As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to shut down to disrupt the rapid spread of the virus, the entire country retracted into the social network shells and embraced digital technology to keep their business running.

The Nigeria Communication Commission reported that they observed an impressive spike in the number of active internet subscribers in the country. According to their data, the number of internet subscribers in December 2019 stood at 126 million, and by May 2020 - three months into the lockdown - that number rose to 140 million subscribers.

In Q1 of 2020, internetworldstats ranked the Nigeria 6th among the top 20 countries with the highest number of internet users with a whopping growth of 63,000% from the year 2000 when data was first collated.

The most important factor in this revolution is the significant growth in mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones penetration, which puts deciding power in the hands of Nigeria's hugely tech-savvy, social-media-enthusiastic, youthful population.

This exponential growth in the number of internet users in the country is also indicative of the increasing number of businesses across multiple sectors taking advantage of telecommunications and information technology to create products, services and opportunities that serve the vast Nigerian populace. The corresponding growth in the financial technology space has enabled businesses to expand across local territories witnessing various transformations, including fintech solutions.

This development has led to newer markets emerging, generating significant wealth and economic diversification due to ease-of-access to information and trade across digital platforms backed by superior innovations. Riding on these waves of innovations is the insurance sector where leading firms continue to create viable opportunities for interaction, education, and sales of its products, thus, building trusted financial institutions.

The digital growth has allowed more businesses to develop ingenious approaches to expand their growing customer base by creatively speaking the language of their target stakeholders. One of such organisations is leading pan African insurance firm, Old Mutual Limited.

The Nigerian subsidiary of the pan-African insurance firm and global financial services provider, Old Mutual Limited, recently rejigged its operations with optimised and fully digitalised processes for existing and prospects alike to access the benefits of insurance, despite the COIVID-19-inspired lockdown and social distancing.

Commenting on how the brand has leveraged digital innovations to deepen market penetration in Nigeria, the Executive head, Marketing and Customer Experience, Old Mutual, Alero Ladipo says the brand is taking advantage of technology, improved internet connectivity, social networks and reliance on digital innovations to revolutionise the insurance market.

"We understand that the world is evolving and there is a need to champion the use of tech-powered innovations in driving product education, acceptance and sales in the open market. We are deliberately harnessing technology to impact our business and consumer experiences specifically. Undoubtedly, the new global economy is being driven by the need to connect across time zones, borders and objects (IoT), so, we must keep abreast of these digital nuances," she said.

The Old Mutual digitalisation of its operations started with the launch of its impressively revamped, user-friendly website and e-commerce portal that allows customers access various products of their choice, engage with the brand, and make instant claims seamlessly.

The insurer also has a functional chatbot on the website, Facebook and WhatsApp platforms which assure robust insurer-customer interactivity without the usual rigours of frequent physical visits. This process signals a new direction and approach to the business and reduces the number of wait-time to access your insurance needs.

Currently, customers can get their insurance needs sorted out via the Old Mutual digital channels where they can also request for premium packages in Comprehensive Motor Insurance; Third-Party Motor Insurance; Home Insurance; Savings Plan; Travel Insurance; Personal Accident Insurance; Group Life Insurance; Marine Insurance among other many Group and Life insurance policies.

The most important feature of the e-commerce web portal is enabling a policyholder to initiate and make insurance claims through its digital and mobile-friendly without any physical interface with the insurer's rep. This feature ensured that even with the pandemic-induced lockdown, customers' access to the benefits of insurance remained sacrosanct.

Alero quipped that the e-claims channel speaks to the brand's commitment to be a trusted financial provider, the business of insurance is to be a ‘certain friend in uncertain times’

"We are leveraging Nigeria's digital revolution to deepen insurance penetration" – Alero Ladipo of Old Mutual
"We are leveraging Nigeria's digital revolution to deepen insurance penetration" – Alero Ladipo of Old Mutual

"As an organisation with a 175-year heritage of creating deeper connections with its stakeholders, we remain committed to deepening accessibility to insurance solutions to our customers in Nigeria. But with the rapid spread of COVID19 and businesses resorting to working remotely, it is expedient that we meet our customers at their pain points by leveraging the capabilities and robustness of technology in this regard.

"So, if you are an Old Mutual policyholder and have the need to make claims, you do not have to reach out to our representative. Instead, you can whip out your phone and initiate the claim process by simply visiting our optimised website, click on 'Make a Claim' button at the top right corner of the home page, fill the form with the relevant details and select 'Claim' under the drop-down menu. After this seamless process, the customer's claim will be paid within 48 hours. It is that simple", Alero added.

Old Mutual General Insurance Company and Old Mutual Nigeria Life Assurance Company are part of the globally acclaimed Old Mutual brand, which has over 175 years of experience in providing life assurance and wealth, personal finance savings and general insurance services.

The brand draws from its 175 years of wealth creation and management experience, and its deep African roots, to champion financial inclusion, education and prosperity in Nigeria and across Africa, pushing the message of smart financial planning as the answer to a secure financial future.

Old Mutual, since its entry into the Nigerian market, had leveraged its legacy and expertise, launching a wide range of insurance solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of Nigerian's insurable population and corporate clients.

*This is a featured post.