Canadian Underwriter

Digitized payment gateways playing larger role for insurers: Novarica

August 1, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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As consumer expectations change, insurance carriers are moving towards fully digitizing more processes, including payment gateway technology, research and advisory firm Novarica said recently.

In a new executive brief titled Payment Gateways in Insurance, Boston, Mass.-based Novarica provided an overview of how payment gateways allow insurers to respond to customer needs, as well as trends, changes and evolution of the vendor landscape.

Payment gateways enable insurers to simplify their pay plan structures, ensure PCI (payment card industry) compliance and shield themselves from changes in the payment landscape, while providing a seamless and secure experience for consumers, Novarica explained in a press release last Thursday. In the executive brief, Novarica includes profiles of providers of payment gateway solutions, including both traditional payment processors and newer providers.

“Payment gateways can serve a vital role in meeting customer expectations and providing secure services,” said Chuck Ruzicka, vice president of research and consulting at Novarica, who co-authored the brief with Novarica associate Christina Choi. “They offer the ability to enhance consumer-facing services, improve IT’s response to market changes while reducing its complexity, reduce carrier risk and reduce costs,” Ruzicka suggested. “Carriers who are evaluating their digital capabilities should consider how they provide billing services and how they can best leverage the capabilities of payment portal service providers to address their challenges.”

The report noted that vendors are also responding to carrier needs by working to improve their user interface on a variety of platforms, often offering responsive design capabilities before insurers can expand their own services to deploy these capabilities. Vendors are also expanding their services to implement new payment methods as they emerge, helping clients manage the complexity of keeping up with services preferred by consumers.

In addition, payment portal vendors are investing in improvements to their systems’ security in order to meet new regulations, the report said. “They are also recognizing that not only do these improvements provide secure access to transactions, but they also provide enhanced user experience; enable them to offload functions like billing inquiry, print, and reconciliation; and even provide helpdesk service and customer analytics at a lower cost to carriers.”

Novarica helps more than 90 P&C and life/annuity insurers make better decisions about technology projects and strategy through retained advisory services, published research and strategy consulting. Its knowledge base covers trends, benchmarks, best practices, case studies, and vendor solutions, while its consulting services focus on vendor selection, custom benchmarking, project checkpoints and IT strategy.

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