frankfurt Retirement provision is equal to life insurance, that was once. Today, customers are increasingly looking for more flexible, more cost-effective, more transparent and, especially due to the corona pandemic, also digital products. Younger people, in particular, prefer trading applications and ETF savings plans to long-term insurance policies.
At first glance, there seems to be little room left for established insurers. What is at stake is nothing less than access to customers. One way out for insurers could be to offer their clients a “financial home”, that is, to build a kind of fully financial platform that offers access to provisions and asset accumulation, but also to other financial matters. This is the result of an analysis by the Insurtech Hub Munich (ITHM) and the strategic consultancy Oliver Wyman, which is available to Handelsblatt in advance.
Experts are convinced that such meta-platforms will be further developed in the future. But insurers must hurry. Because other providers have long been working on carefree and complete packages for private provision and financing.
When it comes to money matters, consumers use many providers
Until now, the situation for many households has been different: a bank manages the salary account, an online broker manages the stock portfolio. An insurer also supports wealth accumulation, while a payment service provider handles money transfers when shopping online and a smartphone app also promises an overview of finances. “For consumers, the situation is anything but clear, the risk of unnecessary costs and financial mistakes is growing,” says Oliver Wyman partner Dietmar Kottmann.
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With a comprehensive platform, consumers can control all payment flows, that is, control income and expenses and manage payment transactions. So it would be access to bank accounts, payment services and the crypto wallet. At the same time, comprehensive financial planning around loans, wealth accumulation, and security would play an important role.
It is still open who will win the race as a provider of a meta portal. “Individual items and offers are already available on the market, for example from international startups. However, there is no consistent platform that covers customer behavior across all sub-areas,” says Esther Prax, Program Director at ITHM.
Banks are at the forefront when it comes to setting up home finance solutions
So far, some experts see banks as the frontrunners when it comes to setting up home finance solutions. One example is the George platform, which can be used by clients of the Austrian Erste group. George makes transfers easy, helps with financial planning and inspires with smart features, according to the Erste Bank website. “We help clients reduce complexity. The first step in managing your financial life is to understand it,” George founder Maurizio Poletto said in a recent online discussion.
Fintechs like Finanzguru also want to convince consumers of their solution. Finanzguru co-founder Benjamin Michel explains that the first goal is to give clients a comprehensive overview of their finances. If they looked at their total monthly expenses, they would see where they could save in daily life: “The money they save can be used for long-term wealth accumulation.”
According to Esther Prax, insurers with their core competencies in the areas of asset accumulation and protection are also in a good starting position to impress clients with a comprehensive and carefree offering. According to ITHM’s analysis, it is seen as particularly promising if insurers continue to expand existing platforms on which they work together with partner companies.
Kottmann calls the Allianz Firmenonline portal. Companies can use this to manage company pension plans (bAV) and company health insurance (bKV). Other offers, such as a pension calculator or pension insurance, could then be integrated step by step.
Allianz itself sees a “huge opportunity” in particular in platforms with which “we can support both digital and personal advice, as well as the processes and administration behind it,” board member Andreas Wimmer said in an interview. recently with Handelsblatt.
>> Read here: Andreas Wimmer, Allianz board member: “Wealth management and life insurance are more closely linked”
So the business model for the financial home won’t initially be purely digital, says Kottmann. Access to an advisor is also important. Therefore, insurers would not only have to invest in technology, but also reorganize their sales. Brokers and agents would need to be persuaded to offer a much broader range of products and services alongside insurance.
However, it is questionable whether customers would trust a single global platform. Some insurers are convinced that their clients prefer specialists and therefore prefer separate applications for payments, stock investments and insurance.
In a survey conducted by Oliver Wyman in Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain and Spain, a third of the participants showed interest in the platform. Kottmann expects approval ratings to rise in the future.
Plus: When the digital consultant takes care of their own finances.