Benelux-based Fortis Bank says its UK insurance subsidiary has acquired a majority shareholding in Text2Insure, a British firm that provides a mobile service that enables customers to receive quotes and buy policies using SMS text messages.
The Text2Insure service was launched in 2005 to provide a fast and easy-to-access quotation and purchase facility for travel insurance, using SMS text technology. The service has been designed to offer "last minute" travel insurance to those customers who have not arranged cover before they travel.
Text2Insure contacts customers via SMS text message, generating insurance quotations through SMS exchanges. If the customer wishes to buy the insurance, they are either called back by telephone to complete the transaction or they can use a secure m-payment system to complete the purchase using their mobile handsets.
Barry Smith, CEO of Fortis UK over 100 million text messages are sent each day in the UK and the acquisition of Text2Insure enables the bank to proactively respond to the "demands of the mobile generation".
"With Text2Insure, we have the opportunity to further develop our relationships with affinities and offer additional areas for differentiation to their customer offerings, enhancing both customer experience and revenue opportunities. In particular, we are keen to understand how we can penetrate affinity sectors that have a strong alignment with mobile phone users," adds Smith.
Commenting on the deal, Nicholas Thurlow, director of Text2Insure, says: "We believe the mobile channel will continue to take an increasingly important role in the distribution of insurance products and our involvement with Fortis, with its strong presence in the UK and internationally, is a vindication of this growing trend."
Fortis will offer the mobile insurance service under the Text2Insure brand.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.