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Vertical Applications
- Financial Industry -

Insurance & Financial Planning

  • Current client portfolio information via wireless-connected devices

  • Sales illustrations, created, printed and presented to customers on the spot

  • Corporate data retrieval from the client’s office or home

  • Wireless E-mail Access for busy professionals


The insurance and mutual fund industries have begun equipping their sales agents with notebooks that can display and analyze current product and price information right before their customers’ eyes. Sales illustrations can be created, printed and presented to customers on the spot. Sales closure rates are higher when this information is presented on the spot. With a modem connection, additional information stored in central databases can be retrieved from the client’s office or home. Health and EKG data can be transmitted wirelessly by nurses. The overall effect is a measurable increase in sales productivity. 

In an extensive business-process reengineering project in late 90s, Merrill Lynch spent several hundred million dollars to equip 25,000 agents with Pentium-class multimedia notebooks connected to UNIX servers running Sybase. The notebooks are loaded with Windows NT and a financial planning application called Trusted Global Advisor. The software features new analytical and presentation tools that help customers understand different investment scenarios more easily. One of the key features of the new application is the ability to integrate customer data residing in multiple accounts into a single image and to provide reports in an ad hoc fashion as needed. The notebooks will make Merrill Lynch’s financial consultants fully mobile, freeing them to visit their customers' offices or homes.

Recent Initiatives in insurance (circa 2000)
Apart from allowing their sales force to use mobile devices (primarily notebook so far) to access corporate information, a few personal property insurers have started evaluating use of handheld for allowing their customers to access their personal information from the web through handgeld devices.  One such insurer is Progressive Casualty Insurance Corporation of Ohio, USA.  They are using WAP-enabled devices to access this information. The consumer can find a local agent from the smartphone browser and then make a cellular voice call -  a sort of voice & data mode of obtaining information.

Among the major insurers, Allstate was not ready. On the otther hand, State Farm was strategizing future use of handhelds for a similar application.

Property & Casualty Insurance - Reporting From the Scene of Accident
Several public safety agencies responsible for reporting car accidents have developed on-site accident reporting application software. Now property insurance industry is collecting information about accidents in the form of a picture of the vehicle either from the scene of the accident or from the garage where the vehicle might get towed to.  This information along with an electronic photograph is then sent to the claims processing center for faster turnaround. 

Kemper Insurance Company of Jacksonville, Kentucky in USA has started piloting such an application in 2000. For more information on this application, go to insurance case study information.


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