Prudential to develop AI and machine-learning solutions for customers here

Prudential Singapore chief executive Wilf Blackburn said the latest tech solutions are being developed to "prevent and postpone the progression of chronic diseases" for its customers.
Prudential Singapore chief executive Wilf Blackburn said the latest tech solutions are being developed to "prevent and postpone the progression of chronic diseases" for its customers.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Insurer Prudential is teaming up with three technology companies to develop financial and healthcare solutions as it steps up its innovation drive.

The firm is working with artificial intelligence firm Knowtions Research to devise tailored preventive healthcare programmes for its customers.

It is also building a digital platform with Ailleron so financial consultants can conduct virtual presentations, share documents and sign on clients electronically.

DataRobot will employ automated machine learning and augmented data science to help improve Prudential products and make it easier for customers to purchase, the insurer said last week.

Ms Kalai Natarajan, strategic engagements head at Prudential Singapore, told a briefing in London that the new solutions could be rolled out across its 12 life insurance markets in Asia, potentially reaching 15 million customers.

"Singapore is a key innovation test bed... because of the country's strong digital infrastructure and conducive business environment," she added.

The three solutions were chosen from 30 applicants that took part in last year's PRU Fintegrate, a now annual initiative that started in 2017 to employ technology to improve its business.

Prudential said the trio stood out because of their understanding of customer needs, strong business and financial model and their product's maturity, among other factors, the statement said.

The insurer will invest in the winning companies' proofs-of-concept, run pilot projects and come up with implementation plans.

Prudential Singapore chief executive Wilf Blackburn said the latest tech solutions are being developed to "prevent and postpone the progression of chronic diseases" for its customers.

"Our customers are living longer but not all of those extra years are necessarily spent in good health. This is why we want to work with tech partners to develop healthcare solutions," he added.

Applicants for this year's PRU Fintegrate must have a proven track record in creating solutions that can be applied to a large market quickly. Other criteria include a valid product set, an existing client base and secured funding.

Singapore has become a key testing ground for the British-based insurance giant, which invested $70 million in technology here in 2017.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam urged insurers to tap technology and to go beyond paying for medical claims to preventive care when Prudential moved to its new office at Marina One in 2017.