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May 31, 2019updated 03 Jun 2019 2:38pm

Insurtech Simply partners with Iemas Insurance Brokers

By Patrick Brusnahan

South Africa-based insurtech start-up Simply has partnered with Iemas Insurance Brokers to extend its reach.

Simply plans to use Iemas’ grassroots distribution network to increase the range of its tech-based products.

Founded in 2015, the insurtech realised the need for easy to understand, and affordable, life insurance, both in South Africa and elsewhere. According to its website, “Simply’s mission is to secure the financial futures of millions of people”.

It wants to focus on product design, data-analytics, software development and digital marketing. As a result, it hopes to be South Africa’s leading digital life insurer.

So far, its solutions include straight-through online sign-up, instant cover in the retail market, chatbot quoting, and fully online group life cover.

In October 2018, it secured a funding commitment from investment group Yellowwoods to achieve group aspirations.

“We shook up the life insurance sector in 2017 when we launched fully online life, disability and funeral combos to the SA market. Suddenly people could buy great value cover in a matter of minutes – for themselves or their domestic employees. We followed that up in 2018, when we added life, disability and funeral combos for employees of small- to medium-sized businesses – a global first.” said Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply.

He added: “While our direct online model offers cheap, easily accessible and dependable insurance cover, we recognise it’s not for everyone. For many people, the advice of a trusted adviser is helpful when buying life insurance or other financial products – there’s no doubt brokers reach many customers.

“Traditionally brokers have not been focused on this market. So our next big disruption in distribution, is launching a digital platform that enables brokers to sell the various Simply products in minutes via a slick, user-friendly interface. It’s a win-win. The platform allows partners to focus on sales and advice, with Simply taking care of much of the admin. We’re excited about how the platform could open up new markets and revolutionise the way brokers work, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Iemas Insurance Brokers as our first partner on the platform.”

Developments in South Africa

South Africa-based insurance provider Discovery Central Services has teamed up with Aconite to launch credit and debit cards.

Through its digital-only Discovery Bank, Discovery has begun to issue EMV debt and credit cards. The move is part of Discovery’s expansion outside of insurance services to become a fully-fledged banking provider.

Aconite has provided three aspects of this development:

  • Aconite Payment Application Manager: EMV card issuing, card lifecycle and key management;
  • Aconite PIN Manager: electronic PIN capture and distribution, and
  • Aconite EMV Transaction Manager: EMV transaction authentication and post-issuance control of EMV cards, including PIN changes and risk management.

In addition, Liberty Holdings, a South Africa-based insurance company, has signed an agreement to divest its technology platform to Standard Bank Group for ZAR145m ($10.45m).

The technology platform supports Liberty’s short-term insurance business, and enables its financial advisers to offer a more comprehensive product offering that supports clients on their life journey.

Standard Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, underwrites these short-term products which enable customers to pro-actively manage their short-term risk by using an enhanced digital capability.

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