AIA Group insurance goes all in; 50,000 agents expected to use iPads this year

by Michael Singer

April 15 2013

AIA Group's Steffen Schade says his iPad solution provides two-factor authentication for insurance applications
AIA Group's Steffen Schade says his iPad solution provides two-factor authentication for insurance applications

One of Asia’s largest life insurance companies says it expects to increase its iPad deployment to as many as 50,000 agents this year, completing a two-year rollout that now serves clients in 16 different countries.

AIA Group out of Hong Kong says in many of the areas it operates, it is the first insurer with a sales process that runs exclusively on an iPad. It is also one of the first insurance companies in the world to introduce an interactive point of sales system for life insurance agents that does not require Internet access.

The program is made possible thanks to a mobile point-of-sale system running on the iPad called iPoS (or interactive Point of Sale). The software covers much of what agents need to add and manage customer insurance analysis to creating an insurance proposal, payment of terms and secure electronic submission of life insurance applications.

"Today, we have agents in the field who can sell insurance policies completely paperless, anytime and anywhere on a tablet as iPoS works offline and online," says Steffen Schade, Director of Distribution Technology, AIA Group. "The agents say that they can see one to two additional customer per day. They no longer have to carry a laptop and signature pad. They can gather more customer data, more quickly in just one visit.”

Brains behind iPoS

To help speed up the application process in its iPoS tablets, AIA used SOFTPRO's SignDoc Mobile software developer kit.  In addition to capturing the signer's unique signature biometrics, the SOFTPRO software also allows AIA agents to insert a photograph of the signer - taken at the time of signing with the iPad's camera - in the secure signature field to provide two-factor authentication.

Important for AIA was SignDoc Mobile's ability to work in both an online and offline setting since not all consultations are close to a Wi-Fi signal. If connectivity is an issue, the process can be completed on the iPad and synched with the system when the connection is restored.

Looking forward with its iPad-enhanced agents, Schade says AIA will add more features to its agent’s iPads including lead generation tools, activity management software, social networks integration, and an agent recruiting module.

Initial rollout

Rolling out iPads to its entire mobile workforce has been a  two-year process spreading quickly from country to country. In November 2011, AIA launched iPoS in Taiwan and because of the great success in Taiwan AIA decided to make a group-wide program out of it. Executives complained that agents spent too much time and money using pen and paper methods.

Schade says AIA agents have now been able to focus, “more time on providing quality financial advice to customers and spend less time on administrative matters which are now automated.”

The company says it also uses its iPoS on iPad deployment as a recruiting tool for younger agents who might want to work at a hip, technology-savvy company.

After its initial rollout in Taiwan in 2011 and Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in 2012, AIA implemented its iPoS-active iPads to agents in Thailand back in March and the Philippines in April. Hong Kong agents are expected to be included in the deployment by August with offices in Korea, Sri Lanka and China expected to come online by the end of this year.

Michael Singer is the Business Editor for TabTimes

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