SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), NTUC Income (Income) and LumenLab, MetLife’s Asia innovation centre, are embarking on an industry-first collaboration to simplify life insurance claims for bereaved families.
When a loved one passes on, placing an obituary is one of the first tasks handled by family members, while more involved tasks like finding out if the deceased has a life insurance policy and filing for a policy claim are put on the backburner.
Given that both tasks require a lot of the same information about the deceased person, SPH, Income and LumenLab saw an opportunity to apply blockchain technology, ‘Lifechain’, to automate the life insurance claim process for grieving families. Developed by LumenLab, ‘Lifechain’ enables SPH to securely encrypt and share verification data used for obituary placement with Income to kick-start the claim process.
‘Lifechain’ will begin piloting this month targeting 1,000 randomly selected Income life insurance policyholders.
During the pilot, family members of the deceased who place obituaries in The Straits Times will be informed about ‘Lifechain’. Upon their consent, the deceased’s National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number will be submitted into ‘Lifechain’ as hashed data1 to trigger a search for a matching life insurance policy. When a match is found, SPH will inform family members within one working day, while ‘Lifechain’ will send an automatic notification to Income via email to initiate the claims process.
Family members will also be informed by SPH when a match is not found so that they can proceed to make checks and file claims with their life insurers accordingly.
Mr Julian Tan, Chief of Digital Business of SPH, said: “SPH hopes to expand ‘Lifechain’ to include more insurers in time to come to bring greater convenience to family members attending to the deceased’s administrative matters securely. This initiative is also in line with our push for the digital business, tapping on innovation and growing our partnerships to serve our customers better. SPH aims to be the go-to partner for insurers to reach policyholders’ beneficiaries, as soon as advertisers place an obituary in the future.”
Mr Peter Tay, Chief Operating Officer, who heads Income’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO), said: “At Income, we are constantly looking to enhance customers’ experience with insurance. Through technology and innovations, we aim to influence the way that customers fact-find, enquire, purchase, claims and engage with us. Blockchain technology offers greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, efficiency and speed of transactions. These value propositions resonate with Income and we are excited to be the first insurer to come on-board Lifechain. We believe it will empower us to offer optimal protection of our policyholders’ personal information while enhancing their customer experience with Income.”
Mr. Zia Zaman, Chief Innovation Officer, MetLife Asia and CEO of LumenLab, said: “By making the customer experience simpler, this SPH - NTUC Income - LumenLab pilot yet again demonstrates the potential of blockchain to shape the future of insurance.”
1 Hashed data is generated by an algorithm and maps an original string of characters to data of a fixed length. This ensures the secure encryption of information submitted into Lifechain.
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.
SPH's core business is publishing of newspapers, magazines and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns other digital products, online classifieds, radio stations and outdoor media.
On the property front, SPH owns 70% in a real estate investment trust called SPH REIT which comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road, The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall and The Rail Mall, a stretch of shopping and dining outlets along Upper Bukit Timah Road. SPH REIT also holds 85% equity stake in Figtree Grove, a freehold sub-regional shopping centre in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. SPH owns and operates The Seletar Mall. It is developing a new commercial cum residential site at Woodleigh. It also has a stake in Chinatown Point and acquired a portfolio of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in the United Kingdom.
It is in the aged care sector and owns Orange Valley, Singapore's largest private nursing home operator.
SPH runs a regional events arm and a chain of Buzz retail outlets. It also invested in the education business. For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg.
Income was established in 1970 to provide affordable insurance for workers in Singapore. Today, two million people in Singapore look to Income for trusted advice and solutions when making their most important financial decisions. Our wide network of advisers and partners provide life, health and general insurance products and services to serve the protection, savings and investment needs of customers across all segments of society.
Right from the start, Income was made different. Our social purpose of maximising value for our policyholders defines us as a social enterprise as we continue to make insurance accessible, affordable and sustainable for all.
In 2017, Income had over $36.3 billion in assets under management. Our financial strength and diversified investment portfolio is reflected by our strong credit ratings which underpin the delivery of our commitment to customers.
Income’s corporate social responsibility initiative, OrangeAid, is committed to empower a better future for children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
About MetLife & Lumen Lab
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
As MetLife’s pioneers for disruptive innovation, LumenLab is charging ahead to create new businesses in health, wealth and retirement. Lumen, a measure of light, symbolizes our commitment to illuminating a new path for solving the problems that the people of Asia face today. Through our focus on building new products and services grounded in technology and data, we aim to help people achieve richer and more fulfilling lives. For more information, visit http://www.lumenlab.sg