International insurance group Hollard Insurance and independent mobile financial services enabler MFS Africa, have today launched the world's first mobile money insurance service, mi-Life.
mi-Life is available through MTN's Mobile Money in Ghana and has plans to rollout rapidly in other countries. It will provide MTN Mobile Money users with the opportunity to buy life insurance via their mobile phones. Users will also be able to initiate claims, queries and make premium payments using their handsets.
"mi-Life is a pioneering service that breaks new ground in mobile financial services. We are excited to be the first operator to offer mobile money based life insurance to our customers," said Bruno Akpaka, General Manager, Mobile Money, MTN Ghana. "We look forward to working closely with MFS Africa and Hollard Insurance in continuing to expand our service portfolio."
"In emerging markets, life insurance through mobile money is the next transformational step in the growth of mobile financial services," explained Jeremy Leach, Head of Micro-Insurance for the Hollard Insurance Group. "Hollard is well recognised as one of the leading insurers in alternative distribution and this is achieved through its philosophy of partnerships. Partnering with MFS Africa and MTN Ghana allows us to maximise access to meaningful insurance for the majority of people in emerging markets and drive value for all partners."
"The launch of mi-Life is a sign that global insurers are beginning to recognise the potential of the mobile channel as a mechanism to expand their markets," said Dare Okoudjou, Chief Executive, MFS Africa. "By deploying our MFS-Box, we were able to quickly and efficiently help MTN Ghana and Hollard Insurance roll-out this trail blazing service.
Mobile operators are looking to deliver new and innovative products on existing mobile financial service platforms. Financial institutions are looking to extend the reach of their services as cost efficiently as possible. We look forward to assisting both in achieving these objectives," concludes Okoudjou.
Mobile money provides significant benefits to the insurance industry, the mobile operator, and the customer, through:
- Lowering costs, due to existing mobile money services offered by the operator
- Providing a massive and efficient distribution platform using the operator platform
- Improved communications with the customer eg using SMS reminders, interactive menus etc
- Empowering customers to manage their insurance policies in a cost effective and accessible manner
Hollard Insurance and MFS Africa share a commitment and vision to improve the lives of millions of financial consumers in lower income markets in a responsible and sustainable way. To achieve this, alternative methods such as mobile need to be leveraged. Both Hollard and MFS Africa have the established platforms and know-how in emerging markets to make the introduction of mobile money insurance a success.
MicroEnsure, a global micro-insurance intermediary and administrator, has provided expertise for the design and implementation of mi-life and is responsible for ongoing policy and claims administration. Through its internationally renowned administration systems, it has radically reduced the cost of administering the policies which has helped ensure maximum affordability.