4 Jul 2014

African Insurers Urged to Review Mobile Strategies

Written By Emma Okonji, All Africa.

A recent report by Juergen Weiss, based on the Gartner 2013 Global survey, has predicted that by 2015 at least 40 per cent of the currently existing insurance-related, customer-facing mobile applications will be abandoned due to lack of demand.

The reason for this, the report said, is due to the fact that insurers have not designed their applications in a way that makes consumers want to use them and secondly, that consumers are simply not aware when new software applications are available.

The report therefore warned insurers to review their mobile strategies, in order to gain customers' confidence.

However, developing customer-facing mobile applications remains the third most important technology priority for insurers.

Head of African Operations for SSP, Rhys Collins, a major online firm in South Africa, said: "In Africa this would be second or first priority. There is a definite correlation between the growing download of apps in Europe with wider smartphone adoption".

"The percentage of users using a cellphone now far outweighs those using the internet. It is predicted that by 2017, 79 per cent of users will have adopted smartphones as opposed to just 49 per cent in 2013."

Users want to interact with service providers via their mobile device wherever possible. This has been driven by the wide adoption of social media, Collins added.

He said this raises three key issues for insurers namely: how insurance customers embrace mobile insurance (the demand view); what insurers should expect from mobile applications (the supply view) and finally, what are the best practices for a better mobile insurance experience.

According to the report, there are numerous reasons for the lack of mobile adoption by insurance customers. Collins asserts there are very few opportunities for interaction between customers and insurers.

He said the potential for interaction would continue to exist, but that to engage customers with these new interaction points, insurers need to overcome preferences like phoning a contact centre.

He explained that since the primary reason consumers select an insurance policy is price, if apps do not create or highlight any monetary incentive or benefit for customers there will be limited appeal.

Weiss recommends insurers avoid investing in the design of mobile apps without first having a detailed value analysis. Only then should they develop a holistic app strategy that allows customers to seamlessly use the app, one that is integrated into the entire insurance value chain.

"While the absolute number of mobile users in Africa looking to interact with service providers is far less than Europe, the opportunity still exists in certain market segments for one or two insurers to steal an advantage" Collins said. He insisted the insurance industry in Africa has not identified a 'killer app' that will dramatically increase customer adoption.

1st Speaker interview for Ngiera Com 2014 with Tom Allen, COO, Smile Communications

tom allenThe ComWorld Series team engaged with Tom Allen, COO, Smile communications ahead of the NigeriaCom conference and exhibition, taking place at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, 17-18 September. We found out a little more about the activities of Smile as a new LTE player in embracing the Nigerian market. Here are some insights from Tom ahead of the event.

ComWorld Series: How is your company positioned in Nigeria and what are its future objectives?

Tom Allen: Smile is planning to be the Broadband provider of choice and at the end of this year we aim to be in 12 cities. 

ComWorld Series: What do you think are the top 3 major trends that are affecting your business in the region in 2014? 

Tom Allen: The demand for data services, OTT challenging the Telcos from voice to video, Capacity on networks are the major limiting factor.

ComWorld Series: What are the remaining challenges in terms of connectivity and quality of services in the region and which technologies are most likely to resolve these issues? 

Tom Allen: Capacity is an issue, manifested by poor quality; Quality of service beacons will emerge such as Smile with much better networks. With the lack of fixed infrastructure then only 4G LTE services can provide the quality and capacity needed.

ComWorld Series: How are smartphones/tablets and cloud services impacting mobile/internet service providers in Nigeria?

Tom Allen:The wave is just starting, capacity is self limiting these. Smile will bring these to life with much better quality and speeds. Tablets (or large format Smartphones) will become dominant with these can already providing local personal hot-spots for wider usage. Simple OTT offerings will start to emerge and will dominate.

ComWorld Series: In your opinion, which companies are spearheading innovation in the region and what can be learnt from them? 

Tom Allen: The issue is making more capacity available – poor networks stifle innovation. Smile is a challenger.

Find out more at www.comworldseries.com/nigeria. Tom Allen will be speaking on Day 1 at 12:15 on the session “LTE Showcase: Breakthrough and impacts of 4G/LTE for Nigeria"

30 Jun 2014

Tier 1 African Mobile Operator Selects Mobile-Technologies’ SIM and Number Management Solution

As a leader in the provision of advanced telecom solutions, Mobile-Technologies has been chosen by a tier 1 mobile operator in southern Africa to deliver a fully automated SIM and number management solution to manage their entire SIM supply chain more effectively.

The Intelligent SIM Manager (iSM) is a highly sought after SIM and number management system that deals with all the aspects of the SIM lifecycle. It helps the sourcing of SIM-cards by automating the collection of all data required pre-production, secures data transportation, handles warehousing and distribution, and finally the SIM provisioning and activation from a single web-interface.

“Many network operators use in-house manual processes or outdated solutions exposing themselves to costly production and inventory mistakes, loss of data integrity across multiple infrastructure components and the potential duplication of SIM card records. Our iSM solution completely eliminates these challenges while bringing in more efficiencies and cost savings.” Says Eli Hem Jensen, CEO, Mobile-Technologies.

Eli continues, “Access to new mobile number ranges from regulators is often restricted and very costly. This makes optimal number recycling business-critical. The iSM solution is the perfect solution to deal with these challenges.”

The iSM solution is part of our ISL framework which enables the operator to embrace new opportunities and capabilities including offering number selection, customer registration (KYC - Know Your Customer) and dealer management in a progressive and cost efficient manner. For more information: www.mobile-technologies.com

About Mobile Technologies Co., Ltd

Mobile-Technologies provide advanced services and solutions for wireless operators across the globe. Our leading-edge technology is based on many years of experience in telecommunications and we are proud of the value our innovative solutions bring to our worldwide clients. Our products and solutions are tailored for Mobile Operators. We cumulate years of experience in SIM lifecycle management, customer registration, SIM provisioning and activation, prepaid vouchers management and dealers management.

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