innovation – becoming a service provider: This strategic initiative is concerned with further evolution of the insurer value chain from providing coverage only to being a fully-comprehensive service provider. This transformation, which is closely linked to the digitalisation of the industry, includes a bundle of different measures. They range from analysis of innovative business models from outside the insurance sector to selective investments in start-ups in the financial and technology sector through to collaborations with incubators.
UNIQA Ventures GmbH, which took over all the UNIQA Group’s corporate venture capital business in 2018, further expanded its investment activities in 2019. To this end, we increased our scope for investing in start-ups and other fledgling companies to €75 million in 2019 and are aiming to expand this further to €150 million of available funding in the medium term. Besides doctorly, a German provider of software for doctors, our new investments in the reporting year also included the Eversports software-as-a-service model for gyms (allowing end customers to make bookings); Insly, a software-as-a-service model for brokers; kompany, a provider of know-your-customer/anti-money-laundering and compliance solutions; and omni:us, AI-supported software for automating claims processes. We are also planning further direct investments over the next few years in the insurtech, healthtech and fintech sectors.
Supplementing our twelve direct investments in all, we also invested in eight more fintech companies in collaboration with Raiffeisen Bank International and venture capital specialists Speedinvest. These interests were acquired via the joint investment vehicle FinTech Growth Fund Europe GmbH & Co KG, which began operations in the first quarter of 2019.
Digitalisation – rethinking the business and service model: Our service concept and also keeping the promise to the customer in the digital age are central to this strategic initiative. Realignment of customer contact points and downstream service processes are at the centre of this, since today’s customers expect speed, flexibility, quick response times and genuine assistance. Faced with this level of disruption in the market environment, we are more or less being forced to rethink our business model, products and processes from the customer’s point of view. Based on UNIQA’s leading position in health insurance, we are placing a particular focus on the area of health.
We continued to develop our digital customer front-ends – the myUNIQA Customer Portal, myUNIQA app and UNIQA ServiceBot – as planned in 2019 and launched new service features for customers and employees. Since September 2019, for instance, customers have been able to use e-identity (via online banking) to verify their identity for the myUNIQA applications. This has given another decisive boost to the user-friendliness of our digital products and services.
We also revamped the UNIQA website (uniqa.at) to create a uniform customer experience for all UNIQA’s digital contact points. We focused particularly on claims reporting – one of the most important stops along the customer journey – and redesigned the relevant forms both in the myUNIQA applications and on the general website. We also further expanded the use of robotic process automation (RPA) solutions and made it possible to set up claims automatically, for instance. Invoices from doctors and pharmacies can now also be submitted via the myUNIQA Customer Portal as well as the tried-and-tested myUNIQA app.
In addition, we ran several pilot projects in Austria and Poland in 2019 to trial the use of AI to analyse pricing models and improve customer service. The findings from these initiatives will now feed into further optimisation of the customer experience and be available to draw on in all UNIQA Group countries.
Having employed innovative working methods in the area of digitalisation for many years now, they are also being adopted in other parts of the company too. For instance, our digital pioneers have been supporting the Group-wide transformation programme by sharing their knowledge of agile methods and fostering interdisciplinary cooperation. UNIQA is thus developing its own individual approach to this “new way of working”.