ANZ teams up with IBM to develop insurance solution based on blockchain

Reports have emerged that the largest bank of New Zealand, ANZ, and its tech partner, IBM, is developing a blockchain solution in collaboration with Suncorp New Zealand. This solution is being created for the insurance industry, and this will make data transfer and payment reconciliation process quicker and more transparent between insurers and brokers. 
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has already completed a successful proof of concept by using the blockchain technology. This experiment has been performed to make data transfers more efficient by making more transparent payment reconciliation between the brokers and insurers in the insurance industry. 
What is ANZ trying to do?
The solution that ANZ is developing in association with insurance provider Suncorp will improve the existing flaws of a complicated reconciliation process where individuals pay brokers for making their payments to an insurance company. 
ANZ executive Paul Goodwin has said,
“Reconciling policy information and premium payments made by a broker to an insurer on behalf of customers is a slow and painful process.”
The three areas of focus
The proof-of-concept used the Hyperledger Fabric, the blockchain software of IBM, and it exhibited that the decentralized technology can be used in three different areas. 
In the first phase, data was transferred efficiently from quoting to issuing an insurance policy while negating the need to authorize and reconcile at various stages. 
In the second phase, bulk payments are automatically allocated from brokers to insurers down to the level of individual policies. 
Finally, the inefficiencies associated with manual reporting was entirely removed with automated reporting to help with insights. 
The managing director of IBM New Zealand, Mike Smith, said,
“The result is an interoperable network that could not only decrease policy costs and improve customer service, but also build a foundation for the introduction of other transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence.” 
In its white paper, ANZ said,
‘The experience of running a distributed ledger solution within New Zealand considering new tools for our customers’ problems has given us great insight into the process.’ 
Furthermore, the blockchain solution also used an automated payment process that will be provided by ANZ. This will enable straightforward bulk payments that are stored on the blockchain platform. 
The whitepaper also said,
“With this [blockchain solution], a future ecosystem with multiple insurers and multiple brokers is a viable outcome.” 
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