Financial Services and Insurance: Thriving in Cost-constrained Times

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for financial institutions and insurers, stirring up painful memories of the financial crisis of 2008. Since then, we have seen a decade of stress testing and capital rebuilds, ensuring that most insurers and financial institutions have sufficient financial resources to weather a downturn. However, cash flow pressures, strain on investment portfolios, the possibility of delayed payments and falling investment demand are forcing financial institutions and insurers to reimagine business models.

Making Operational Decisions With the Future In Mind

As financial services and insurance leaders look towards an uncertain future and plan for what will likely be a period of unpredictable economic conditions, they are faced with some unforeseen operational decisions that will need to be solved fast. In addition to the long-term business challenges, there are immediate challenges as organizations look for the best way to bring employees safely back to the workplace. These transitions will be complex and require the consideration many factors, including; individual employee health and risk screenings, whether an employee’s role can be efficiently done remotely, corporate policies, and a variety of national and regional government regulations.

Appian’s Workforce Safety solution enables organizations to intelligently manage the complexities of returning workers to the workplace, while maintaining the privacy and security of employee health information. While plans continue for the safe return to the physical workplace, for most insurers and financial institutions, the near future likely means having a reduced amount of staff in the office and a largely remote workforce. The downstream effects of this include a need to re-imagine what were once commonly face-to-face interactions between insurance agents, financial advisors, and customers. For organizations to not just survive, but thrive — they must figure out how they can create real differentiation in light of this new normal.

Responses from Leaders in Financial Services and Insurance

We’ve already seen some financial services and insurance organizations respond creatively to the pandemic with new guidelines and processes. For example:

  • Accelerated underwriting models to allow the use of a recently completed routine physical examination with a physician as a replacement for their usual paramedical examination
  • Simplifying applications to reduce reliance on snail mail, with fillable forms, electronic signature options, and document upload capabilities
  • A strengthened adoption of contactless payment systems with increased spending limits and enhanced security through multi-factor contactless transaction authentication

The current crisis presents opportunities for financial institutions and insurers to be more digital, move to the cloud, and to increase agility and automation. This agility will be core to their success in the long-term, and forward-thinking leaders can take foundational steps that will put them on a path to transforming their organizations. However, how can organizations balance the need to change quickly with the need to control costs?

Using Low-code to Make Rapid, Meaningful Changes

For financial services and insurance organizations looking for ways to reduce costs while maintaining their competitive advantage, low-code automation can help. It’s a simpler way to create scalable, flexible solutions—fast. The resulting efficiencies allow internal and external stakeholders to realize value quickly, an important advantage when facing economic headwinds.

Upcoming Financial Services and Insurance Webinar Series

Register now for the first in our Financial Services and Insurance Webinar series, featuring Appian’s Jay Cherrie, Industry Leader, Financial Services and Jake Sloan, Global Industry Leader, Insurance on Tuesday, June 16th at 11am EDT. In this webinar we’ll examine the ways that financial institutions and insurers can thrive during cost-constrained times. Watch this space for future webinars with Digital Insurance and American Banker.

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