Great Eastern unveils one-stop digital platform

GreatAdvice, a new interactive financial planning tool with intuitive graphics, allows customers to map out their personal financial journeys.
GreatAdvice, a new interactive financial planning tool with intuitive graphics, allows customers to map out their personal financial journeys.PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN

Buying insurance plans and managing portfolios will be easier for both customers and financial advisers at Great Eastern (GE), as the company unveiled a suite of digital initiatives yesterday.

For instance, to input information into GreatAdvice, a new interactive financial planning tool, a GE financial representative need only scan the client's NRIC with an iPad.

As a result, the time taken for application processes may be reduced by about 20 per cent.

Other new capabilities include a digital planner which allows GE's 3,500 financial advisers to manage sales activities and performance, a consolidated portfolio for customers which can amalgamate all their existing policies from various insurers, and a chatbot called Gerica that uses artificial intelligence to answer queries.

Mr Ryan Cheong, managing director of digital for business at GE, said the digital solutions cost the company a figure in the "double-digit millions".

These initiatives are collectively termed the Great Digital Advantage platform and have been progressively rolled out since January this year.

About four million GE policyholders in the region - including 1.6 million in Singapore - will benefit from the new platform.

Mr Ben Tan, GE's managing director of regional agency, financial advisers and bancassurance, called the platform a "game changer" and the first one-stop solution in Singapore for both advisers and customers.

On GreatAdvice, Mr Cheong said customers will be more engaged with the tool, which has a "life storyboard" feature that maps out one's financial journey with intuitive graphics.

GE customer Darryl Koh, 32, called the user interface "interesting and attractive".

Mr Koh, a financial analyst at a bank, added that the tool helped him "make more informed decisions to plug the gaps regarding protection and financial needs".

The move by GE, a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, is among a raft of measures recently introduced in the insurance sector following Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam's call in 2017 for the industry to tap technology.

In February this year, Prudential teamed up with three technology companies to develop financial and healthcare solutions such as preventive healthcare programmes.

As for GE's digital initiatives, Mr Cheong said: "The interactions between our financial representatives and the customers are among the most important touch points in our business.

"The rise of the digital(-age) customer means we have to relook at our own view of how customers will see our representatives and the company."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2019, with the headline 'Great Eastern unveils one-stop digital platform'. Print Edition | Subscribe